Testosterone is a hormone that plays an essential role in male health. In men, testosterone influences many areas including virility, muscle building, mood, and much more. A lack of testosterone can result in serious health issues.

Without adequate testosterone, male bodily function declines dramatically resulting in the development of various symptoms. To better identify and resolve deficiency it is important to be aware of the most common symptoms of testosterone deficiency including: loss of libido, depression, erectile dysfunction, weight pain, loss of muscle, high blood pressure, gynecomastia or breast enlargement, increased perspiration, fatigue, elevated blood sugar, hair loss, high insulin levels, difficulty focusing, poor memory, and high cholesterol.

In the largest study of its kind, researchers in Massachusetts measured testosterone levels in 1,532 men ages 45-79, between 1987 and 2004. Their findings, published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, showed that at any given age, average testosterone levels are significantly lower than they were 10 years ago and even lower than 20 years ago. Thus, even if a doctor says that a testosterone level is “normal for your age,” it may still be the cause of a loss of sense-of-well-being and quality of life.

In other studies, those with higher levels of the hormone were 60 percent less likely to get heart disease and had better memory and overall mental function. Even sub-optimal testosterone levels that are still in the so-called “normal range” can be deadly.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of testosterone deficiency are frequently misattributed to aging. These are serious problems not only because testosterone deficiency is occurring more often in younger males, but an incorrect diagnosis may cause a patient to struggle with testosterone deficiency and its associated symptoms indefinitely.

There are many reasons an individual’s testosterone levels may be in decline. Some of these include poor diet, obesity, certain medications, preexisting conditions, and fitness level. However, there are three particularly influential factors that men are likely to suffer from: elevated stress level, poor sleep quality, and enzyme malfunction.

Studies show that most men, even if they are not severely deficient, can benefit from some degree of direct testosterone supplementation. An alternative to direct testosterone supplementation is therapy with hormones that stimulate testosterone production. This approach may be more beneficial in the long term as it helps normalize testosterone production rather than simply adding testosterone to the system.

At the Holtorf Medical Group, our doctors are experts in the field of hormone replacement and will determine the best way to get patients back to the way they once felt.

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