Low testosterone occurs when the body does not produce enough of the male sex hormone. This deficiency can lead to loss of energy, a lowered sex drive, erectile dysfunction, less muscle mass, a depressed mood, and more. Low testosterone is a common condition in men, especially as they age. It affects an estimated 4 to 5 million men in the United States. While some of the myths surrounding low testosterone are entirely untrue, others may have a kernel of factual information somewhere in them. In today’s blog, we’re separating the fact from the fiction to help debunk some of the most common myths about low testosterone.
Myth #1: Low testosterone is a normal part of aging
While it is true that testosterone levels may naturally start to gradually decrease in men beginning in their 30s and 40s, severe symptoms of low testosterone may require a visit to the urologist. As a general rule of thumb, lower testosterone levels should not affect your relationships or quality of life. If your energy levels, your mental state, or your sex drive are disrupting your day-to-day life, it is time to seek treatment. Low testosterone may also indicate a more significant medical condition such as a low thyroid function, testicular trauma or cancer, infection, or chronic diseases like diabetes or hypertension, all of which should be examined by a medical professional.
Myth #2: Low testosterone only affects a man’s sex drive
As we previously mentioned, when testosterone levels drop below a healthy range, it can affect multiple areas of the body and is not limited to just your reproductive organs. In addition to difficulty achieving or sustaining an erection and a lower libido, men may also experience disruptions in their mental and physical health. Cognitive side effects of low testosterone include fatigue or energy loss, sleep disorders, depression, and difficulty concentrating. Some of the physical implications of low testosterone are bone loss and a decrease in strength or muscle size.
Myth #3: There are no safe treatment options for low testosterone
While some side effects are associated with hormone replacement therapy, a specialist will help monitor and ensure that no serious issues occur. Before beginning hormone replacement therapy, your doctor will evaluate your symptoms and may order blood tests to check the hormone levels. Other tests may be performed to rule out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms.
Myth #4: You can handle low testosterone on your own
Out of all of the myths about low testosterone, the idea that you can treat low T on your own can have some of the most dangerous side effects. Low testosterone supplements are easy to find online, but these unfounded treatments should be avoided at all costs. Testosterone medications and therapies are controlled substances that should only be prescribed by a physician. Excessive use of testosterone medications can lead to enlarged breasts, high blood pressure, and an increased risk for blood clots. It’s also important that a medical professional look into other conditions that may be causing a decrease in testosterone so that you can be sure that your treatment plan is the best course of action.
Make an Appointment
Alliance Urology Specialists is a dedicated 11 physician Urology Practice specializing in adult care. Our practice offers patients a caring environment and state-of-the-art medical care. If you are experiencing any symptoms of low testosterone, schedule an appointment with one of our providers. We are here for you at any stage of life. For questions and inquiries, please call our office in Greensboro at (336) 274-1114.