Low testosterone levels and hormone replacement in men
Testosterone’s fame sometimes turns against itself. It is a superstar among bodybuilders but comes at the top of the list of anti-doping agencies in many different sports and disciplines. Nevertheless, far from the beneficial effects of testosterone in exercise, what problems can low testosterone levels cause in aging men and young adults? Moreover, how do you suspect you need testosterone replacement therapy?
Symptoms and dangers of low testosterone levels in men
Symptoms to suspect low testosterone levels include:
- Reduced sexual desire and libido
- Physical and mental fatigue
- Reduction of muscle mass
- Muscle weakness
- Increase in body fat
- Low motivation, depression, or mood swings
- Sleep disturbances
Even though these symptoms appear not to be very severe, they may become a real cause of concern in the long run. The majority of patients with low testosterone will complain about sexual dysfunction ultimately affecting their relationships and marriage. However, there is something even worse than that.
Testosterone protects a man from two different things: cardiovascular problems and fractures. Aging men with low testosterone levels are even more susceptible to a heart attack and enduring fractures, and they have a very high risk of suffering type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
What is considered a low testosterone level?
Throughout our lifetime as men, testosterone levels go up and down and then will rise again after puberty. Newborns have significantly higher testosterone levels than children, but these higher levels drop after age 1 year. Then, after 14 years, T starts to rise once again, and the lower threshold is 31 ng/dL. So, if you are 14 to 17 years old and your testosterone levels are lower than 31 ng/dL, that is low.
18 to 39-year-old men should have ten times higher testosterone levels, and the lower threshold is around 300 ng/dL. Even if you experience a reduction of testosterone as you grow older, and even as a senior, your testosterone levels should not drop under 300 ng/dL. If they do, a doctor might diagnose low testosterone levels and prescribe testosterone replacement therapy.
What can you do about it
One senior man out of 200 uses testosterone replacement therapy to address their low testosterone levels. However, studies show that 39% of men over 45 years have asymptomatic androgen deficiency. In other words, they have low testosterone levels without even realising. They may not have annoying symptoms, but their cardiovascular, metabolic, and musculoskeletal risk is still high.
Thus, it is recommended to check your testosterone levels and follow the instructions by your doctor. If you need testosterone replacement therapy, there are many different options for you to choose from. For example, you can use testosterone patches every night or testosterone gel or liquid every day. There are also bioadhesive buccal testosterone applications to be used every 12 hours or the usual T injections to be used twice a week.
Benefits of testosterone replacement
Why would you take the time and discomfort of using patches or giving yourself weekly injections? Well, even if you don’t care much about regaining your sexual health (which I doubt), one of the leading benefits of TRT is improving your stamina, avoiding depression, and boosting your cognitive function. You will feel stronger, more resistant, and will slow down the aging process in your brain function.
But even if you feel there’s no significant change in symptoms after using TRT, there is. You will have a significantly lower risk of suffering stroke, heart attack, type 2 diabetes, and bone fractures.
Natural ways to increase testosterone
There are plenty of T boosters in nature.
One of these is Tribulus Terrestris, an herbal medicine associated with sexual drive improvements by increasing testosterone levels in aging men and elite athletes. Ginger is another ingredient you can use daily to boost your testosterone levels. It also reduces inflammation and helps burning extra fat.
However, if you want faster results, you may want to look for natural sources of boron. Boron is a fantastic element in the periodic table that reduces the concentration of circulating proteins called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). Testosterone bound to SHGB is inactive, and what boron does is reducing the concentration of this protein and allowing testosterone to become active once again.
Either if you go for natural ways or directly choose to follow testosterone replacement therapy, it is important that you do something about your circulating T levels. If you suspect you have low testosterone, talk to your doctor regardless of your age and follow his instructions.