There is widespread awareness about testosterone in modern culture, particularly for its role in sports and for its health benefits. Indeed, low testosterone levels seemed irrelevant decades ago. However, research has shown that many of the symptoms faced by men as they age are related to low testosterone levels, or “low T.”
Learning more about how testosterone levels affect men is crucial in avoiding many of the common health problems faced by aging adults.
What Is Testosterone?
While both sexes have the male sex hormone testosterone, men have markedly higher levels of this hormone. Similarly, both genders have estrogen, but women have much more than men.
Testosterone is one of the prominent hormones used by the body as a chemical messenger, coordinating many vital bodily functions across different organs. It is also heavily involved in a male’s reproductive development, as well as related areas of the body such as bones, muscles, and body hair.
Testosterone Levels Throughout Life
The testicles produce testosterone, and production first increases for men during puberty. This hormone brings about physical changes in men, such as deeper voices, stronger muscles, and the emergence of pubic hair.
Testosterone levels remain high until around the 30s, which is when the production of this hormone starts to taper off. The decrease in testosterone production is gradual, and it continues to decrease as men age.
Effects of Low T
Low testosterone can decrease libido. Erectile dysfunction is a common symptom of low T, and it is a major reason why men visit a urologist for treatment.
This hormone stimulates testes, so low levels of the hormone can reduce sperm counts – thus making it more difficult for a couple to conceive and have a child. Some men also encounter hair loss as their testosterone levels drop due to the stimulating effects of testosterone on hair growth.
Testosterone has a protective effect on bones and muscles – so when testosterone levels drop, a man’s bone mass and muscle mass tend to decrease. Osteoporosis, which can increase fracture risk, is more common for men with low T.
Managing Low T
Fortunately, there are many treatments available for low testosterone levels. Testosterone supplements may be provided in the form of injections, implants, patches, or nasal preparations.
Testosterone therapy has both benefits and risks, so an experienced urologist can explain what method may work best for you. Treatment for low T has worked for many men, reducing their symptoms and allowing them to get more out of life.
Experienced Urologist in the Greater Charlotte Area
If you are a man who is experiencing age-related effects or you believe you’re suffering from low T, seek medical attention promptly so that you can get checked and treated as soon as possible.
Dr. Richard Natale, a board-certified urological specialist at Carolina Urology Partners, can evaluate your condition, diagnose any issues you may have, and prescribe treatment that will work best for your body.
If you are in or near Concord, North Carolina, call our office today at (704) 786-5131 or set an appointment through our website. We look forward to seeing you.