TV ads for various medications can make it feel like erectile dysfunction (ED) is the only thing that might be caused by low testosterone. However, testosterone is vital to overall health, and low testosterone (also called low T) can affect your wellness in many ways.
What Causes Low Testosterone?
It is normal for testosterone levels to fluctuate, and levels will naturally decline slowly as we age. However, a number of factors may cause a more severe drop in testosterone. A chronic or severe short-term illness may result in low T. In some cases, treatments (like chemotherapy) can cause a drop in testosterone levels. Other causes might include chronic sleep problems, excessive weight gain or loss, or even a severe head injury. It is always recommended to talk to your health care provider about other health issues that might be contributing to or worsening your low T.
What Are Some Common Symptoms of Low T?
You may experience ED or reduced libido, but you might experience other common symptoms of low testosterone alongside or instead of sexual symptoms. Common effects of low testosterone include both physical and mental symptoms. Physical symptoms may include fatigue, decreased muscle strength, anemia and increased body fat. Mental symptoms commonly include depression, decreased memory and moodiness.
Are There Less Common Symptoms?
In some cases, chronically low testosterone can cause long term effects like osteoporosis (a weakening of the bones), increased breast tissue and fertility issues. Whether genetic, from aging, or due to another condition, severely low levels of testosterone can have lasting effects on your physiological and mental health. If you think you might be suffering from low T, it’s always recommended to get a full checkup from your primary care provider to rule out any other more serious conditions as well.
What Steps Can You Take?
If low T is affecting you, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be a great option! Many patients begin by treating individual symptoms (such as medication for fatigue, depression, or ED), but HRT can correct the cause of multiple symptoms by getting at the root cause. Hormone replacement therapy for low T can boost your body’s testosterone levels with injections, gels, or pellets that help regulate your hormone levels. Many patients report improved mood and fewer physical symptoms of low T very soon after beginning HRT treatments!
As with all medical treatments there are potential side effects of HRT. Regular follow up visits with your clinician are important to ensure proper dosage and no underlying health issues. You may be asked to complete blood work every few months when you start HRT for low T to ensure that you are not experiencing any unusual side effects.
Considering treatment options for low T? Viking Medical Group can help! Contact us to learn more about our services!