Low testosterone, also referred to as a testosterone deficiency, frequently occurs among men aged 45 and older. This problem can have a range of adverse physical, sexual and psychological effects. Many men who suffer from low testosterone remain unaware of the problem, as they mistakenly associate their symptoms with the aging.
What are the symptoms of low testosterone?
A decrease in sex drive
Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction)
A decrease in muscle mass
Hot flashes or night sweats
Loss of facial, body or pubic hair
Increase in body fat (adipose tissue)
Irritability, sadness or depression
Concentration or memory problems
What are the risk factors for testosterone deficiency?
Family history. The condition can be hereditary.
Comorbidities. Conditions such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension and HIV can influence the amount of testosterone the body produces.
Medications. Certain medications can lower testosterone levels, notably opioid pain relievers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), certain antifungal and anticonvulsant drugs, prednisone and antiandrogens.
How is low testosterone diagnosed?
1) A medical questionnaire. The patient completes various medical questionnaires, including the quantitative ADAM questionnaire.
2) A physical examination. The doctor examines the patient’s physical features, such as hair, muscle mass and testicle size.
3) A blood test. Total and bioavailable testosterone levels are checked using a blood test. The blood should be taken in the morning, as this is the time of day when testosterone levels are highest.
What are the effects of having low testosterone levels?
Unsatisfactory sex life :
Low testosterone is associated with erectile dysfunction (ED), a decreased sex drive and a lower frequency of sexual activity.
Bone disease :
Low testosterone levels gradually cause bones to weaken, in some cases leading to osteoporosis (loss of bone strength).
Sleep problems :
Testosterone is a hormone that soothes and revitalizes and it functions as a sleep regulator. Men with low testosterone levels constantly feel like they need a nap, as a deficiency in this hormone leads to shallow and irregular sleep.
Mood problems :
Testosterone affects mood regulation. Men with low testosterone are more prone to depression and anxiety. In addition, they may experience mood swings and feel a general lack of motivation.
Physical effects :
Testosterone is essential for muscle growth. It helps men to build muscles and maintain their bodily strength. Low testosterone is associated with decreased muscle strength.
Metabolic and muscular effects :
Low testosterone can increase cholesterol to an unhealthy level. This, in turn, can lead to cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis. A lack of testosterone can also degrade cardiac function, causing the heart to lose muscular strength.
Effects on the brain :
Testosterone plays an important role in promoting synaptic and neuronal plasticity and thereby improving one’s memory. Testosterone deficiency can lead to problems with memory and concentration.
What treatment is available for low testosterone?
The testosterone can be administered intramuscularly, subcutaneously, transdermally, nasally or orally. The patient and doctor should jointly decide which form of testosterone replacement therapy is most appropriate.
Which testosterone replacement therapy is administered through the nose?
Which testosterone replacement therapies can be applied directly to the skin?
After using Androgel and Testim, it’s important to wash your hands immediately with soap and water.
Which testosterone replacement therapy is administered through a skin patch?
It’s important that the patient rotates between application sites to avoid irritation. He should wait at least seven days before applying a patch to the same zone again.
Which testosterone replacement therapy involves injections?
Which testosterone replacement drug is taken orally?
What are the possible adverse side effects of testosterone replacement therapy?
- Aggression or aggressive behaviour
- Breast enlargement and chest pain
- Mood swings, depression
- Prostate enlargement
- Headaches, dizziness
- Increased or irregular heart rate
- Increased levels of prostate-specific antigen
- Increased risk of blood clots
- Higher erythrocyte count
- Hair loss and baldness
- Prolonged or painful erection
- Irritation, redness or rash at the application site
- Sleep disturbances caused by respiratory problems
- Weight gain
- Natesto only: Metal taste and nasal problems (abnormal or unpleasant smell, continuous nasal discharge, congestion, sneezing, nosebleeds, discomfort in the nose, scabbing, dryness)
What are the potential benefits of testosterone replacement therapy?
Contact us to learn more about undergoing testosterone replacement therapy in Greater Montreal, on the North Shore, on the South Shore and in Quebec City.