What Is Low Testosterone and Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome?
In order to understand the symptoms and treatment of Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome, commonly referred to as Low Testosterone, it is important to first understand the role that testosterone plays in our bodies. Testosterone is a naturally occurring male sex hormone that comes from the testicles. This hormone is responsible for the development of sperm, facial/body hair, muscle strength, sexual function, red blood cells, bone density, and sexual/reproductive function in men.
Low Testosterone (Low T) in men is detected through blood testing and is defined by the American Urology Association as having less than 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl). Given that the biological function of testosterone development doesn't begin to rapidly increase until young men hit puberty, this measurement cannot be generally applied to males of all ages. Testosterone hormone levels in young men typically see dramatic increases around age 12-13 and reach their peak around age 18 with a normal range of 300-1,200 ng/dl. This number will usually remain at high levels in men until they reach their 30's and 40's, at which point levels will begin to gradually decrease. While these blood tests and stages of life can help medical professionals diagnose and treat low testosterone, men must also understand what signs to looks for in their everyday life.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone and Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome
Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome (TDS) can be difficult for some men to understand, as there are often no physical signs of the conditions. It is important to recognize certain symptoms of Low Testosterone that may present themselves throughout your life to better understand when it may be appropriate to seek medical consultation on the matter. Some of these symptoms include:
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Losing body hair
- Minimal facial hair
- Losing muscle mass
- Chronic fatigue
- Obesity/Increased body fat
- Low strength and energy
- Difficulty focusing
- Decreased memory
- Changes in sleep pattern
Given that certain symptoms have a higher correlation to testosterone deficiency than others, displaying one of these symptoms alone may not be cause for a diagnosis of low testosterone. If a combination of a number of these symptoms present themselves and begin to develop over time, you should seek advice from a medical professional.
Causes of Low Testosterone and Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome
One or more of the symptoms related to TDS can certainly develop as isolated conditions as men age, unrelated to any underlying causes. It is far more likely, however, that a diagnosis of low T will occur as a side effect of some other condition. Some of these conditions and causes of TDS include:
- Testicular cancer and removal of testes
- Pituitary gland disorders
- Autoimmune diseases
- High blood pressure (Hypertension)
- High blood sugar
- High Cholesterol
- Poor BMI
- Thyroid conditions
- Injury to testicles
- Side effects of medication
- Abnormality of the testicles
- Alcohol use
Some men are also born with certain conditions that often leave them predisposed to symptoms of low testosterone. These conditions include Klinefelter Syndrome, Noonan Syndrome, and Ambiguous genitalia.
Treatment of Low Testosterone and Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome
Over the years, many medical professionals have studied and tested the various symptoms and causes leading to the low production of testosterone in men. Thankfully, this research has provided countless men with the treatment that they need for TDS. Further, the development of the Telehealth industry has paved the way for medical professionals to be able to offer men that same treatment through discreet, convenient, and affordable Digital Clinics. This treatment is referred to as Testosterone Therapy and/or Testosterone Support.
Testosterone Therapy is typically administered in one of five ways: Topically, Injected, Orally, Nasally, and Subdermal Pellets.
Topical Treatment of Low Testosterone
Your doctor may choose to provide you with some sort of transdermal medication to help alleviate some of the symptoms of your testosterone deficiency. This treatment will come in the form of a gel, cream, other liquid, or patch applied directly to your external skin. Once absorbed, this treatment typically lasts 3-4 days depending on the method of application.
Injected Treatment of Low Testosterone
When treating low testosterone through injection, you will typically receive a shot weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. The reason for the disparity in treatment frequency is due to the nature of the medicine, which can be exhausted more quickly throughout the bloodstream of certain individuals prompting the need for more frequent treatments.
Oral Treatment of Low Testosterone
Your doctor may prescribe a different type of patch that is applied directly to the inside of your mouth. The medication is then absorbed orally over 10-12 hours due to the increased strain that would be placed on your liver if the medication were to be swallowed immediately.
Intranasal Treatment of Low Testosterone
Your doctor may prescribe a nasal gel that is administered in both nostrils 3 times daily. This gel is usually completely absorbed into your bloodstream after about 40 minutes. This gel helps to promote the growth and development of male sex organs.
Subdermal Pellet Treatment of Low Testosterone
Your doctor may prescribe the use of testosterone pellets in order to treat your testosterone deficiency. These pellets are typically inserted near your upper buttocks which will dissolve and release into your bloodstream over the course of roughly 3-6 months.
Depending on your insurance coverage and/or general preference of application, you or your doctor may elect to implement any one of these methods of testosterone replacement.
Side Effects of Treatment for Low Testosterone
As with the application of any medication, the prescription treatment of your testosterone deficiency may come with some side effects. Depending on the method of treatment prescribed a few of the more common side effects that can be experienced through the use of testosterone replacement medication include:
- Topical Treatment: Redness, itching, rash, pain, headache
- Injected Treatment: Swelling, redness, mild-serious allergic reaction
- Oral Treatment: Swelling, itching, soreness, dry mouth, headache, nausea
- Intranasal Treatment: Discomfort, scabbing, dryness, infection, congestion, bronchitis, cough
- Subdermal Pellet Treatment: swelling, soreness, bruising, infection, blood clotting
It is vitally important that you consult with your doctor about all of the adverse effects that may occur as a result of your testosterone therapy. As these treatments are typically administered on men, it is strongly advised that extreme care be taken when using these treatments at home to avoid their use by women or children. Topical treatments can pose especially unique risks in that they absorbed externally, therefore, be certain to thoroughly wash your hands after application and ensure that the applied area is well covered to avoid coming in contact with others.
Where to Get Treatment for Low Testosterone and Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome
If you are apprehensive to visit your primary care physician with concerns that you may be suffering from a testosterone deficiency, there several digital health clinics that have specialized medical professionals available who can discreetly, conveniently, and affordably provide you with a diagnosis and treatment for your condition. Below is a list of several digital clinics that can provide this treatment:
Key Takeaways Regarding Testosterone Therapy
If you feel that you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms presented from a testosterone deficiency, it is important that you speak with a medical professional who can properly diagnose and provide treatment for Low Testosterone. Licensed physicians are available through a number of digital clinics who will conduct an initial assessment of your symptoms by asking various screening questions regarding your medical history that will provide information helpful in determining if there is a correlation with a testosterone deficiency. These questions may address your development at puberty, hereditary low testosterone, injury to testicles, use of opiates, history of head trauma, and many other pre-existing conditions that could be contributing to your testosterone deficiency. If further information is needed, your doctor may request that you have blood drawn in order to determine the severity of your testosterone deficiency.
While data can be difficult to gather on low testosterone demographics, certain studies suggest that roughly 2 in every 100 men suffer from a testosterone deficiency. If you are overweight or have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you may be at an increased risk for developing a testosterone deficiency. If you are experiencing some combination of any of the previously discussed symptoms, you should consider visiting one of the digital clinics below and having a licensed physician conduct an evaluation to provide you with a diagnosis. If treatment through prescription medication is found to be the best course of action, your doctor can have that medication sent directly to your door in discreet packaging so that you can begin treating your low testosterone discreetly and as soon as possible.
Click the links below to find out which digital clinic is right for you as you explore Testosterone Therapy options!