The hormone that gives men their manliness is testosterone. Produced with the help of testicles, testosterone is responsible for the characteristics of males like a deep voice, muscular build, and even facial hair. Testosterone also fosters the formation of red blood cells, boosts mood, keeps your bones strong enough, and aids your overall ability of thinking. Lack of testosterone, which is also known as low-t, can cause some unwanted symptoms.
Testosterone levels peak by adulthood early and drop as you grow old with age about 1% to 2% a year beginning in your 40s. As an individual reaches their 50s & above, this may lead to signs and symptoms like impotence or sexual desire changes, depression or even anxiety, reduced mass of muscle, less energy, gain weight, anemia, and some hot flashes.
While falling testosterone levels are a regular part of the aging process, few conditions can hasten the decline it gives.
Low-risk factors involve:
- injury or some infection
- chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer diseases
- medications like hormones used to treat prostate cancer & corticosteroid drugs
- chronic illness
Plenty of men use testosterone replacement therapy which helps to restore low levels & with this they feel more alert, energetic, mentally sharp, and at the same time also sexually functional. But it’s not as simple as it looks. A man’s health also affects his levels of testosterone. For instance, being obese, suffering from diabetes or thyroid issues, and taking a few medications, such as glucocorticoids & steroids, can affect the levels for sure. Simply having low levels, therefore, does not always call for taking extra testosterone.
Diagnosing low testosterone
Some doctors diagnose low testosterone depending on a physical exam, a review of symptoms, and even the results of several blood tests since levels can fluctuate regularly. If your doctor diagnoses low testosterone some other tests may be considered before the therapy. For example, low-t can speed bone loss, so your doctor may advise a bone density test to check whether you also need the right treatment for osteoporosis. Prostate cancer is the other concern, as testosterone can fuel its growth. As a result of this, it is recommended against the supplementation of testosterone for men in a few situations, including those:
- men who are suffering from prostate cancer or breast cancer
- having an elevated level of blood prostate-specific antigen (a blood test used to screen for prostate cancer)
- having a prostate nodule that can be felt at the time of a rectal exam.
There are some few circumstances in which supplementation of testosterone is not advisable which involves:
- a plan to be a father shortly
- an elevated red blood cell count
- serious, untreated sleep apnea
- symptoms of severe lower urinary tract
- poorly controlled failure of the heart
- heart attack or stroke in the last 6 months
- tendency to develop blood clots (a condition called thrombophilia)
Testosterone therapy for low levels
Men need to have both low levels of testosterone in their blood and several symptoms of low testosterone to go on therapy in most cases. It is very much possible to have low levels and not witness any kind of symptoms. But if you do not have any major symptoms, especially something like fatigue & sexual dysfunction then you shouldn’t go on the therapy given the uncertainty about the long-term safety.
Even if your levels are very low and you are facing any symptoms, low-t therapy is not always the initial course of action. If your doctor can rectify the source for the declining levels, for instance, weight gain or a particular medicine then he or she may first tell you about that problem. If you and your doctor think that testosterone replacement therapy is perfect, then there are a lot of delivery methods to keep in mind.
A patch is applied once every 24 hours and releases small amounts of the hormone into your skin.
Topical gels are spread on daily basis onto the skin over both upper arms, shoulders, or thighs. It is quite essential to wash your hand’s post you apply and to cover the treated area with clothing to prevent others from testosterone exposure.
Capsules are taken in or tablets are attached to your gum or inner cheek twice per day. Testosterone is later absorbed straight into your bloodstream.
These are implanted under your skin, around the hips or buttocks, and slowly release testosterone. They are replaced every three to six months.
Many formulations are injected every seven to 14 days. Testosterone levels can go to high levels for some days post-injection and then slowly go down, and then this can cause an effect, where mood & even energy levels spike before trailing off.
Also, there are few other ways by which low levels of testosterone can be treated right
Use Higher Weights and Fewer Reps
Use heavy weights enough that you can only lift them five times. Scientists found that this method produced the greatest boost in testosterone and can work as a natural treatment for low testosterone.
Allow your Body to Rest
By overtraining & also not allowing the body to recuperate your circulation of testosterone levels can plunge by 40 percent. Over-training can cause irritability, insomnia, and shrinkage of muscle. Sleep eight hours daily, rotate the workouts, and try to not stress the same muscles for many days in a row.
Your endocrine system is affected by alcohol, which causes your testes to stop forming the male hormone, which leads to the need for low testosterone therapy. Binge drinking will kill levels of testosterone.
Do Not Avoid Fat
Eat food that includes some amount of fat. Your body needs dietary fat to form testosterone, so eating like a vegetarian, non-fat diet will drop your testosterone levels.
Get Adequate Sleep
Sleeping less than eight hours per night hurts your circadian rhythm. Your testosterone levels are at their highest during the daytime in the morning after a good night of enough sleep. So, sleeping right is also important.