Are you experiencing changes in sexual function or having sleep issues? Or maybe you’re gaining body fat and losing muscle? If so, your testosterone level may be low — and hormone replacement therapy might be able to help.
Here at Shine Health and Wellness in Pasadena, California, Dr. Kimberley Shine and our highly trained team treat a wide range of health conditions with our comprehensive wellness service. We view doctors and patients as partners, and believe that finding the root of your health issue is key. If your symptoms are due to low testosterone, Dr. Shine can offer a customized treatment plan, which may include hormone replacement therapy.
Below, you’ll find helpful information about male hormone replacement therapy. If you think it might be right for you, we encourage you to come see us.
Testosterone is a hormone, or chemical messenger, behind the development of male sexual characteristics. Produced mainly by the testicles, it is involved in the production of sperm along with other important aspects of health, including sex drive, bone mass, muscle strength and size, fat distribution, and red blood cell production. It is also involved in the maintenance of facial and body hair.
Typically, testosterone levels are at their highest during adolescence and early adulthood, and then decline at a rate of approximately 1% a year beginning in the 30s and 40s.
Low testosterone symptoms
A low testosterone level can wreak havoc in a number of ways. It can cause changes in sexual function — like decreased interest and fewer spontaneous erections — as well as infertility. Physical changes to the body can occur also, like reduced muscle bulk and strength, more body fat, and lowered bone density. Hair loss and/or swollen or tender breasts may be experienced. Sleep issues like insomnia can also develop, as well as feelings of fatigue. Even emotions can be affected by low testosterone, including depression, poor concentration and/or memory, decreased motivation, and diminished self-confidence.
If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor. In some cases, low testosterone may be a side effect of medication, or caused by another health condition such as diabetes, depression, or thyroid problems. If so, treating the underlying issue can help raise your testosterone level.
Finally, your symptoms may be caused by something other than low testosterone. Therefore, a full medical examination should be conducted — including a blood test, which is the only way to know the actual level of this critical hormone.
The role of hormone replacement therapy
Men with a low testosterone level, and particularly those with hypogonadism (a condition where the sex glands produce little or no sex hormones) can often benefit from hormone replacement therapy. This condition is becoming increasingly common, with a fivefold increase in prescriptions written in the last seven years.
To replace the testosterone no longer being made, we recommend using bioidentical hormones, which are chemically identical to what the body creates and have no additives or side effects.
If you’re not looking or feeling like yourself and wonder if low testosterone is to blame, contact us to make an appointment today.