Low Libido, Fatigue and Weight Gain are Signs of Low Testosterone
It’s a very sensitive topic that many choose to silently endure, but four out of 10 men around the age of 45 have low testosterone, the age when this important hormone starts to decrease naturally. The official term is hypogonadism, and it can produce some serious symptoms in both men and women.
One of the more telltale signs of the male body not producing enough testosterone is the inability to have or maintain an erection. This can be devastating in many aspects; the man may question his masculinity or self-worth, his sexual relationships could suffer or his ability to father children could be in jeopardy. Not only does the male body need testosterone to complete a chain reaction to get an erection, but the body also needs it to produce sperm.
Testosterone is often thought of as the young man’s hormone, and losing it means losing that youthful feeling. Decreased hair, energy, muscle mass, bone mass and sex drive are some of the physical symptoms a man may notice. Changes in sleep patterns, emotional changes, difficultly concentrating and depression are symptoms a man’s inner self may battle.
There are medical conditions other than age that can contribute to low testosterone. Certain medications, diabetes, obesity, infections and chronic medical conditions such as liver or kidney disease can impact how the body produces hormones. Most of these causes are reversible with the right changes and motivation.
There are a variety of solutions readily available, including pharmaceutical drugs that can help a man achieve an erection. While this may work for many, they are only a short-term solution, and only address one symptom of low testosterone. Another drawback is the extensive list of possible side effects. Taking these drugs requires a thorough discussion with a physician, especially regarding all other medications being taken.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) involves supplementing testosterone levels. This is the most comprehensive form of therapy because it addresses all symptoms related to low testosterone. In-depth bloodwork is extremely beneficial to take full advantage of the customization that HRT offers. Testosterone injections and creams can be tailored specifically to a patient’s need. Other critical hormones such as DHEA can be added to bioidentical creams. Injections and creams may be used simultaneously for quick recovery of symptoms.
Human growth hormone (HGH) is often referred to as the youth hormone. Its abundance allows people in their teens and 20s to recover more quickly from injury and exertion, build muscle faster and easier, generate more energy, think faster, and have a strong libido. Most people will start producing less and less of this hormone sometime in their early 30s. There are a few ways to subtly increase HGH with supplements and exercise, but to really feel an impact, there are injection options.
The symptoms that a man may experience from low testosterone can affect women, as well. Fatigue, sleep disruptions, weight gain, decreased libido, emotional troubles and even osteoporosis can be the result of female-related low testosterone. Both sexes have much to gain with correcting their hormone levels, if needed. Routine bloodwork may miss imbalanced levels or an inexperienced physician may not fully understand the complexity. Working with a knowledgeable naturopath will ensure proper diagnostic testing and a natural course of treatment. A naturopath will also be able to navigate between a hormone imbalance or other possible medical conditions.
Paul Stallone, NMD, founded the Arizona Integrative Medical Center, located at 8144 E. Cactus Rd., Ste. 820, in Scottsdale. He combines natural/alternative/conventional treatments for each patient’s needs. For more information, call 480-214-3922 or visit DrStallone.com.