If you believe the TV and social media ads, testosterone is all you need to regain your vitality. Indeed, your testosterone production diminishes as you age, and replacing it can improve some related symptoms, but testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) isn’t a fountain of youth, and it’s not suitable for everyone.
To discover if TRT can address your symptoms, it’s best to work with professionals who specialize in hormones, such as the team at The Endocrine Center in Houston, Texas. Here’s the truth about low testosterone and TRT.
Signs that you have low testosterone
All men lose testosterone as they age, but not all need testosterone therapy.
The change begins in your 30s, but you probably won’t notice it. Your testosterone decreases by about 1% yearly.
If your hormones decrease faster, or you’ve reached an age where your levels have dropped below a certain level, you start to see the effects. Your muscles appear smaller and feel a bit weaker. You have less energy and a lower sex drive. You may even notice less body hair and more breast tissue.
Who needs testosterone replacement therapy?
Some men have low testosterone (low T) and experience several symptoms, while others have no symptoms. So how do you know if you have low T and whether you need TRT?
We take the guesswork out of it by testing your blood. If you have less than 300 nanograms per deciliter, we consider you to have low testosterone, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need TRT. Before prescribing TRT, we check two vital variables: the symptoms and the cause.
Which symptoms do you have?
Many men have low T with no negative symptoms. Even if you have a few side effects, such as less body hair and decreased muscle mass, these aren’t necessarily factors that warrant TRT. However, if low T is causing problems such as erectile dysfunction and fatigue, you may be a good candidate.
What’s causing your low T?
If your declining levels are simply a matter of aging, TRT might be a good solution. However, if your low T stems from a medical condition, it’s best to treat that issue first. Resolving the root cause can often resolve your testosterone problem without TRT.
For example, studies show that some men with sleep apnea develop low testosterone levels, especially if overweight. Also, if your pituitary gland or hypothalamus is dysfunctional, it can diminish your production of luteinizing hormone, affecting your testosterone and sperm production.
Low T can also be a sign of several congenital conditions, like Kallman, Klinefelter, and Prader-Willi syndromes, or health conditions you acquire, such as HIV/AIDS, kidney failure, Cushing’s syndrome, cirrhosis of the liver, and diabetes.
Another potential culprit is medication, as some prescriptions are known to lower testosterone levels, including:
- Anti-anxiety medications
- Cholesterol medications (statins)
- Heart and blood pressure medications
- Heartburn and GERD medications
If your low T is tied to a medication, it may be possible to switch or change your dosage, but never do so unless your physician recommends it.
The Endocrine Center team can get to the bottom of your low T and determine whether you need testosterone replacement therapy or treatment for the underlying cause.
Types of testosterone replacement therapy
If you’re a good candidate for TRT, we have several delivery forms, including injections, gels, patches, pellets, and nasal spray. We customize the dosage and form to match your body’s needs and your preferences.
Stop guessing about your testosterone levels and whether you need testosterone therapy — call The Endocrine Center at any of our three Houston locations, or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment.