Testosterone is a hormone that’s linked to the development of secondary sexual characteristics in human males. Testosterone deficiencies, however, can be linked to many health issues in both men and women. In most instances, testosterone declines are a natural consequence of aging, but in some instances, it can be caused by an injury or illness. Low testosterone Baltimore residents can be treated, so schedule an appointment with your physician if you suspect a low testosterone level may be behind your diminishing libido or other health problem.
What Symptoms Are Associated with Low Testosterone?
Testosterone is the hormone that’s responsible for many male secondary sexual characteristics. It also plays an important role in determining sexual libido in women as well as men. Symptoms of low testosterone levels include:
• Decreased muscle mass
• Loss of body and facial hair
• Decreased sexual drive
• Erectile dysfunction in males
What Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
If your physician determines that the level of testosterone in your bloodstream is low and that this is the source of the unpleasant symptoms you’re experiencing, he or she may recommend testosterone replacement therapy. Testosterone supplements are available in a variety of forms:
• Gels: Testosterone gels are absorbed directly through the skin. Some gels are sold with pumps, which you can program to make sure you’re getting the precise amount of testosterone your doctor prescribed.
• Patches: Transdermal testosterone patches release controlled amounts of the hormone into the bloodstream throughout the day. Testosterone skin patches are typically applied to the arms or upper body. One type of skin patch has been specially formulated to be worn in the mouth.
• Injections: Intramuscular testosterone injections are also common. Testosterone pellets can also be implanted directly into soft tissues; as they degrade, they release a measured amount of the hormone into the bloodstream.
• Pills: Testosterone pills are also available though increasingly, physicians prefer testosterone delivery systems that bypass the liver.
What to Expect from Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Many men see an improvement in their energy levels and their sex drive when they begin testosterone replacement therapy. This therapy works best when it’s pursued in conjunction with healthy lifestyle choices such as regular exercise and eating healthy foods.