Low testosterone, or Low-T, is defined by the underproduction (or lack of production) of testosterone. Testing for Low-T involves linking symptoms with testosterone blood levels.
Symptoms of Low-T
Symptoms of Low-T include:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Reduced sex drive or low libido
- Change in sleep patterns
- Emotional changes
- Decreased strength
- Weight gain
- Decreased energy
Causes of Low Testosterone
Causes of Low-T include:
- Diabetes (type 2)
- Chronic medical conditions (especially liver or kidney disease)
- Hormonal disorders
- Medications (narcotics, chemotherapy)
Treatment of Low-T
Treatment of Low-T in men is done through a process called Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), which treats declining levels of testosterone as men get older.
Intramuscular testosterone injections – Injections will occur roughly every two weeks, depending on the diagnosis. Testosterone is directly injected into the muscle, which delivers testosterone through the bloodstream, and alleviates symptoms of low testosterone.
Transdermal gels/patches: The gel or patches are applied to the arm or upper body. They deliver testosterone to the body through the epidermis (skin). A testosterone patch may be prescribed when injections aren’t convenient or preferred by the patient.
Testosterone gels – Applied once a day topically, directly onto the skin. Gels absorb the testosterone through the skin for easy delivery.
Testopel: An office procedure involving testosterone implants placed directly into the subcutaneous tissue, which allows for a slow, steady release of testosterone into the endocrine system. This procedure, once initiated, is required every four to six months.
Clomiphene citrate: This drug is most often prescribed to patients with low testosterone who are trying to conceive.