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This Month In Health
  • EBOLA!
    Across the globe, mere mention of Ebola strikes fear in the hearts of people. With the worst outbreak since the virus first appeared in 1976, Ebola is sprinting across parts of Central and West Africa at a frightening pace. Read >>
  • ALS Aware
    If you’ve been nominated by your friends to pour a bucket of ice water on your head, you may have been one of the millions who’ve donated funds to the ALS Association in hopes that a cure may be found for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Read on to learn more about the mysterious disease that has people chilling out across the globe. Read >>
  • Got Low T?
    It’s what gives a man facial and chest hair, builds his muscles and deepens his voice, and gives him a sex drive. In other words, testosterone is the hormone that makes a man a man. Read >>
  • Not Fine With Fine Lines
    While wrinkles and fine lines may be an inevitable part of aging, there are ways you can slow the aging process. Look and feel younger with these tips. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Got Low T?

An increasing number of men are experiencing a drop in testosterone levels. Could this explain your symptoms?

It’s what gives a man facial and chest hair, builds his muscles and deepens his voice, and gives him a sex drive. In other words, testosterone is the hormone that makes a man a man. During puberty, testosterone levels are high, but after a man reaches his 30s, testosterone levels often begin to decrease, creating a long list of possible symptoms. Sometimes, the symptoms caused by low testosterone are mistakenly blamed on diabetes, thyroid problems, high blood pressure, or depression, so it’s important to get to the root of the problem.

What symptoms are associated with low testosterone and what’s the cause of the drop in hormones? Are there ways to boost your levels and regain your sex drive?

Signs It May Be Low T

When you think of testosterone, you think of a man’s sexual function, but this hormone is responsible for other body processes as well. Therefore, when it’s low, you may have both sexual and non-sexual symptoms.
In the bedroom department you can expect low libido, trouble getting and maintaining an erection, and a decrease in sexual activity. Out of the bedroom, low testosterone levels may lead to weight gain, fatigue, depression, and a loss of muscle and bone mass.

Not enough testosterone is associated with other health problems as well. An estimated 4 out of 10 men with high cholesterol or high blood pressure also have low testosterone. Half of diabetic and/or obese men are low in testosterone. And men with HIV or AIDS are at a much greater risk for low T levels and three out of four men who’ve used or abused opioid drugs for long periods of time have low testosterone.

What’s Low?

Men who experience symptoms like those listed above should see their doctor for a blood test measures testosterone levels. A normal range for healthy men measures between 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) and 1,200 ng/dL. Any time your testosterone level drops below 300 ng/dL, you’ll most likely notice something isn’t right.

Why A Low Reading?

A below-normal score can be caused by many different factors, including hormonal disorders, an infection, type 2 diabetes, obesity, injury to the testicles (where testosterone is produced), testicular cancer, liver or kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, medications, genetic disorders, and normal aging. Determining the cause of your unhealthy testosterone levels will make it possible to get it back to normal.

Pumping Up on T

There are various ways to increase your testosterone levels through hormone replacement therapy. The majority of men—70 percent—choose to use gel therapy for low testosterone. After showering, you merely rub a gel on your upper arms or shoulders, being careful that other people aren’t exposed to this area of your skin.

Another 17 percent opt to undergo injections of testosterone. For men trying to increase their sperm strength and production to increase their fertility, this is a good choice, and the most effective option is to get the injections every few weeks.

Patches, implantable pellets, and oral pills are also available hormone replacement therapy options that are chosen by some.

While symptoms related to low testosterone levels are improved in a few weeks of treatment (increased energy, libido, muscle mass), there are risks involved and close monitoring is important. Testosterone therapy can lead to breast growth, increased size of the prostate, raised red blood cell count, sleep apnea, and urinary tract problems. Long-term treatment may also actually lower fertility. Men who’ve had breast or prostate cancer should not receive testosterone therapy.



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