Testosterone Replacement and Chronic Illnesses
Posted: March 9, 2020
In order to bring testosterone levels into healthy ranges and counteract the unwanted symptoms and effects of low T levels, doctors often prescribe testosterone replacement injections. In addition to undesirable side effects, low testosterone levels often correlate with several chronic illnesses. If you suspect you have low testosterone, it’s important to schedule a checkup to test you for low testosterone.
For a hypogonadism, or low testosterone, diagnosis, our team will schedule you for an overall wellness exam that includes a full blood panel. This blood test will check the testosterone levels in your blood to determine where your hormone levels are. We confirm a low T diagnosis with a second morning blood test to account for any potential fluctuations. Afterwards, your doctor will create a personalized treatment plan for you.
In some cases, underlying conditions may cause low testosterone. Therefore, we screen you for underlying medical issues that may affect your testosterone levels during your comprehensive health assessment. Then, we develop a treatment plan to help you confront these underlying conditions. However, if other illnesses aren’t causing your low testosterone levels, our physicians may recommend testosterone replacement therapy and lifestyle changes. Testosterone injections may help you feel better and raise your hormones to healthier levels.
Causes of Low T
Testosterone naturally declines with age, and in some cases, this leads to unhealthy low testosterone levels. Low T occurs when your gonads, also known as sex glands, produce little or no testosterone. This can lead to negative consequences and symptoms for many men, as testosterone performs necessary functions in your body. Testosterone plays a vital role in your health, as it influences bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength, and red blood cell production, among other important functions.
There are two types of hypogonadism: secondary and primary. Primary hypogonadism occurs when your testes are unable to produce enough testosterone. Some causes of primary hypogonadism include:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Genetic disorders
- Liver and kidney diseases
- Exposure to radiation, such as with chemotherapy
- Testicular injuries
Your hypothalamus and pituitary gland control testosterone production, as they notify your testes to start, stop, slow down, or speed up production. When they don’t send signals to your gonads to create testosterone, this is called secondary hypogonadism.
Some causes of secondary hypogonadism are:
- Pituitary disorders
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Prolonged opioid use
- Pituitary tumors
- Injuries to your hypothalamus or pituitary gland
While men can have low testosterone at any age, the risk of developing hypogonadism increases with age. Unfortunately, low T can negatively affect your physical, emotional, and sexual health. Therefore, if you suspect you are suffering from low T levels, it’s important to talk to your physician about your concerns. Our medical professionals will start by conducting a comprehensive men’s health assessment to address your health concerns and help you get to the bottom of your symptoms.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
There are many symptoms that may indicate that you have low testosterone levels. Some symptoms include:
- Low libido
- Decreased ejaculate
- Unexplained weight gain
- Difficulty focusing
- Hair loss
Oftentimes, men with hypogonadism report that they feel less healthy overall than they used to. Additionally, low testosterone symptoms may interrupt everyday life. Low T can make it difficult to perform well at work, engage in physical activity, and engage in intimacy. Unfortunately, there may also be other serious risks associated with low testosterone levels. Researchers have linked low T with several chronic illnesses.
Luckily, low testosterone doesn’t necessarily mean just tolerating your symptoms. Our physicians can help you find a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle. This plan may include testosterone replacement treatment, which can improve your symptoms and may help reduce your risk of other complications.
Low T and Other Chronic Illnesses
Low testosterone can cause life-altering symptoms like lethargy, mood changes, and decreased libido. Additionally, this condition may be connected to other chronic illnesses. A recent study links low total testosterone levels with multi-morbidity (the presence of two or more chronic diseases) at all ages. This concerning research showed that men suffering from low T were more likely to suffer from multiple chronic diseases. Researchers surveyed 2,399 men in the United States to find a correlation between low testosterone and multiple chronic diseases, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Pulmonary disease
- Clinical depression
The results showed a strong connection between testosterone deficiency and multi-morbidity. Therefore, low testosterone is a serious health concern that may require treatment.
In addition, several studies show that testosterone is related to chronic conditions like obesity, insulin resistance, low HDL (good cholesterol) levels, elevated triglycerides (a type of fat found in your blood), raised LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, and increased plasminogen activator type 1 (a protein that helps break up blood clots).
In and of themselves, these issues are concerning. However, these factors may also increase your risk of coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is a main cause of preventable death for men in the United States. If you have low testosterone levels, our physicians will develop a customized treatment plan to help elevate your testosterone levels and help improve your overall health.
How Testosterone Replacement Can Help
Testosterone replacement injections are a form of treatment that may help increase testosterone levels for hypogonadal men. Therefore, part of your low T treatment plan may include testosterone replacement therapy. Testosterone replacement injections may help reduce your low testosterone symptoms to help you feel well again.
Also, studies show that testosterone replacement therapy may lead to higher lean body mass, reduction in fat mass, lower body weight, and decreased waist circumference for men with hypogonadism that receive testosterone replacement treatment. Additionally, several studies have found that testosterone replacement may help increase insulin sensitivity and improve metabolic function for men who may be suffering from metabolic conditions, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
In addition, testosterone replacement therapy may reduce the symptoms that make it difficult to pursue a healthy lifestyle. For example, it can be difficult to exercise regularly if you are constantly fatigued due to low testosterone. Therefore, many patients notice that they are able to find the energy to take part in healthy activities after beginning testosterone replacement therapy for their low T symptoms.
If you have symptoms of low testosterone, a comprehensive men’s health assessment can help you address your concerns. A doctor’s appointment is often the first step toward better wellness and quality of life. Therefore, if you believe you may be suffering from low testosterone, schedule an appointment online at a Low T Center near you. Our medical professionals are here to help you regain your energy and promote your overall health. We are dedicated to providing quality, personalized men’s health care.
Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.