Testosterone is a hormone that is produced by both men and women. Males have higher levels of this hormone, and the testes produce testosterone. Unfortunately, men can begin to experience dips in their testosterone levels as soon as their early twenties. Learning about treatments for low testosterone levels allows men to take the right steps to improve their levels and their health.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
When men have low testosterone levels, they can experience a wide array of symptoms. If the following symptoms are noticed, men may need to seek low testosterone treatment, low t treatment, and even injections.
- A decreased amount of body hair
- A decrease in muscle mass
- Lowered sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Increased breast tissue growth
If a man begins experiencing any of the above symptoms, they need to talk to their doctor about testing. Blood tests may reveal lowered testosterone levels. If a doctor discovers lowered male hormone levels, treatments can bring them up over time.
How Do Doctors Treat Low Testosterone?
Doctors may treat low testosterone levels in multiple ways. For mild drops in this hormone, exercise often helps. The following offers information on some of the treatment options available to treat low levels of testosterone levels in men.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
This treatment is used to help people who have abnormally low levels of testosterone. When these hormone levels are lowered, they can impact the way the body functions. This form of therapy uses pills, patches, and topical gels.
These treatments take time to produce results, depending on the severity of depletion. Most men will experience improvements in libido within three to six weeks. Erectile dysfunction may take up to six months to respond fully. With testosterone replacement therapy, men will begin to experience positive changes with continued therapy.
There are also the options of injections for lowered testosterone. These injections typically do not require the frequency of administration as some other types of replacement therapy. Testosterone injections are typically administered by a doctor.
Those who seek testosterone replacement therapy will need to have frequent blood tests to determine their current hormone levels. Generally, treatments for testosterone replacement are well-tolerated by the body. Sometimes, replacement therapy can lead to side effects, though these typically fade when therapy ceases. The following are some of these side effects.
- Swelling due to fluid retention
- Increased acne
- Sleep disturbances, including apnea
- Prostate enlargement
- Increased red blood cell production
- Reduced fertility
What Are the Normal Testosterone Levels for Men?
There has been a lot of debate over the years regarding the normal testosterone levels for men. Normal levels range from 264–916 ng/dL. This range is for men between the ages of 19-39 who are not obese. Men who are obese often have lowered testosterone levels. Some health conditions can also cause lowered levels.
Seek Help from a Doctor
Many men do not realize they have lowered testosterone right away. If a man notices decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, or other symptoms like those above, he should seek his doctor right away. If the doctor feels a man is suffering from lowered testosterone, testing will reveal his hormone levels.
As soon as a man notices the symptoms of lowered testosterone, he should take immediate action. Self-help approaches to hormone replacement are rarely beneficial. Men need to first see a doctor for testing so they can learn their hormone levels. Once a doctor determines the level, a man may choose the best hormone replacement therapy to bring his levels to normal.