Low Testosterone Specialist
Maiden Lane Medical
Multi-Specialty Group Practice located New York, NY
With age, testosterone levels start to decline naturally. That can lead to weight gain and a sluggish libido.
To get your mojo back, see one of our providers at Maiden Lane Medical in Midtown, New York. With integrative solutions for longevity and health, the multidisciplinary team offers testosterone therapy to help men improve their bodies, their moods, and their energy levels.
Call the office today or book an appointment online to begin a customized treatment plan.
What is testosterone, and what does it do?
Let’s start at the beginning. Testosterone is a hormone primarily produced in the testes, although small amounts are produced by the adrenal glands.
Your hypothalamus and pituitary gland regulate how much testosterone your body makes by releasing gonadotropic substances that stimulate testosterone secretion.
Testosterone is known as the male sex hormone because it’s responsible for male sex development and characteristics, including:
- Male sex organ development
- Facial and body hair growth
- Adam’s apple growth
- Lowering of the voice
- Sperm production
- Libido (sex drive)
Testosterone also contributes to your height, muscle mass, and bone density. It contributes to your metabolism and mood regulation.
In short, testosterone is critical to your overall health, not just your sex drive.
What is low testosterone?
Low testosterone occurs when you don’t make enough testosterone naturally.
According to the American Urology Association, you have low testosterone when your blood testosterone levels are less than 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). However, the healthy range for testosterone is 300-1000 ng/dL.
Additionally, men have unique needs, and just because your testosterone level is within the healthy range doesn’t mean it’s optimal for your health.
Low testosterone is also referred to as testosterone deficiency or hypogonadism. Hypogonadism is generally categorized as primary or secondary.
Primary hypogonadism is due to a problem with the testes, and secondary hypogonadism involves a problem with the pituitary gland that affects testosterone production.
What causes low testosterone?
Many factors contribute to both primary and secondary hypogonadism.
Testosterone levels begin to decline naturally as a man reaches his late 20’s. However, your lifestyle choices can also influence your testosterone levels.
A poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and obesity can all interfere with optimal testosterone production. Anabolic steroid abuse can also lead to testosterone deficiency.
Several medical conditions can affect your hormonal balance and contribute to low testosterone, including:
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease and cirrhosis
- Pituitary gland disorders
- Pituitary tumors
- Metabolic syndrome
- Hemochromatosis (too much iron)
- Autoimmune disease
- Hypothyroid disease
Other hormonal imbalances such as estrogen excess and high levels of prolactin can also contribute to low testosterone production.
Trauma, including injury or surgery to your testicles, can lower your testosterone production.
Additionally, chemotherapy and radiation can damage your testicles causing trauma and affecting your ability to produce testosterone.
Some medications suppress natural testosterone levels. For example, opioids, antidepressants, steroids, and medicines for fungal infections and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can potentially lower testosterone production.
In some cases, low testosterone levels are present at birth, which suggests some men may have a hereditary predisposition to testosterone deficiency.
Klinefelter syndrome, Noonan syndrome, and ambiguous genitalia can lower testosterone production. Additionally, some men naturally have lower levels of this hormone than others.
What are the symptoms of low testosterone?
Testosterone contributes to many body functions, and low testosterone can cause a wide range of symptoms that impact your overall sense of well-being.
In fact, you may not immediately attribute how you feel to low testosterone. Many people assume that fatigue and weight gain are due to aging, stress, or a poor diet.
Some of the most common signs of low testosterone include:
- Increased body fat or weight gain
- Reduced muscle mass
- Sluggish libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Sleep disruptions
- Sleep apnea
- Loss of body hair
- Slow beard growth
- Low bone mass and osteoporosis
Low testosterone might also cause irritability and mood swings. Your memory may falter, and your concentration and focus can decline. You might struggle to find the right words to say.
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How common is low testosterone?
Testosterone deficiency may be underdiagnosed as men may assume their symptoms are an inevitable side effect of aging.
The condition can sometimes be challenging to diagnose as your testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day, and your lifestyle can influence your daily secretions. However, around 40% of men over the age of 45 have low testosterone.
Can low testosterone lead to health complications?
Low testosterone is associated with health issues such as diabetes/insulin resistance, depression, and metabolic syndrome conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
However, the causal relationship between low testosterone and these conditions isn’t clear. These health issues may contribute to low testosterone, rather than vice versa.
In any case, you should have annual exams with your trusted physician to monitor your health and take action at the earliest signs of disease.
When should I talk to a doctor about low testosterone?
You know your body and health best. If you notice changes in your well-being or other signs of a possible testosterone deficiency, you should talk to your doctor.
Additionally, you should check in with your doctor annually for a general health check and exam.
Having annual physicals allows your doctor to keep detailed records about your health, vital signs, and lab test results. These records help your doctor compare your current health to previous years and identify any changes that could be due to declining testosterone levels.
How is low testosterone diagnosed?
Our expert physicians provide thorough exams and lab tests to identify hypogonadism.
As mentioned, your testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day and can vary from day to day due to your lifestyle. As a result, you might need several blood draws for your physician to get an accurate analysis of your testosterone and other hormone levels.
If your lab tests indicate testosterone deficiency, your doctor may order additional tests to identify the root cause of your hormone imbalance.
How are low levels of testosterone treated?
Our physicians offer several treatment options to address low testosterone levels. Depending on your age, symptoms, and health history, your physician might recommend lifestyle modifications.
Often improving your diet and exercise habits, losing weight, and giving up unhealthy habits like smoking, can increase your testosterone levels naturally.
In some cases, your physician might recommend testosterone replacement therapy or treatments to address the root cause of your hormone imbalance, such as uncontrolled diabetes or a hypoactive thyroid.
What is testosterone replacement therapy?
Testosterone replacement therapy replaces the hormones that your body doesn’t produce.
It’s a highly personalized treatment option that can be delivered in pellets, injections, patches, and topical gels.
When you begin treatment, you have frequent blood tests and appointments so your doctor can monitor your testosterone levels and health. Everyone has unique needs, so your doctor may need to adjust your prescription to help you achieve optimal testosterone levels.
Once your hormonal balance and health are restored, you have less frequent check-ups to ensure your treatment is delivering the desired results.
What results can I expect?
With testosterone replacement therapy, you can expect more energy, a better mood, a higher sex drive, and an overall sense of well-being. Most men experience a renewed zest for life and a feeling of being healthy and strong.
Bear in mind, testosterone therapy can take time to reach its full effects, but you should gradually start to feel better as your hormone levels balance out and your testosterone increases.
Does testosterone therapy cause side effects?
Testosterone therapy side effects are rare, and your doctor carefully monitors your health throughout your treatment. Some patients notice increased oil production and acne, breast swelling, or swelling in the ankles.
Your doctor also monitors your red blood cell count at your check-ups. Side effects are rare, and for the majority of men, the benefits of hormone replacement therapy far outweigh the potential risks.
To learn more about how you can reverse low testosterone, contact us at Maiden Lane Medical by calling or booking an appointment online.
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