Many people think hormones levels only change during puberty, but that’s simply not true. Throughout your life, hormones play a significant role in your health, development, and well-being. If at any time your hormones become unbalanced, you may experience a wide range of unpleasant symptoms.
As a man, it’s possible to experience low testosterone levels at any age, but it’s most common as you get older. At the family medicine practice of Tim Martin M.D. in Abilene, Texas, Dr. Martin expertly diagnoses and treats hormone imbalances and low testosterone (low T) levels. We’ve pulled together a primer on the signs of low T and some information to help you decide whether bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be right for you.
Five signs of low testosterone levels in men
Let’s get right to the signs and symptoms that are typical in males with low testosterone levels. Do you see yourself in any of these?
1. Low libido
Testosterone plays an essential role in your sex drive, so as testosterone levels decline with age you may not have the same level of sexual desire as you used to. A gradual decline with age is much less noticeable than a sudden drop in your desire to have sex, as is common when your testosterone level suddenly decreases.
2. Erectile dysfunction
This symptom probably isn’t surprising, especially since you’ve undoubtedly seen the many advertisements on TV and in magazines for pills that remedy this sign of low T. Trouble getting and maintaining an erection could be a sign of low testosterone, but it may also result from another health condition, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, or a thyroid problem. It’s a good idea to get this checked out so Dr. Martin can determine the underlying cause and treat it effectively.
3. Unexplained hair loss
Sure, you might be losing the hair on your head as a result of inherited male pattern baldness as you get older, but if you lose body hair and facial hair, it’s a red flag for low testosterone levels. Testosterone plays a role in hair production all over your body, so if you’re suddenly losing hair, it’s probably more than an age-related condition.
4. Hot flashes
Think only women experienced hot flashes? Men with low T levels can experience this unpleasant side effect as wel.
5. Loss of muscle mass and unexplained weight gain
These are two separate signs, but they go hand in hand. Low testosterone levels often result in reduced muscle mass, an increase in body fat, and weight gain.
In some cases, men with low T levels also develop enlarged breast tissue. Although lost muscle mass affects your appearance, it doesn’t necessarily decrease your overall strength or muscle function.
Why use “bioidentical” hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are made from naturally occurring plant-based substances. Dr. Martin recommends bioidentical hormones because they’re most closely equal to the hormones your body produces naturally. They help your testosterone levels return to normal and alleviate the associated low T symptoms.
This approach supports Dr. Martin’s overarching philosophy to treat conditions and health issues as holistically and naturally as possible. It also means less chance of adverse side effects for you. If you and Dr. Martin decide that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy may help your low T symptoms, he creates a customized treatment plan to increase your testosterone to a normal level.
Dr. Martin works closely with a local compounding pharmacy that makes your bioidentical hormones specifically for your symptoms. You can take the testosterone supplements by mouth, apply them in a cream, or use another method that Dr. Martin recommends for your individual needs and lifestyle.
Bioidentical hormones relieve symptoms in a matter of weeks
If you’ve been struggling with the miserable symptoms of low T for longer than you care to admit, you’ll be happy to know that once you start HRT, you should notice a difference in how you feel after just a few weeks. As your testosterone levels gradually return to an optimal level, you should experience a healthier libido, have fewer problems with erections, and start feeling more like yourself again.
There’s no reason for you to simply endure the unpleasant signs of low testosterone as “part of life,” especially if it’s adversely affecting your self-esteem and your personal relationships. Dr. Martin and his experienced, compassionate medical team can help you get your life back, starting with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
If you’d like to learn more about improving your symptoms with a customized treatment plan, call the office today or request an appointment online.