What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is the primary hormone responsible for the development of physical characteristics associated with maleness. This includes the deepening of the voice, development of male sex organs, typical male hair growth in the pubic area and legs, and libido.
- Deepening a man’s voice during puberty
- Growth of facial, pubic, leg, and under-arm hair
- Increasing muscle mass
- Increasing bone density
- Producing red blood cells
While its importance to overall male health is essential, many men become acutely aware of low testosterone when it directly affects sexual desire and erectile function.
Diminished testosterone production is also known as hypogonadism. There are two types: primary and secondary. In primary hypogonadism, a problem occurs when there is a problem with the testes themselves. Secondary hypogonadism occurs when the testes do not produce enough testosterone due to a problem with the hypothalamus or pituitary gland.
Primary hypogonadism may occur because of
- An injury to the testicles
- Undescended testicles
- Normal aging
Secondary hypogonadism can occur because of
- A pituitary disorder
- Inflammatory condition
- As a result of taking certain medications
What is A Normal Range of Testosterone?
Testosterone levels vary by age, with the highest level of testosterone occurring during puberty. Testosterone levels can be tested with a simple blood test, usually done in the morning because that’s when testosterone levels are the highest. Depending on your age and overall health, your testosterone level should be between 280 to 1,100 ng/dL for men.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
Low testosterone can affect your health in numerous ways, including:
- Weight gain
- Loss of muscle mass
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
Increasing Your Testosterone Level
Your testosterone level can be increased, either naturally or through testosterone replacement therapy. Natural ways of increasing and/or maintaining your testosterone level include eating well and engaging in daily physical activity. Exercise such as lifting weights will help you maintain muscle mass and contribute to sleeping better each night. Daily activity can also help you maintain a high energy level. Increasing your vitamin D intake, preferably through exposure to sunlight, can also help. Another important factor in naturally maintaining your testosterone level is managing your stress effectively.
If you and your clinician are still concerned about your testosterone levels and their resulting physical symptoms, you can talk with them about Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Testosterone Replacement Therapy or TRT is an effective way of treating decreasing testosterone levels in men. While it can be administered in several forms, APEX Hormone Health prescribes either topical creams or testosterone injections that are self-administered. In addition to these forms of treatment, we also have BHRT testosterone pellets for men inserted at the office.
Does TRT Have Risks?
In short, yes, as do all medical treatments. These risks may include a lowered sperm count, and increase in breast size, and an increased risk of blood clots.
In addition, not everyone is a candidate for TRT. If you have had prostate or breast cancer, TRT isn’t recommended.
Your APEX Hormone Health practitioner will discuss risks with you and closely monitor you during treatment. A treatment plan will be created based on your lab results and personal goals. Your practitioner will monitor your treatment closely through continuing laboratory testing and follow-up visits every three months, or more frequently if the need arises.
We’re Here to Help
If you live in Parker, CO or the surrounding area and are experiencing difficulties associated with low testosterone, we can help. We look forward to helping you live your life to the fullest!
Disclaimer: The information contained here was not written by a medical doctor and is intended for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for medical advice.