Testosterone is an anabolic steroid most commonly seen in men and its effects on male sexuality are well-documented. In male mammals, testosterone plays an important role in male sexual development including the development of reproductive organs like the penis and testes and also promoting secondary male characteristics like increased bone and muscle mass, and increased body hair. Testosterone production in men decreases with age, which leads to decreased sexual performance and libido. For many men, a decline in testosterone levels is a result of chronic stress and certain medications.
There are various causes of low levels of testosterone and they include decreasing levels after bodybuilding, illness, low levels of estrogen after giving birth, androgenetic (or genetic) causes like exposure to steroids. A testosterone deficiency can also result from diet and some medications, so it is often best treated by an experienced doctor. Low levels of testosterone can lead to decreased sexual function and may eventually lead to loss of fertility.
In recent years, more attention has been paid to the question of how aging affects testosterone levels. The decrease in testosterone levels that occurs with age can be attributed to the decreased production of natural hormones as men get older. Testosterone synthesis has slowed down in older men and the decline can account for the loss of muscle mass, loss of bone density, and loss of mental alertness and libido. Since the pituitary gland synthesizes testosterone levels in older men, age-related declines in the level of this hormone could have a profound effect on sexuality and other aspects of health and aging.
Testosterone replacement therapy is usually recommended for men who experience a steady decline in their testosterone levels. Most men start testosterone replacement therapy when they start experiencing problems with their libido, erectile dysfunction, and low level of energy. When men first begin to experience symptoms of hypogonadism, they may begin to think they are infertile because their testosterone levels are too low. However, there are symptoms that can indicate a low level of testosterone and these symptoms should not be ignored.
Loss of muscle mass and decrease in bone density can both signal the onset of hypogonadism. Low testosterone may also contribute to the development of gynecomastia, a condition that can resemble male breasts. Gynecomastia can also lead to erectile dysfunction. Other symptoms of hypogonadism include decreased reaction times, mental alertness, decreased libido, decreased energy levels, and poor muscle tone. A low level of testosterone may also contribute to a number of conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, osteoporosis, hypertension, cataracts, obesity, and chronic pain.
In order to compensate for the declining levels of testosterone, the body produces the hormone anyway, which can cause some problems. If you are taking testosterone replacement therapy, you may experience increased hair growth on your head as well as a harder, sexier voice. Testosterone replacement may also cause body acne, but this usually disappears as soon as the treatment stops. The side effects associated with testosterone replacement therapy are relatively mild and usually only present if you are using an inhibitor at the same time.
Other symptoms of testosterone deficiency include irritability, muscle cramps, erectile dysfunction, and hot flashes. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is probably best to consult your doctor before resuming normal activities. Your doctor may help you to determine if any vitamin or herbal supplements are needed to help make testosterone levels where they need to be. In some cases, vitamin E may help, but your doctor will probably recommend that you take a testosterone supplement since it is known to help with the symptoms of testosterone deficiency.
The good news about low testosterone levels is that they can be treated. Although testosterone replacement therapy is often effective, many men do not like the idea of receiving injections each and every day. There are other ways that low testosterone levels can be treated, including taking vitamins or herbal supplements that contain testosterone. It is important to keep in mind that the best treatments for low testosterone levels have been found to be in a combination of both dietary supplements and testosterone injections.