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Low testosterone in men: symptoms, causes and treatment
Testosterone is the most important male hormone and plays an essential role in maintaining libido and muscle mass as well as maintaining bone strength. At the same time, testosterone helps to balance the emotional state.
As you grow older, the level of this hormone decreases, and the symptoms do not delay to appear: hair loss, lack of interest in sex, and breast augmentation are just a few of the signs that testosterone drops in the body.
Low testosterone symptoms
Reducing testosterone levels is a natural step in the life of any man, which is called "andropause" or "menopause". Even though most men do not experience distressing symptoms, there are also situations when low testosterone levels can cause various discomforts, such as mood swings, hot flashes and loss of sex.
The most common symptoms of testosterone reduction are: hair loss, muscle loss, testicle size reduction and breast enlargement.
Even though bone disorders, especially osteoporosis, "mostly" prefer women, it does not mean that men are safe from such problems. Reducing the level of testosterone can lead to thinning and weakening of the bones, which are more prone to fractures.
But by far the most disturbing thing about lowering testosterone is that men lose their desire to have sex or, worse, fail to keep their erections long.
Lack of concentration, energy and sudden changes in mood are other signs that testosterone levels are low. But such symptoms need to be carefully monitored, as they can hide other problems, such as anemia, depression, sleep disorders or chronic conditions.
With lower testosterone levels, men can say goodbye to the idea of ​​being a daddy, because this hormone helps produce sperm.
Causes of decreased testosterone levels
The most common cause of testosterone loss is old age, but there are other conditions that can speed up this process, such as:
    Type 2 diabetes mellitus
    Kidney or liver disorders
    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    Diseases of the pituitary gland
    Testicular lesions
Also, radiation, chemotherapy, and steroid-based drugs can help reduce testosterone levels in the body.
When should you go to the doctor
If you experience the symptoms described above - erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, reduction of sperm count, hair loss, loss of muscle mass and decrease in height - go to the doctor for a full set of investigations. He will realize if testosterone deficiency is to blame for all these problems.
In order to establish a precise diagnosis, blood tests are edifying. The doctor will take a blood test early in the morning, when the testosterone level is assumed to be maximal. Normal values ​​range from 300 to 1,000 ng / DL. The doctor may also require a second blood test before making a "low testosterone" diagnosis.
Low testosterone treatment
You should know that there are testosterone supplements that can help you if you face this problem. These will always be prescribed by your doctor only and only after the diagnosis is established, as well as the presentation of the risks and benefits of hormonal treatment. The urologist or endochronologist is the one who deals with this problem.
Hormone replacement therapy with testosterone
If you need hormone treatment to relieve your symptoms, your doctor may recommend either supplements or injections with testosterone, or gels or patches that are meant to increase the level of this hormone.
Studies show that testosterone supplements help strengthen muscle, protect bones and improve sex life, but the effects may vary depending on each individual.
On the other hand, testosterone injections are cheaper, but can be more painful. These should be done as directed by the doctor, but there is a risk that the testosterone level will fluctuate between the two injections.
Gels and patches are easier to use because they are applied directly to the skin, but gradually release testosterone into the blood, so the effect is slow, and in some cases adverse reactions such as itching, irritation and pustules can be reported.
Testosterone tablets are given every 12 hours and slowly release testosterone, but can cause bitter taste in the mouth, irritation, inflammation of the gums and headache.
It should also be noted that hormone replacement therapy with testosterone can lead to various conditions, such as: increase in red blood cell count, apnea