Men in Portland are reclaiming youth with hormone replacement therapy
Is time catching up with you? Frequent fatigue, reduced mental clarity, and problems in the bedroom can lead you to feel like you just aren’t the man you used to be. However, the problem might be more than just age. Hypogonadism is a medical condition involving below normal testosterone levels. It can be treated with hormone replacement therapy for men, which is available at Thrive in Portland, OR.
What is low T?
Young boys have very low testosterone levels, which rise rapidly during puberty. The peak of testosterone usually lasts through early adulthood, usually until ages 30 to 40. After that, levels begin dropping, usually about one percent every year. This decline is a normal part of the aging process, and it is not necessarily problematic. For some men, testosterone levels drop somewhat, but remain well within the healthy range. However, the decrease is more dramatic for others. Additionally, many factors besides age can lower a man’s testosterone levels.
Low-T, a term coined by a Harvard Medical School professor, simply means abnormally low testosterone. A healthy range of circulating testosterone is between 300 and 1000 ng/dL, according to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Low-T is typically diagnosed when that number drops below 300.
Symptoms of testosterone deficiency
Virtually everyone is familiar with testosterone. It is widely known as the hormone responsible to a man’s sex drive, and it is often blamed for the rambunctious behavior of teenage boys. However, the full scope of testosterone’s effects on the body encompass much more. It is essential for the development of strong bones and muscles in a young man, as well as the continuing health of those structures in an older man. It facilitates mental and physical energy and contributes to an overall sense of wellbeing.
When a man’s testosterone production falls below a healthy level, he may experience a variety of negative effects including:
- Low libido – This is usually attributed to the general aging process but may be caused by insufficient testosterone.
- Erectile dysfunction (ED) – For some men, it is not the interest in sex that decreases, but their ability to achieve erection. Testosterone reduction is one of several potential causes of ED. There may also be a reduction in the amount of semen produced.
- Muscle mass reduction – Although physical strength remains unchanged, men with Low-T usually see a significant reduction in muscle mass, or “bulk.”
- Hair loss – Balding is very common among older men, and it is often associated with a hereditary form of alopecia. However, there are other potential causes, including testosterone deficiency.
- Fatigue – Lack of physical energy is usually attributed to inadequate sleep. However, men with low testosterone levels may suffer from frequent exhaustion, no matter how much they rest.
- Increase in body fat – If those extra pounds seem extra stubborn in recent years, the problem could be Low-T. In some men, the condition can trigger gynecomastia, which is the enlargement of breasts.
- Loss of bone mass – It is well known that post-menopausal women have an increased risk of osteoporosis. However, male hormone deficiency also contributes to bone loss, osteoporosis, and an increased risk of fractures.
- Moodiness – Hormones are strongly related to emotions, and men with low testosterone are more likely to experience mood swings. Some research suggests that their risk of clinical depression may also be higher.
Who is a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy?
If you are considering testosterone replacement, the first step is to seek diagnosis from an experienced medical provider, such as Dr. Maddox of Thrive. Symptoms such as tiredness and sexual dysfunction can have many possible causes. A simple blood test can determine if your testosterone levels are low.
For men diagnosed with Low-T, hormone replacement therapy is usually a good option. However, like any medical treatment, there are exceptions. During your consultation, we will discuss potential side effects and complications. Your clinician will also inquire about your medical history, and whether you intend to have children in the future. Although testosterone therapy can improve sexual function, it may decrease fertility.
Take the first step toward a more fulfilling life
We believe that everyone deserves to feel great and live life to the fullest. If you feel like you are just existing, not living and thriving, give us a call at (503) 928-6505 and schedule a consultation.
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