Low testosterone, or low T, is a condition in which the body is unable to produce normal amounts of the hormone testosterone in individuals.
Normally in males, testosterone peaks around the age of 30 then slowly declines by approximately 1% a year. It’s a natural part of aging.
However, low T, also called hypogonadism or androgen deficiency, affects roughly 39% of men over the age of 45 and its effects can be profound both physically and psychologically.
What are the symptoms of Low T?
- Excessive tiredness and easy fatigue with exertion or exercise
- Low sex drive and/or erectile dysfunction
- Fertility issues as the result of lowered sperm count
- Irritability, moodiness, anxiety and depression
- High cholesterol, high blood pressure
- Decrease in body hair
- Reduced bone strength and/or muscle mass
- Weight gain and/or increased body fat
- Hot flashes or excessive sweating
- Change in sleep patterns
How can I prevent Low T?
A great place to start is by eating a healthy diet, such as the DASH diet, which includes fruits, vegetables, low fat or nonfat dairy, whole grains, lean meats, fish and poultry, nuts and beans.
In addition to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, the DASH diet makes it easy to lose weight, and is designed to be flexible enough to meet the lifestyle and food preferences of most people.
Other Low T prevention steps include:
- Follow the US guidelines for sodium intake
- Increase your exercise to include both cardiovascular and weight training
- Schedule an appointment with a physician who specializes in men’s health/family medicine to discuss treatment options
What are my treatment options for Low T?
If your physician determines that you’re suffering from low T, long term Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) may be recommended. Testosterone can be administered many ways, but transdermal delivery is currently the best way to replace testosterone.
There are several forms of treatment:
- Injectables – every 1-3 weeks
- Patches – Androderm, which is a daily patch
- Gels – Androgel, Testim, Fortesta, or Axiron, which are applied daily
- Pellets – Testopel, which are implanted into fat of buttocks every three to six months
- Buccal Tablet – Striant SR, which is placed in the mouth in a depression of the gums twice daily