In men, testosterone is a both a hormone and a steroid. Testosterone is crucial in male reproductive organ development, and is responsible for male characteristics such as increased muscle mass, body hair, and deep voices. Approximately one in three men over the age of 45 will experience low testosterone (Low T). After 30, men naturally start to experience a gradual decline in testosterone levels. When levels become very low, they may be diagnosed with hypogonadism, the medical term used to describe a low production of the hormone testosterone.
Low testosterone symptoms
Common symptoms that may indicate low levels of testosterone in men:
- Low sexual desire
- Weaker and fewer erections
- Loss of muscle mass
- Increased body fat
- Decreased height
- Lack of energy
- Depressed mood
- Poor concentration
These symptoms not only affect a man’s sense of well-being, but they can also negatively impact his health. Low T is under-diagnosed because its symptoms are often mistaken for depression or “just getting older.” A simple blood test can determine a patient’s testosterone level.
Low T is associated with some common medical conditions such as:
- chronic opioid use
- AIDS / HIV
- erectile dysfunction
How is Low T treated?
Treatment options include topical gels or creams, injections, testosterone pellets, and, in special situations, aromatase inhibitors and anti-estrogens. At Urology Austin, we offer long-term testosterone replacement options. Our goal is to work with each male patient to determine what options they are most comfortable with, and ultimately what is most effective. We take into account their lifestyle and personal concerns, as well as their medical needs.
Testosterone replacement may be contraindicated in patients with prostate cancer or in significant benign prostatic hyperplasia. Potential side effects of testosterone replacement therapy include erythrocytosis, acne or oily skin, infertility, and certain skin reactions. Low T is treatable, and a variety of treatment modalities are available.
Contact us to schedule an appointment to find out more information about Low T.