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Low Testosterone

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Dr. Lawrence Jenkins

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a male sex hormone produced in the testicles. It plays a crucial role in normal male sexual development and functions, contributing to the development of male features such as body and facial hair, a deeper voice, and muscle strength. Additionally, testosterone is essential for sperm production in men.

What is Low Testosterone?

Some men experience low testosterone levels, a condition known as Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome (TD) or Low Testosterone (Low-T).

What are the Symptoms of TD?

Signs and symptoms of TD include:

  • Low sex drive
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Loss of lean muscle mass
  • Irritability
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Depression

What Causes TD?

TD can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Medical conditions diagnosed at birth
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Testicle injury
  • Testicle removal due to disease
  • Chemotherapy or radiation
  • Opioid use
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure or high blood sugar
  • Infection
  • Aging

How will my doctor confirm if I have TD?

If diagnosed with TD, your doctor may recommend testosterone therapy (TT), available in various forms:

  • Transdermal (through the skin)
  • Injection
  • Oral (by mouth)
  • Intranasal (through the nose)
  • Pellets under the skin

Frequently Asked Questions About Testosterone Therapy

Yes, TT may have some harmful effects, such as interrupting normal sperm production. It’s not advisable if you plan on having children soon. Gels and liquids may cause rash or itching, and precautions should be taken to avoid transfer to others.

You may need TT, but it’s crucial to determine if it’s the best treatment for you. TD occurs naturally with age, and other factors may contribute to low testosterone levels. TT is appropriate if your blood testosterone is low, as determined by your doctor.

There is no evidence linking TT to prostate cancer.

Currently, there’s no reason to believe TT causes vein clots. While there’s no strong evidence of its impact on cardiovascular events, individuals on TT should contact their doctor immediately if signs of stroke or heart attack occur.

Approximately 2.1% of men may have TD. The prevalence increases with age, with as many as half of men over 80 experiencing TD. It’s more common in men with diabetes or who are overweight.

Routine checkups during treatment will monitor your testosterone levels. Once stable on TT, regular tests should be conducted every 6-12 months as prescribed by your doctor.

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Dr. Lawrence Jenkins

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