Men’s health doctor in Dallas, TX answers, “What is low testosterone?” and other FAQs
Low testosterone is an increasingly prevalent condition that can have wide-ranging effects on a man’s quality of life. Fortunately, effective treatments are available. Dr. Jeffrey Buch at Legacy Male Health in the Dallas, TX area is an expert at identifying and treating this condition. Below, he answers the common question, “What is low testosterone?” and other frequently asked questions.
What is low testosterone?
Low testosterone is exactly what it sounds like – a level of testosterone that is below the normal lower level for a man, which is generally considered to be about 300 ng/dL. It can be masked by other conditions, such as obesity and metabolic disorders, when in fact low testosterone can be the reason these problems develop in the first place.
What are the symptoms?
Low T can produce a wide variety of symptoms. Some men may only have a couple of these symptoms, whereas others may have more.
- Decreased facial or body hair
- Decrease in muscle strength and lean body mass
- Male breast enlargement
- Decreased size of testicles
- Reduced sexual desire
- Ejaculatory problems
- Erectile dysfunction
- Issues with reaching orgasm
- Insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- Decreased bone density
- Mood changes, irritability, or depression
- Loss of memory
- Trouble sleeping
Who can it affect?
While many people think that low T is a problem that only afflicts older men, it can strike men of any age. We are seeing an increased number of men who are in their 20s who are diagnosed with low testosterone. While it is a normal part of the aging process for your testosterone levels to gradually diminish over time, this change can be more pronounced in some men or occur earlier in life due to other causes.
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What can cause you to develop low T?
Several conditions and risk factors can contribute to the development of low testosterone, including:
- Testicle injury
- Testicular cancer (or treatment for it)
- Hormonal disorders
- HIV or AIDS
- Type 2 diabetes
- Chronic liver disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- Certain medications
- Some genetic conditions
In some cases, no known cause can be identified for why a man develops low testosterone.
How is it diagnosed?
A simple blood test can be used to determine your testosterone level. The normal range is typically 300-800 ng/dL, but a man’s individual symptoms can vary – men below the normal range may have no symptoms, whereas others who are at the low end of normal may not feel quite themselves.
Can you just take testosterone supplements to fix it?
No! This is because having a flood of testosterone in the body tricks the brain into thinking that there is ample testosterone, so it will not trigger the testicles to produce testosterone on their own. This is particularly important in the case of men who want to remain fertile, because simply using testosterone replacement therapy on its own will stop sperm production. This leads to reduced sperm counts and eventual infertility. It can also cause the testicles to gradually shrink in size.
So how is it treated?
Instead of just using testosterone supplements, a gentler approach to boosting testosterone levels is best. Oral medications such as Tamoxifen, Letrozole, or Clomid can be used to effectively boost your testosterone levels while maintaining your fertility. In about half of patients treated with these medications, estrogenic effects occur in the brain and sex drive is reduced but stopping the medications and switching to human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) restores sex drive and naturally stimulates the testicles to produce testosterone. We also monitor your estradiol level while you are being treated for low T because it can become too high or low. Dr. Buch is an expert at working with patients over the course of their treatment to ensure optimal results, not only in treating your symptoms but also minimizing side effects and adjusting medications when needed.
Schedule a consultation
If you have symptoms that are possibly due to low testosterone or other male health issues, you don’t need to suffer any longer. At Legacy Male Health, men in the Frisco and Dallas, TX areas can find the high-quality, non-judgmental care they need to get back to feeling like themselves. Dr. Jeffrey Buch provides personalized treatment that gets to the underlying problem, rather than simply masking the symptoms. To schedule an appointment, call us at (972) 996-7177 today.