Low Testosterone: How Do You Know When Levels Are Too Low?

In recent years, Spyros Mezitis, MD, PhD, has discovered himself speaking to a lot greater male sufferers approximately low testosterone, a diagnosis he says is turning into increasingly more not unusual.

"extra men are becoming older, and men are extra open about speaking about erectile dysfunction," Mezitis, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill hospital in ny metropolis, tells WebMD.

On the one hand, multiplied analysis of low testosterone is pushed by way of an getting older population, much less stigma, and greater precise assessments. but there's every other large reason why guys come to Mezitis' office for a testosterone check.

"men are bombarded by using media, with the aid of advertising and marketing campaigns -- 'do not experience nicely? Ask your medical doctor approximately low testosterone,'" he says.

they arrive in saying they experience excessively fatigued, weaker, depressed, and that they have lost their sex force -- all common signs and symptoms of a drop in testosterone."As an endocrinologist, i'm wondering hormones," says Mezitis, who estimates that about 1 / 4 to a third of the men he checks for low testosterone have stages under ordinary. "from time to time it's far testosterone, on occasion it's far the thyroid, and on occasion it's some thing unrelated to hormones."

what is Testosterone and Why Does It Decline?

Testosterone is a hormone. it is what places hair on a person's chest. it is the pressure behind his sex pressure.

for the duration of puberty, testosterone helps construct a man's muscle mass, deepens his voice, and boosts the size of his penis and testes. In maturity, it keeps a person's muscle mass and bones sturdy and maintains his hobby in intercourse. In brief, it is what makes a man a man (as a minimum physically).

After age 30, most men start to experience a slow decline in testosterone. A lower in intercourse drive from time to time accompanies the drop in testosterone, leading many men to mistakenly consider that their loss of interest in intercourse is actually due to growing older.

"some say it is simply part of growing old, however that's a misconception," says Jason Hedges, MD, PhD, a urologist at Oregon health and technological know-how college in Portland. A sluggish decline in testosterone can not explain a close to-total loss of interest in intercourse, as an instance. And for Hedges' patients who're in their 20s, 30s, and early 40s and having erectile issues, different fitness troubles may be a larger trouble than getting old.

"a whole lot of the signs and symptoms are reflected via other medical problems," Hedges says. "And for a long time, we had been not attributing them to low testosterone, but to diabetes, depression, high blood strain, and coronary artery disease. but recognition and appreciation of low testosterone has risen. We recognize now that low testosterone can be at the root of problems."

medical doctors will want to rule out such a possible motives for signs and symptoms before blaming them on low testosterone. they may also need to order a particular blood take a look at to determine a man's testosterone level.

"The blood test is honestly the component," Mezitis says.

Low Testosterone: How Low is just too Low?

the bottom of a person's everyday overall testosterone variety is set 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). The higher restrict is about 800ng/dL relying at the lab. A lower-than-regular rating on a blood check may be due to some of conditions, inclusive of:

injury to the testicles
Testicular cancer or remedy for testicular most cancers
Hormonal problems
continual liver or kidney sickness
kind 2 diabetes
weight problems
a few medicines and genetic conditions also can decrease a man's testosterone score. growing old does make a contribution to low rankings. In some instances, the cause is unknown.

A low rating does not continually translate to symptoms, Mezitis says, "but we regularly discover some thing it is off while we see ratings of two hundred or one hundred ng/dL."

Hedges agrees and warns that although a man does now not have signs and symptoms, he can be well cautioned to are seeking for remedy. Low testosterone scores often cause drops in bone density, meaning that bones emerge as extra fragile and increasingly more vulnerable to breaks.

"this is some thing i might need to have a verbal exchange about," Hedges says. "Bone density problems are not always obvious."

Low Testosterone treatment

Having a slow decline for your testosterone degree as you age is to be expected. treatment is every now and then considered in case you're experiencing signs and symptoms associated with low testosterone.

If a younger man's low testosterone is a hassle for a pair seeking to get pregnant, gonadotropin injections can be an alternative in a few instances. these are hormones that signal the body to provide greater testosterone. this may boom the sperm count number. Hedges additionally describes implantable testosterone pellets, a tremendously new form of remedy in which several pellets are placed underneath the skin of the buttocks, wherein they launch testosterone over the course of about three to 4 months. Injections and nasal gels can be other options for some men.

What Are the risks and blessings of Testosterone remedy?

"If their signs are surely because of low testosterone, patients inform me that within some weeks they notice a extensive difference, even though from time to time it isn't too dramatic," Hedges says. "sex is higher, depression is better -- you could see it immediately and quick."

There also are risks. Testosterone remedy can enhance a man's red blood cell rely in addition to amplify his breasts. it could also boost up prostate growth. men with breast cancer need to now not acquire testosterone remedy.

Testosterone treatment generally is not counseled for guys with prostate cancer. Hedges says a number of the institutions among testosterone alternative therapy and prostate fitness are presently being challenged. In his practice, he does offer testosterone treatment to men who've been treated for prostate cancer.

"The take-domestic [message] is treatment is secure so long as you get cautious monitoring," Hedges says. "If there are known issues, sufferers have to be handled with the aid of a expert."