As we age, the risk for developing health concerns increases. For men, one of these common health concerns which can come with getting older is a reduction in testosterone production. But, how do men know that they are being affected by this common occurrence? And, are low testosterone therapy options effective and affordable?
What is Low Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone found in the body. While it is a hormone attributed to males, females also utilize this hormone, although less frequently. Women create lower levels of testosterone within the ovaries which helps to manage moods, regulate sex drive, and maintain healthy energy levels. Men develop testosterone in the testicles, and in a larger amount than women. For men, testosterone helps with sex drive, semen production, energy maintenance, mood regulation, bone density, and muscle mass. While it’s possible for women to be affected by low testosterone, the condition is usually diagnosed amongst the male population.
What are the Causes of Low Testosterone?
Causes of low testosterone, or hypogonadism to the medical world, can be either primary or secondary. Primary causes mean that there is something wrong with the production of testosterone within the testes. Secondary causes mean that low testosterone is a result of damage to the brain or hormone glands which help with testosterone production.
Primary Causes of Low Testosterone Levels Include:
- Injured testicles
- Klinefelter’s Syndrome (born with three sex chromosomes)
- Undescended testicles
- Hemochromatosis (increased iron levels)
Secondary Causes of Low Testosterone Levels Include:
- Specific medications (opioids and steroids)
- HIV or AIDS virus
- Pituitary diseases
- Inflammatory diseases
- Other concurring health conditions
What are the Effects of Low Testosterone?
While it’s most common for men to realize they may be suffering from low testosterone levels due to changes in sex drive, there are other health concerns and symptoms that come with experiencing low testosterone. The effects of low testosterone may include:
- Reduced energy levels
- Feelings of sadness and/or depression
- Loss of body hair
- Decreased self-esteem
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Decreased bone density
- Reduced muscle mass
- Low semen count and/or production
- Inability to obtain or retain erection
- Decreased sex drive
What Are the Options for Low Testosterone Therapy?
Before you can discover how to best treat your low testosterone levels and decide on low testosterone therapy options, you’ll need to be diagnosed. This can be done by simple blood test at your doctor’s office. Once your doctor has determined that you do indeed struggle with low testosterone levels, he/she will determine best therapy options based on your causes and symptoms. For example, if your doctor believes that you may struggle with lowered testosterone levels due to obesity, he/she may suggest lifestyle changes to lose weight which may affect your hormone production. But, if your doctor thinks that therapy may help, he/she may prescribe you with testosterone replacement therapy medications.
Utilizing Low Testosterone Therapy
Testosterone replacement therapy is usually available in a spray or topical gel solution, like AndroGel 1.62%. These therapies are helpful in increasing testosterone levels for men who are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone. But, these therapies aren’t right for everyone. Only your doctor can determine if this solution can be helpful for your medication regimen.
Getting Help Paying for Low Testosterone Therapy Options
Unfortunately, while treatment may help, it may not be affordable for those with low or no health insurance coverage. But, with patient assistance programs, more and more patients are finding out that the cost of their needed medications may be covered or discounted. If you’ve been given a prescription for low testosterone therapy, visit our website to see if your treatment may be covered or discounted through our program.