During low t testing, a patient is given testosterone replacement therapy for a few months or years. Once the endocrinologist or rheumatologist determines that the serum testosterone level has recovered to its normal range, they will stop the test. The degree of recovery can take some time, and as a result, it’s not uncommon for patients to feel depressed and experience other symptoms associated with hypogonadism during this time. The symptoms of low t can be quite troublesome. Many of them are difficult to differentiate from symptoms associated with other conditions; this is why it’s important to work with an endocrinologist or rheumatologist who is familiar with low testosterone treatment. After all, you’ll want to rule out any other possible causes before concluding that hypogonadism is the root cause.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
A wide variety of symptoms are associated with low testosterone production. Some of these can be avoided by taking appropriate steps, while others cannot. Let’s review some of the most common low testosterone-related symptoms:
- Insomnia- Men often experience insomnia when they have low testosterone production. While this sleep problem is often a result of other causes (e.g., depression), it’s important to remember that hypogonadism can also cause insomnia. Since many of the symptoms associated with low testosterone production are similar to those experienced by patients with sleep apnea, it’s important to rule this out before concluding that low testosterone production is the cause.
- Fatigue- Many men experience fatigue as one of the most common and bothersome symptoms associated with low testosterone production. This symptom often results from a lack of motivation and energy. It can also develop from a decrease in muscle strength and muscle mass, which naturally reduces the amount of calories burned.
- Depression- Low testosterone levels are correlated with decreased metabolism and weight gain, which are both associated with the development of depression. As a result, it’s not surprising that many men are suffering from low testosterone display signs of depression.
- Loss of muscle mass- Testosterone plays a vital role in forming muscle mass. As a result, patients with hypogonadism often experience a decrease in their muscle tissue. The decrease in muscle tissue can lead to feelings of weakness and energy loss. This symptom is closely associated with the development of fatigue.
- Body hair loss- Many men lose their body hair as they age, or they can lose it due to other conditions that cause hair loss (e.g., stress, certain medications). However, when a patient experiences hair loss, they will usually notice that their body hair is also thinner than before they started testosterone replacement therapy.
- Decrease in libido- Many men experience low testosterone production or low levels of circulating androgens (e.g., free testosterone, total testosterone) due to aging. Men may also experience low testosterone production due to other diseases or disorders that impair the endocrine system (i.e., thyroid disorders).
- Excessive weight gain- Men often experience weight gain when they take testosterone replacement therapy. For this reason, it’s important to keep track of your body weight as you switch from treatment to treatment.
- Decreased muscle strength- As men age or recover from injuries, they may experience a loss of muscle mass and strength, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks like walking upstairs. As a result, the ability to build muscle mass can be compromised in older men.
Treatment Options for Low Testosterone Levels
The decision to take testosterone replacement therapy is personal and should be decided after thorough consultation with your doctor. Before you begin your testosterone therapy, it’s important to keep in mind that other conditions can cause the symptoms associated with low t. If you’re experiencing symptoms of low t, schedule an appointment with a physician who specializes in men’s health. Once you have been diagnosed with low testosterone levels, several medications can help restore normal hormone levels.
The most common forms of testosterone replacement therapy include topical testosterone creams and gels, injectable testosterone, transdermal (i.e., topical) patches, and pellets and subcutaneous pellets. The length of treatment is determined by your physician based on the severity of your symptoms. As a result, you may find that you can recover from low t after a few months, or you might need to take replacement therapy for the rest of your life. If you have low testosterone levels and need medical assistance, contact us today via 205-352-9141. Our team of medical professionals is at your service.