Most people have heard of menopause. As women enter middle age, their bodies begin to produce less estrogen and progesterone, which can lead to a number of side effects, ranging from hot flashes to interrupted sleep. Fewer people have heard of andropause. This term describes the life stage of men after the age of 30, which coincides with incremental decreases in testosterone levels.
What is andropause?
As men enter the andropause stage of life, their testosterone levels don’t usually dip dramatically. On average, they decrease by about one percent each year. This differs from the precipitous decline in hormone production associated with menopause, and many men may not even notice that it’s happening.
For other men, however, andropause can have noticeable, unpleasant side effects. If testosterone levels drop too much too soon, it can cause weight gain, fatigue, sleep apnea, male pattern baldness, depression, muscular atrophy, and erectile dysfunction. When men experience these side effects, they are often diagnosed with Low T.
What causes Low T?
There are two basic types of Low T: primary hypogonadism and secondary hypogonadism. The former describes low testosterone caused by a testicular problem, and the latter describes low testosterone caused by the brain. Primary hypogonadism can be triggered by mumps, hemochromatosis, testicular trauma, cancer treatment, and Klinefelter syndrome. Secondary hypogonadism, on the other hand, originates in the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. It can be triggered by stress, weight gain, inflammatory diseases, and pituitary disorders.
How do men know if they have Low T?
Low T is easy to diagnose. Men at risk for Low T take a blood test, and doctors are able to determine whether their testosterone count is unusually low. When men are diagnosed with this condition, there are several treatment options that can help.
What is testosterone replacement therapy?
Testosterone replacement therapy is one of the primary treatment methods for Low T. By replacing the missing testosterone, this therapy helps reduce symptoms and improve the overall quality of life. Testosterone can be administered in several ways, ranging from topical serums to skin patches. Men looking for testosterone replacement therapy in Pinnacle Hartford may be interested in injections, which can produce results within weeks.