Testosterone In Men
Testosterone truly is the key hormone for the male body. It’s what makes a man a man. It is produced and secreted primarily by the testicles of males called leydig cells. Testosterone then travels in our blood stream, binding to specific receptors on different tissues with the largest concentration in the brain and heart. When testosterone levels decrease with age, your receptor sites are unable to absorb the appropriate amount of testosterone, which leads to all of the symptoms of low T. What we are talking about is male menopause, also called andropause.
Low Testosterone State (hypogonadism) – What is Low T?
- Low testosterone (Low T), also known as hypogonadism, occurs when a man’s body produces little or no testosterone and has associated signs and symptoms. Low testosterone refers to lowered testosterone in the blood.
- Normal testosterone levels for healthy men are approximately 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). Men with Low T generally have testosterone levels below 300 ng/dL. Low T can be caused by certain medical conditions, such as genetic problems, chemotherapy, injury, or other hormonal problems.
- Testosterone begins to decrease in men in their late 20’s, with low T symptoms beginning typically in the late 30’s. There is good news! Low T can be fixed, easily and safely. However, it is critical that the treatment be done correctly.
The hormone testosterone is an anabolic steroid. “Steroid” is a word that engenders negative connotations with those who follow sports; but the bodies of both men and women produce the anabolic steroid testosterone naturally. Men, however, require it to live. The negative connotation associated with anabolic steroids comes from the many athletes and body builders who use/abuse combinations of synthetic testosterone for performance enhancement—a practice called “stacking.” Our doctors do not use synthetic testosterone in our client’s treatment plans, and they do not stack testosterone in men. Our doctors only use bioidentical hormones—which means they are exactly the same as what your body would produce naturally. Further, our doctors will only replace your testosterone to healthy levels—not beyond.
If done correctly, there are no side effects from hormone therapy. Hormone replacement therapy is safe, and more importantly, it’s healthy. In fact, restoring testosterone to pre-andropause levels is vital to a man’s health, and improves his chances for avoiding illness and disease as he ages.
Testosterone does not cause prostate cancer. Excess estrogen increases prostate cancer risk. Please see our page on estrogen for more details.
Replacing testosterone should be done in conjunction with balancing other hormones, particularly thyroid. Please see our page on hormone balance for more details.
Testosterone is the feel good, sex drive hormone for men. With male hormone therapy, you should begin to feel better in 1 to 2 weeks; and providing you have good lifestyle habits (e.g. a healthy diet, sufficient physical activity, and stress reduction), you will feel like a new man in 4-6 weeks after your hormones have balanced.
The symptoms of andropause and the symptoms of low testosterone are very similar. This is because the symptoms of andropause are caused by the imbalance of several hormones, but the most important is testosterone.
Testosterone levels are declining at an accelerated rate in recent years due to pollutants and petrochemicals in the environment. Though highly unusual 10 years ago, we are now commonly treating men in their 30s who are presenting with testosterone levels typical of a 60 year old man (not receiving treatment).
Signs and symptoms associated with Low T
In order to diagnose Low T, Dr. Wright may ask you about any symptoms you may be experiencing as well as test your blood to measure your testosterone level. Below are some symptoms that men with Low T may experience. If you are experiencing any of these, you may want to talk to Dr. Wright about being tested for Low T.”
Signs and Symptoms
- Decreased sex drive (libido) and activity
- Decreased energy, motivation, and self-confidence
- Fewer spontaneous erections
- Feeling sad or blue
- Enlarged breasts, breast discomfort
- Poor concentration/memory
- Loss of body hair, less shaving
- Sleep disturbance, increased sleepiness
- Very small or shrinking testes
- Mild anemia
- Height loss, low trauma fracture, low bone mineral density
- Reduced muscle bulk and strength
- Hot flushes, sweats – Increased body fat, body mass index
- Decline in physical or work performance – memory loss