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Symptoms of Low Testosterone and Its Management by Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)

Testosterone is a hormone that is present in the human body, predominantly in men.  It is mainly produced by the Leydig cells present in the testes in the males. Hence, it is also called a male sex hormone. Testosterone is an androgen that is responsible for the development of male characteristics, appearance, and sexual development.

Testosterone production is regulated very strictly by the cells in the gonads to control and maintain normal levels of the hormone in the blood.  But as one ages, the production of testosterone decreases. This natural decline in testosterone is not a cause of concern. If the levels fall below 300 ng/dL, then a person is said to have low testosterone or low T.

The test called the serum testosterone test determines the level of circulating testosterone in the blood.  The normal blood testosterone range is said to be typically 300 to 1,000 ng/dL.

There is an array of symptoms that can be seen if the production of testosterone falls extraordinarily below the normal range.  To be precise there are 12 signs which can be seen in men suffering from low T.

  1. Reduced sex drive:

The level of male sex hormone or testosterone in a person plays a significant part in the sex drive/libido in men.  Men usually endure low sex drive as they age; however, men suffering from low T encounter this drop strikingly.

  1. Problems with erection:

As we now know that testosterone triggers a man’s sex drive, but not only this, it also helps in attaining and maintaining an erection. Though testosterone alone is not responsible for erection, it stirs up the receptors in the brain to produce nitric acid and this nitric acid then in turn triggers certain chemical reactions which are important for an erection to happen, so men with low T do face difficulty with erection.

  1. Decreased semen volume:

Testosterone helps in the production of semen, so men with low testosterone suffer from a decreased volume of semen during ejaculation.

  1. Low energy levels: If a man, despite getting proper rest, is complaining of extreme fatigue, then low T syndrome could be one of the causes of this fatigue and tiredness.
  2. Hair loss: Testosterone plays a vital role in the development of male characteristics and body hair is one of them. Though balding can be hereditary and often occurs with ageing too, men with low T are sometimes found to experience loss of body and facial hair.
  3. Poor bone health: One of the functions of testosterone is to strengthen the bones, so men with low T have lower bone mass and are more prone to fractures. This generally happens with older men.
  4. Loss of muscle mass: As one of the functions of testosterone is to build muscle mass, men with low T often notice a loss in muscle mass.
  5. Increase in body fat: In many instances, it has been observed that men with low testosterone encounter an increase in body fat.
  6. Disturbed Mood, anxiety: Testosterone controls many physical processes in the body and one of them is mood and state of mind. As per the research, men with low T are more susceptible to experiencing depression, mood changes, and inability to focus.
  7. Memory loss: There are theories by some doctors documenting that the lower the testosterone levels are, the lower is the cognitive ability of a man.
  8. Decreased testicle size: As testosterone is essential for the development of the penis and testicles, low T syndrome can affect the size of the penis or testicles which can be smaller in size as compared to men with normal testosterone levels.
  9. Low blood count: Research and doctors have also associated low T with a risk of developing anemia.

Treatment of Low Testosterone:

No treatment is recommended for low testosterone levels due to ageing or for men with lower T levels but no symptoms. Increasing the levels of testosterone by natural methods such as maintaining a healthy weight, including certain testosterone-boosting foods in the diet, lifestyle changes, yoga, etc. are advised for such individuals.

There are a few treatment modalities for the treatment of low testosterone levels, and in this article, we will focus on the risks, benefits, and efficacy of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). It is advised by doctors only for men who have clinically low testosterone levels and are showing symptoms because of it. 

Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)

The most effective and successful treatment of low T is through testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).  This therapy can help in improving testosterone levels through regular administration of testosterone and is found to show good results.

In testosterone replacement therapy, testosterone is administered in the body in different ways. It could be in the form of:

  • A gel that can be rubbed on the skin or applied inside the nose once a day.
  • A transdermal patch that is applied to the upper body skin once a day.
  • Mouth patch, which is a tablet that is applied to the upper gums twice a day. It continuously releases testosterone in the blood supply through absorption from oral tissues.
  • Nasal spray.
  • Intramuscular injection.
  • implantable pellets which are placed just under the skin.

Testosterone is not administered as a pill like other drugs, because it can have adverse effects on the liver. Thus, it is given by other routes that bypass the liver.

Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy

One can undergo this therapy without needing to compromise on their work schedule and it does not come in the way of one’s day-to-day life activities.

The results of TRT are positive. Men undergoing TRT report improved sex drive, mood, and less fatigue.  TRT also helps in improving the bone health, muscle mass, and overall appearance of the person. 

Risks of Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Itching, irritation, or rash can be experienced at the site of administration of TRT.

The more serious risks include increased chances of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, worsening of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostate cancer, sleep apnea, and congestive heart failure (CHF).

Your doctor is the best person to judge if testosterone replacement therapy is suitable for you after weighing the pros and cons of TRT for you. Thus, it is of utmost importance to consult an expert endocrinologist for your testosterone issues.

Dr. Monga Medi Clinic is one such clinic where testosterone replacement therapy is offered. Dr. Monga Medi Clinic has the most qualified and competent panel of endocrinologists who are experienced and the best in their field and are experts in hormone replacement therapy. You can also avail online consultation from them.