Low testosterone is common as men age.
Testosterone is a hormone produced by both men and women. In males, the testicles produce most of the testosterone in the body. In females, the ovaries produce most of the testosterone. As men get older, their testosterone levels gradually decrease – typically about 1 percent a year after age 30.
Low T symptoms in men include:
- Irritability or moodiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low energy or fatigue
- Low sex drive
- Erection problems
- Increased fat deposition
- Trouble recovering from exercise
- Hair loss
Most men diagnosed with Andropause, or Low T, experience a low sex drive accompanied by one or more of the other symptoms listed above. As soon as symptoms become bothersome, it is important to seek medical treatment. If testosterone levels drop too low, you have an increased chance of developing heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis (bone loss).
A blood test can help reveal your testosterone level.
The most common treatment for Andropause is testosterone replacement therapy. Your Ohio State urologist will discuss with you the symptoms you have been experiencing and identify how your testosterone levels fluctuate throughout a given day. Using this information, a personalized treatment plan will be developed. Regular exercise can help maintain testosterone levels and improve your overall health.
Taking testosterone orally isn't recommended for long-term hormone replacement because it might lead to liver problems. Testosterone can be delivered by gel, patch, injection, implantable pellets or placement near the gum line.
Keep in mind that testosterone therapy carries risks, including contributing to sleep apnea, stimulating noncancerous growth of the prostate, enlarging breasts, limiting sperm production and stimulating growth of existing prostate cancer. Recent research also suggests testosterone therapy might increase your risk of a heart attack.
Testosterone is the male sex hormone that not only impacts sexual drive, but also affects bone density, heart health, insulin control and metabolism. Lawrence Jenkins, MD, an Ohio State urologist, explains the symptoms and treatment options.