Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) is a solution that offers relief to men experiencing the negative effects of aging. As men age, their hormone levels start to drop. Some studies show that testosterone, the male sex hormone, drops by 1% every year after men hit the age of 40. While this natural drop does not affect men’s general health any more than the aging process does, it can interfere with some aspects of their daily life. To help men boost their hormone levels and enjoy a better quality of life, Male Clinic USA in Pasadena, CA offers bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for men.
What Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
Hormones are responsible for most of the basic functions of our bodies. Besides serving as a communication channel for cells within the body, hormones also control digestion and appetite, mood, immune function, and libido. Therefore, a drop or an imbalance of hormones can affect your health and wellbeing. When this happens, BHRT can help ease the symptoms associated with testosterone deficiency syndrome.
Signs of Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome
Health experts are not sure how many men are affected by low testosterone (Low T). However, some studies report that around 2% of men suffer from Low T. Older men are the most affected, with estimates showing that half of men aged 80 and above display some symptoms of Low T. Besides age, other factors, such as being overweight or having diabetes, can also lower your testosterone levels. Here are some signs of Low T:
Testosterone stimulates your sex drive and also plays a key role in helping you gain and maintain a firm erection. It does this by triggering brain receptors that are responsible for producing nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is one of several important molecules that combine in a complex chemical reaction to give you an erection. Therefore, men with Low T struggle to achieve and maintain an erection. Many of them also have fewer if any spontaneous erections, especially those that occur during sleep.
However, erection problems cannot be blamed solely on Low T. There are other conditions that can cause erectile dysfunction including:
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Thyroid issues
- Being overweight or obese
- High blood pressure
Balding is a gradual natural process that affects men as they age. Many healthy men inherit balding genes from their parents. However, since testosterone influences hair production and growth, Low T can speed up the balding process, leading to body and facial hair loss.
Reduced Bone Mass
Also known as osteoporosis, thinning of the bone mass is a medical condition typically associated with women, but the condition can also affect men with low testosterone levels. Testosterone influences the development of bone tissue and the maintenance of bone volume. Therefore, a drop in testosterone levels can reduce bone mass in older men, making them more vulnerable to bone fractures and other conditions that affect bones.
Low Blood Count
In recent years, health experts have found a link between Low T and increased susceptibility to anemia. Data from a study carried out by medical researchers shows that when anemic men with Low T were treated with testosterone gel, their blood count improved significantly compared to anemic men with Low T who were only treated with placebo gel. Low blood count can cause:
- Concentration problems
- Sleeping problems
- Abnormal rapid heart rate
Smaller Testicle Size
Testosterone plays an important role in the development and growth of the penis and testicles. While other causes can lead to a smaller-than-normal penis and testicle size, sexual health experts believe that men suffering from Low T are most likely to develop such issues. Such men are also more likely to notice that their scrotum feels and appears softer than usual.
Low Sex Drive
Old age affects men in various ways. It’s normal for men to experience a reduced sex drive as old age approaches. However, since testosterone influences men’s libido, those suffering from Low T experience a more drastic drop in their sex drive.
Reduced Muscle Mass
Among other bodily functions, testosterone also plays a role in the development of muscles in men. Therefore, a drop in testosterone levels can lead to reduced muscle mass. Despite low testosterone affecting muscle mass, there is no evidence that it affects strength and function.
Increased Body Fat
While men suffering from low testosterone levels have reduced muscle mass one hand, they experience an increase in body fat on the other. Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome puts men at risk for gynecomastia, a condition where the male breast tissue enlarges or swells because of a hormone imbalance. Gynecomastia occurs when there is an imbalance between testosterone and estrogen levels in the male body.
Have you been feeling too tired lately despite having enough sleep and rest? Have you suddenly lost interest in physical activities such as jogging, cycling, swimming, or sports? Have you been feeling the constant urge to lie down every few hours? All these could be signs of low testosterone. When testosterone levels drop, you experience a drop in energy levels, and you are always tired.
Low testosterone interferes with your sleeping pattern, making it difficult for you to fall and remain asleep. Low T also makes you more susceptible to other sleeping conditions, such as sleep apnea. When sleep apnea occurs, you momentarily stop breathing while asleep. Sleep apnea can lower the quality of your sleep. If left untreated, it can also lead to further complications.
