Testosterone is a male hormone. As men age, their bodies produce less of it. Beginning in middle age, it usually drops below what doctors consider normal.
Low testosterone – also known as hypogonadism or low T – can affect your overall health. But some doctors say it’s just a normal, harmless part of the aging process.
Here’s what you need to know to keep your worries and hormones in the right balance.
how low is it too low?
Testosterone levels are measured by blood tests. Most doctors agree that a “normal” reading is between 300 and 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). About 40% of men over the age of 45 will have levels below this range. But low readings alone are not enough to cause an alarm.
In fact, it probably has a lot to do with the time of day your doctor tests your blood. The best time to test is between 7am and 10am. “Different hormones have different secretion patterns,” said Ronald Swerdloff, MD, chief of the Division of Endocrinology at Harbor UCLA Medical Center. “The normal testosterone range is based on a morning sample, when the average person is at a higher level. An afternoon test can give a false impression of a low level.”
Swerdloff Says You Multiple tests should be done—at least twice over a few weeks or months. Before taking any action, you need to make sure you have a low T value.
is not just a number
even if your testosterone Levels are below the recommended range, you still don’t have to worry. The doctor said that readings between 200 and 300 ng/dL were kind of a gray area.
Slightly lower levels themselves are nothing to worry about. But if you have other symptoms, you’ll want to see your doctor. “Everyone agrees that if your level is very low, you’ll benefit from treatment. But if it’s only slightly lower, as is more common, you’re definitely going to have symptoms,” said Bradley, medical director of the University of Washington. Bradley Anawalt said.
Those symptoms include:
Lower bone density
- Feeling of frustration
Reaching the bottom of the low temperature
This reduction in hormone can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as testicular injury or infection, which produce testosterone. It can also be caused by tumors and diseases of the pituitary gland, which regulates how much hormones your body releases.
It can also be associated with many other diseases such as:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Obesity and overweight
- Long-term use of certain medications, such as opioids
- HIV and AIDS
If you don’t have any of these conditions, your doctor may not be able to tell you why your T is low. This is not uncommon. Many older men have it and no one knows the exact cause.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.
Your first action should be to look at your lifestyle. If you are overweight, lose some weight. Most men who lose 7 to 10 percent of their body weight will see their testosterone levels improve, Anawalt says. “Anything that affects overall health can affect testosterone,” he says. “This includes eating, exercising, drinking less alcohol, and not smoking. All of these can help maintain healthy testosterone levels.”
Some doctors say that getting a good night’s sleep and reducing stress can also produce Positive effect.
If these methods do not work, you may be a candidate for testosterone therapy. You can get extra doses of hormones in a number of ways:
- Injection into the muscle every two weeks or so
Patch on skin every day
- Gel applied to skin daily
- Twice-daily tablet
Pills implanted under the skin every 3 or 4 months
Pills are also available outside the US, but Anawalt warns, “Be very, very skeptical when you read something that claims to be a ‘miracle cure’. “
The length of time you need treatment may vary, depending on the symptoms you are trying to treat. For example, if you have pituitary disease, you may need treatment for the rest of your life. If you want to increase your libido, 6 months might work.
But overall, you should see a gradual increase in muscle mass and bone density, as well as a higher sex drive. Your doctor will also look for a deeper voice and beard growth- Signs that your masculinity is back together with your health.