If you’ve struggled with low testosterone (also known as low T), you know that talking about it can sometimes be uncomfortable. Unfortunately, low testosterone is often perceived as an intimate issue. In reality, low testosterone has a much more profound effect on overall health, especially as men get older. It’s also quite common, affecting two out of every 100 men on average. So why is low T still such a taboo subject?
Why is Testosterone Important?
You’ve probably heard testosterone referred to in terms of puberty or sexual function. In reality, testosterone plays several important roles in men:
- Development of reproductive organs
- Maintenance of muscle mass
- Adequate levels of red blood cells
- Bone density
- General sense of well-being and positive mood
For most men, testosterone levels peak at age 17 and decline by about one percent per year for every year thereafter. Therefore, we can determine that a middle-aged male might have testosterone levels that are a full 40 percent below the peak levels they had in young adulthood. This problem can be compounded by the increased production of sex hormone binding globulin as men age. That hormone can make the lowered testosterone even less effective.
Low Testosterone Symptoms
Low testosterone is more than just an intimate issue. Loss of testosterone in males leads to all kinds of serious issues including atherosclerosis, heart attacks, obesity, fatigue, depression and anxiety. These symptoms take hold long before men experience loss of sex drive, which is often a telltale sign of low T. Testosterone levels can vary throughout the day, affected by factors like body mass index (BMI), nutrition and certain medications. However, it’s fairly easy to check testosterone levels with a simple blood test. You should call your doctor about a testosterone test if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Low sex drive
- Unexplained hair loss
- Diminished lean muscle mass or increased body fat
- Hot flashes
- Low bone density
- Testicular atrophy (changes in testes)
- Insomnia or fatigue
Treating Low Testosterone
There are a wide variety of treatments for low testosterone in Springfield Missouri. Everything from injections to topical creams. There are also several natural supplements you can take to boost your testosterone:
- Malaysian ginseng
- Vitamin D
- Foods like garlic, tuna and egg yolks
Hormone Replacement Therapy
At Kare Health and Wellness, we believe that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the single most effective way to treat low testosterone in men. This treatment has been controversial in recent years, as some healthcare professionals worry that HRT can cause prostate cancer or prostate enlargement.
Fortunately, this has been disproven time and time again. In fact, some urologists say that testosterone may decrease the incidence of prostatic hypertrophy and prostate cancer. Depending on the patient’s total testosterone levels, HRT can be an appropriate choice. HRT isn’t just for men – some women also struggle with lower-than-normal testosterone levels. This treatment effectively redistributes all-natural testosterone throughout the body, leading to several powerful benefits:
- Leaner muscle and decreased body fat
- Higher bone density
- Healthier cholesterol levels
- Rejuvenated sex drive
- Wider coronary arteries to improve vascular function
- Improved memory, concentration and mood
- Improved metabolism
- Better sleep
Overall, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) provides a safe and effective means of treating age-related low testosterone – without the nasty side effects that can accompany synthesized hormone supplements. If you’re dealing with other hormone issues outside of low T, there are still several things you can do. Keep in mind that good nutrition, regular exercise and avoiding smoking and alcohol can make a major difference in your overall health and hormone levels.
If you suspect you may be struggling with low testosterone, reach out to Kare Health and Wellness in Springfield, Missouri at 417-881-4994. Our approach to functional medicine will help you get your zest for life back once and for all.