Low Semen Volume
When a man ejaculates, semen transports sperms from the testicles to the tip of the penis. A huge part of the male ejaculate is made of semen. When the volume of semen reduces drastically, it might be a sign of low testosterone. In extreme cases, a drastic reduction might cause fertility problems.
Besides affecting your physical capabilities, old age also impacts your mental functions, including your memory. Studies carried out by medical researchers show there is a relationship between low testosterone levels and the development of memory loss issues. Recent reports indicate that men who go for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy show a notable improvement in memory.
Typically, hot flashes are associated with women who are approaching menopause when estrogen levels start to drop. However, men suffering from Low T get hot flashes once in a while, too. When hot flashes occur, you feel a sudden heatwave on your body that is sometimes followed by a red, flushed face and sweating. They occur when blood vessels nearest to surface the skin expand to lose some heat. Hot flashes that occur at night while one is asleep are known as night sweats. They can lower the quality of your sleep when they occur regularly.
Mood Swings and Changes
As we have mentioned above, Low T affects some mental functions. Men suffering from Low T are more vulnerable to depression, irritability, and lack of focus, too. This can affect their productivity or put a strain on their personal relationships.
Causes of Low Testosterone
Some causes of Low T are inborn. They include:
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Noonan syndrome
- Klinefelter syndrome
Other causes of Low T include:
- Damage to testicles in an accident
- Removal of testicles because of cancer
- Metabolic syndrome
- Pituitary gland disease
- Radiation or chemotherapy
- Certain medications, such as antidepressants and narcotic pain medications
When to Seek Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
It is difficult to know if your testosterone levels have dropped because some men do not show any signs early on or may dismiss the signs as “normal” aging. The majority of men find out they have Low T during an unrelated routine blood test. However, should you notice any of the signs we have mentioned above, you should contact us and schedule a consultation. To determine whether you have Low T, we will carry out a physical exam to check for any signs for Low T. We might also order a blood test or a bone density test. The latter reveals any bone mass reduction, which is a clear indication of Low T.
What to Expect During a Diagnosis for Low T
Besides physically examining you and testing your blood to determine the total blood testosterone level, the doctor might review your medical history to get a better understanding of your condition. Some of the things he may ask about include:
- Your development in puberty
- Previous infections of the testicles
- Mumps during puberty
- Previous experiences of head trauma
- History of brain tumor, brain surgery or cranial irradiation
- Headache and visual field change
- History of a heart attack or a stroke
- Opiate use
What to Expect During Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
The most common treatment option for low testosterone is testosterone replacement therapy. Before starting this therapy, a doctor must first carry out a physical exam to determine whether you have any physical signs of Low T. He will also check the total blood testosterone level through a blood test. A consultation and a review of your medical history will provide him with any additional information he might require before proceeding with BHRT. There are several ways of administering bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for men, including:
- Oral medications
You will discuss with the doctor to determine which is the best option for you based on your lifestyle and unique experiences. Different men have different preferences.
When Should You Expect Results?
Although the time needed to achieve the best results will vary from man to man, many men show signs of improvement six to eight weeks after BHRT. During this period, some of the symptoms associated with Low T will disappear while the rest will continue to reduce gradually. To make these results last longer, the doctor might ask you to make some lifestyle changes. He might ask you to incorporate healthier foods into your diet and to exercise regularly. Some of the foods that promote the production of testosterone include beef, tuna, shellfish, oysters, milk, beans, and fortified cereals.
Testosterone plays a key role in several physical and mental functions. It influences the growth and development of male reproductive tissues, such as prostate and testes. It also promotes secondary sexual characteristics, such as the growth of body hair and increased muscle and bone mass.
It is normal for testosterone levels to drop as men age. However, since testosterone plays an important role in many physical and mental functions, a drop in levels can affect a man in several ways. Besides exposing a man to some unwanted health conditions, Low T can also reduce quality of life. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy provides relief from problems associated with low testosterone levels. To schedule a consultation with a male sexual health professional, contact Male Clinic USA in Pasadena, California today and get started.