Testosterone Deficiency - Main Causes and Treatments
 
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Are testosterone supplements necessary for older men?

Date: 23/03/2022
Last edited: 04/05/2022

For several years now, some urologists have been prescribing testosterone-based treatments for older men to replenish the levels of this hormone, which decline naturally with age. Decreased testosterone levels cause loss of muscle mass, increased risk of falls, and decreased intellectual function.

Testosterone is the most important male sex hormone. It is needed to maintain normal male sexual and reproductive function. It is what causes physical changes in a teenager’s body during puberty, such as the development of genitals, beard and hair, voice changes and overall muscle growth.

Testosterone is important to a man’s overall health. It ensures bone and muscle development and is directly related to libido.

 

How is testosterone produced?

The pituitary gland and hypothalamus, located at the base of the brain, produce hormones that control testosterone and sperm production by the testes.

 

What is testosterone deficiency?

Testosterone deficiency occurs when the body cannot produce enough testosterone to function properly. It is not a life-threatening condition, but it can affect quality of life.

 

How common is testosterone deficiency?

Approximately one in 200 men under the age of 60 suffers from testosterone deficiency. Testosterone deficiency is more common in men over the age of 60.

 

What are the possible causes of testosterone deficiency?

– Anabolic steroids

– Excess weight

– Chronic diseases

– Drugs including marijuana

– Genetic problems, physical defects present at birth

– Testicular disease or trauma

– Pituitary and hypothalamic disorders

– Diabetes

– Psychological causes also often affect the decline in testosterone levels can lead to difficulties with erections, but the psychological cause is not the most common.

 

Possible symptoms of testosterone deficiency in an adult

– Mood swings

– Poor concentration

– Low energy levels

– Decreased muscle strength and endurance

– Increased amount of body fat

– Decrease in sexual desire

– Difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection

– Decreased growth of beard and hair

– Gynecomastia

– Hot flashes

– Osteoporosis

 

Is there anything that can be done to prevent testosterone deficiency?

If the cause of the decrease in testosterone levels was an injury to the testicles or pituitary gland, there are no real measures to prevent testosterone deficiency in this case.

In other cases, a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a healthy weight, can help keep testosterone levels within normal limits.

Testosterone supplements are actually a treatment prescribed to men with confirmed testosterone deficiency.

 

What forms of testosterone exist?

Testosterone comes in the form of injections, gels, lotions, patches and pills. The type of treatment is prescribed according to the advantages and disadvantages of each form of administration.

 

Testosterone supplements.  What results can we expect from them?

The question about the safety of testosterone treatment is more than valid, given that this hormone can be closely linked to the development of prostate cancer.

What are the side effects of testosterone treatment?

Testosterone does not cause prostate cancer. It can, however, aggravate existing prostate cancer.

Studies performed over a year on 790 men over the age of 65 showed that while PSA levels systematically increased in participants receiving testosterone, only three new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in the experimental group during the study and within the next year (and only one case in the placebo group).

Testosterone can increase the size of the prostate gland and cause urinary problems. Other less common side effects – acne, gynecomastia, hair loss, and mood swings (including increased aggression) – are also possible.

According to various studies, testosterone drugs can increase muscle mass and decrease fat mass, but they do not increase muscle strength.

No changes have been noted in studies regarding cardiovascular disease.

Positive results with regard to sexuality

The sexual function study is the most significant. Taking testosterone in studies has shown improvement in sexual activity, increased sexual desire and erectile function.

It is worth noting that erectile function improved less after taking testosterone than in the phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor trials.

Moreover, the intensity of the observed improvements is directly proportional to the level of testosterone in the blood (this level in the blood averaged back to normal, that is, to a level comparable to that seen in men between the ages of 19 and 40).

The positive effects on sexuality tend to disappear after one year of observation.

Can I take natural supplements to treat testosterone deficiency?

There are several natural products that claim to act similarly to testosterone and improve muscle or sexual function. However, there are no known natural products that can replace testosterone in men, so they are not recommended to treat testosterone deficiency.

 

Will testosterone affect fertility?

Testosterone treatment can slightly reduce testicular size and sperm production. After stopping testosterone treatment, sperm production should return to normal in a few months.

 

Important: Medical monitoring in case of treatment should be carried out regularly.

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