Testosterone is the hormone that gives men characteristics such as facial hair, fertility, developed muscle tone, and deep voices. Low testosterone is treated by replacing the testosterone that would normally be produced by the body. Testosterone replacement therapy should always be closely monitored by a doctor, as there may be side effects.
Low testosterone levels can be detected with a simple blood test. Symptoms of low testosterone include depression and lack of sex drive. Testosterone declines with age, so some decline over time is normal. If you believe you may be suffering from low testosterone, you should see a doctor for a proper diagnosis so that other conditions should be ruled out first.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
There are several different options for hormone replacement therapy. Injections are one of the most common ways to treat low testosterone and one of the best options for couples trying to get pregnant. A man is able to inject himself on a regular interval with the proper dose of testosterone required to treat the condition.
Pellets can be implanted under the skin to release testosterone slowly over time, and they need to be replaced every few months. Patches and gels applied directly to the skin are another very common way to treat low testosterone. Taking testosterone orally is not recommended for a long period of time, as it can cause liver damage.
If the low testosterone problem is not severe, you may wish to consider alternative therapies. There is some link between diet and testosterone levels in the body. Zinc and selenium have been found to be strongly correlated with testosterone levels, according to researchers. Zinc is one of the components in the chemical makeup of testosterone. Low vitamin D levels have also been linked to infertility caused by low testosterone. In general, a healthy, well-balanced diet will help your body regulate its own hormone levels. Cutting out smoking and alcohol are a good idea so that your body can better focus on regulating its hormone levels.
There are supplements and herbal treatments on the market that may help improve testosterone levels. It is best to ask your doctor about these before taking them, especially if you are also being treated with hormone replacement therapy. ZMA, tribulus, and maca are three of the most common on the market today.
Exercise, particularly weight training exercises, can help your body produce more testosterone. Weight reduction can help boost testosterone in overweight men. Excess body fat encourages the production of estrogen, which lowers the overall level of testosterone in the body.
Treating Related Conditions
If you have additional health issues, be sure that your doctor knows about them, as these may affect testosterone production and the effect that testosterone therapy will have on your body. Treating related conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, infection, or liver disease can help your body resolve some of the problem on its own. Speaking with your doctor can help you figure out what is causing the problem and which treatment is right for you.
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