The male sex hormone is testosterone. It’s manufactured in the testicles. Hormones are essential for both physical and emotional well-being. Testosterone is required for the following functions:
- Male sexual development and functioning .
- Developing facial hair and a deeper voice in growing boys
- Muscle mass and strength.
- Sperm production by men.
- Sex desire in men.
What are the signs and symptoms of a testosterone deficiency?
The following symptoms are more likely to be caused by or directly associated to testosterone deficiency (TD):
- Lowered sex desire
- Loss of body hair
- Reduced erectile function
- Loss of lean muscular mass
- Constant exhaustion (fatigue)
- Obesity (being overweight)
- Depression symptoms
- Erectile dysfunction
Other Signs and Symptoms
• Low energy, endurance, and physical strength
• Poor memory
• Trouble finding things to speak
• Poor focus
• Not doing well at work are some symptoms that may or may not be associated to TD.
What Causes Testosterone Deficiency?
Testosterone levels in the blood might be low at times. This is referred to as testosterone insufficiency (TD). TD affects about 2 out of every 100 males. Testosterone levels decrease with ageing in general. TD affects roughly 1 in every 100 young men, although it gets more frequent as men become older. Low testosterone is defined as a blood level of less than 300 ng/dl along with any of the symptoms described above. Your testosterone level will drop if your testicles produce less testosterone than normal. It’s possible that your TD is related to:
- The ageing process
- Obesity (overweight)
- Accidental testicular damage
- Testicles are removed (because of cancer or other reasons)
- Radiation or chemotherapy
- The use of certain drugs (including opiates, psychotropics, and others)
- Autoimmune disease
- Pituitary gland disease
How can my doctor determine whether I have testicular deficiency (TD)?
Your total blood testosterone level is the most crucial test for TD. If you’re concerned, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your symptoms and determine whether you have TD. During your physical examination, your doctor may do the following tests:
• Blood tests to determine testosterone levels, other hormone levels, and red blood cell counts (blood tests may be repeated to confirm the results).
• Your complete medical history, including any illnesses or drugs you’ve taken.
Obesity is measured by BMI or waist circumference.
• Metabolic syndrome (hypertension, diabetes, excess body fat around the waist, and high cholesterol levels)
• The kind, quantity, and location of your hair.
• Gynecomastia is a condition that affects men (enlarged breasts).
• The presence of testicles and their size.
• The size of the prostate and any anomalies.
Is Testosterone Therapy (TT) Required for Me?
If you have TD, you may require TT. Be aware that, like any other drug, TT has adverse effects. You should not take testosterone without first consulting a physician.
Treatment is indicated for:
• People who are born with TD owing to disorders such Klinefelter syndrome
• People who have sex organs that do not develop normally
• People who have damaged testicles
• People who have a blood testosterone level of less than 300 ng/dl in conjunction with TD symptoms
What will my doctor do if I have testosterone deficiency?
Changes in your health, such as decreasing weight and increasing your physical activity, may enhance your testosterone levels. It’s possible that you’ll need to take testosterone as well. Testosterone can be taken in five distinct ways:
• Topical (transdermal) (liquid, gel or patch to the skin).
• Subcutaneous injection (short or long-acting).
• Intranasal (within the nose) (through your nose).
• Pellets embedded in your skin
• Buccal/oral (by mouth).
You may choose to take your testosterone in a way that is most effective or beneficial for you. Your insurance carrier may only cover specific forms of testosterone treatment in some instances. Consult your doctor about your options. Keep an eye out for TT negative effects throughout therapy. Inquire with your doctor or pharmacist about the symptoms to check for.
What Can I Expect Following Treatment?
Regular health checks will be required to ensure that your testosterone level has not altered and remains normal. Total testosterone and several other lab tests should be examined every 6-12 months if you are stable on TT. You may have noticed that the labels on testosterone drugs warn about the danger of heart disease and stroke. There’s no conclusive proof that TT enhances or reduces your risk of these complications. Your doctor will check for heart problems and stroke before starting TT and sometimes while you’re on it, just to be safe. Low sex desire, low lean body mass, and/or depressive symptoms may all benefit from TT. However, there is no compelling evidence that TT will improve memory recall, diabetes, energy, or fatigue.
ASK YOUR DOCTOR THESE QUESTIONS
- Is it possible that the symptoms I’m experiencing are connected to TD?
- What is the prevalence of TD among guys my age?
- What tests will I need to determine whether or not I have TD?
- Is testosterone treatment (TT) risky?
- Is TT the right option for me? Which therapy approach would you recommend for me? Why?
- What side effects should I be aware of while taking TT?
- I’m having a hard time obtaining an erection. Is TT going to assist you with your sexual function?
Dr. Rameez Shaikh (MBBS, MD, MIPS) is a consultant Psychiatrist, Sexologist & Psychotherapist in Nagpur and works at Mind & Mood Clinic. He believes that science-based treatment, encompassing spiritual, physical, and mental health, will provide you with the long-lasting knowledge and tool to find happiness and wholeness again.
Dr. Rameez Shaikh, a dedicated psychiatrist , is a beacon of compassion and understanding in the realm of mental health. With a genuine passion for helping others, he combines his extensive knowledge and empathetic approach to create a supportive space for his patients.