Hypogonadism or testosterone deficiency syndrome is a physical condition where a male’s body cannot produce enough testosterone, which is the primary male hormone. This condition arises after a certain age, but sometimes younger males also face this issue.
Testosterone is an important hormone to make because it affects the sex drive, sexual features, adequate level of RBC, mental or physical energy, and also the muscle mass of a male. This deficiency can easily be diagnosed with a simple blood test, which is hardly any procedure to go through.
A person suffering from testosterone deficiency faces various symptoms. Some of these symptoms are:
– Not being able to get or maintain an erection
– Concentrating on any work or deciding becomes difficult
– One gains weight
– There is a loss of lean body mass (muscle) and bone density
– One becomes vulnerable to depression
– Loss of sexual desire
– Exercise programs become ineffective
– Drastic change in cholesterol profile
– Poor work performance
Other symptoms include:
– Development of breast also known as gynecomastia
– Amount of body hair decrease
– There is a decrease in hemoglobin
Low testosterone is a condition that affects around 40 percent of the male population from the age group of 45 years and above. After the age of 30, there is a natural decline in testosterone production, which is around 1% per year, and this continues throughout their life. But if the decline is more than a percent, then there is some problem. There are many reasons for this to happen, some of them are:
– Trauma or injury that interrupts the blood supply to the testes or infection of the testes
– Hemochromatosis, which is a metabolic disorder due to which the iron amount in the body increases
– Any sort of tumor or dysfunction of the pituitary gland
– Medication or chemotherapy used to treat cancer
– Too much alcohol consumption
– Condition that causes inflammation of lungs and other organs such as sarcoidosis
– A medical condition related to kidney or liver
– Klinefelter syndrome, where a male is born with an extra copy of the X chromosome
– Type 2 diabetes
– Extreme loss or increase in weight
– Delayed puberty
– External intake of estrogen hormone
– Head injury or trauma and steroid abuse
– Fatigue or loss of sleep
Effects on mental and physical health
Testosterone deficiency in males can lead to the onset or intensification of multiple diseases. There is an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and can also lead to death from one of such events.
It also increases the risk of diseases like high blood pressure, an abnormal change in cholesterol level, and raised insulin levels, which is strongly associated with diabetes. The probability of getting prostate cancer or any other variant of cancer increases.
A low level of testosterone in the body can directly affect the mental health of a male because the cells in your brain are furnished with testosterone receptors and with the lack of this hormone, they leave the cells high and dry. This situation leads to andropause, in which a male gets mood swings, is stressed, irritated, and faces anxiety and depression.
This situation is very similar to menopause in women as women experience a sudden drop in their female hormones. Testosterone deficiency also affects the sexual health of a male.
It decreases sexual desire and increases the chances of erectile dysfunction, which can lead to stress and anxiety among males. Testosterone deficiency also affects the sleep cycle of a male, which leads to moodiness because of fatigue.
Whenever there is a talk about the treatment of Testosterone deficiency, one name always pops up BHRT. But what is BHRT? BHRT means bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, in which new hormones are constructed derived from plant estrogens that are identical to the human body. This process can be carried out in different ways using;
– Intramuscular injection in which they use injections into the muscles every 10-15 days.
– Testosterone patches in which they use patches in distinct parts of the body every day.
– Testosterone gel is applied every day on the dry skin of the upper back and arms to make sure that the hormones are not transferred to another person.
– Pellets are implanted under the skin every two months.
– Testosterone pills are to be consumed, as the doctor suggests.
BHRT is a procedure that is adopted when the hormone level in a body decreases and is used to maintain the level of the hormone in the body and help with the side effects that the drop has caused.
Side effects such as mood change, night sweats, memory loss, weight gain, sleep issues, loss of sexual desire, and hot flashes. This therapy also decreases the risk of tooth loss, diabetes, and cataract.
It helps in improving skin thickness, elasticity, reduces wrinkles, and improves skin hydration. This treatment has proved very effective in cancer patients, together with improving their quality of life along with general well-being.
BHRT comes with certain side effects and risks as well. Research has shown that this treatment increases the possibility of blood clots, gallbladder conditions, heart issues, strokes, and breast cancer.
There are some common side effects to BHRT as well, like bloating, weight gain, acne, mood swings, fatigue, and an increase in facial hair. So, one needs to be thorough with all the pros and cons and have a proper discussion with the respective doctor before going to this therapy.
Testosterone is a problem that is faced is general after attaining a particular age and there is nothing to be worried about because there are treatments and solutions available for this condition. There is a lot of stigma related to men’s health due to which most men either ignore the issues or don’t get proper treatment. The first step to overcome the problem is to freely talk about it. Visit a doctor, be open to them about the issues and symptoms and start with the doctor’s prescribed treatment.
Before opting for the treatment, the patient needs to understand that the treatment is a lifelong commitment and requires an equal amount of careful monitoring from time to time to make sure that the procedure is going on as planned.
One can also maintain a healthy lifestyle with good food, exercise, avoid excessive use of alcohol and drugs, and manage weight to keep the testosterone level in check.
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