As men age, their testosterone levels may decline. This hormone helps maintain muscle mass and bone density, and in addition to advancing age, low testosterone levels can be caused by hypogonadism. This condition can cause a low sperm count, breast enlargement, decreased libido, fatigue, and depression. If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about a referral to a testosterone health center. Here are some additional health consequences of low testosterone levels.
Osteoporosis is a degenerative disease of the bones, which causes decreased density and bone mass. It causes the bones to become weak, thin, and brittle. It is typically associated with postmenopausal women as a result of low estrogen levels; however, it can also occur in men who have low testosterone levels.
Testosterone, like estrogen, helps enhance bone density so that the bones remain strong and resistant to fractures. In addition to a heightened risk for bone fractures, osteoporosis can cause bone pain, decreased range of motion, and limited mobility. If you have osteoporosis as a result of low testosterone levels, your doctor will develop a hormone replacement therapy treatment plan based upon how low your testosterone levels are.
It is also thought that having low testosterone levels may play a role in the development of anemia. Symptoms of anemia include dizziness, weakness, confusion, a fast heart rate, muscle cramps, and pallor. In addition, anemia can cause hair loss, fatigue, and poor concentration. Increasing your intake of iron-rich foods may help ease your symptoms, so your doctor may recommend that you take an over-the-counter iron supplement to help resolve your symptoms. A prescription for liquid ferrous sulfate may also be recommended.
Testosterone injections may increase your serum iron levels as well as your hemoglobin, hematocrit, and red blood cell count. While dietary interventions, iron supplements, and testosterone injections may help reverse your anemia, it may be a gradual process. It can take weeks before all of your abnormal blood tests return to normal and before your symptoms improve.
If you are concerned about low testosterone levels, make an appointment with a doctor at a testosterone health center. He or she will recommend a simple hormone blood test to evaluate your levels. If they are low, further testing may be recommended to determine the underlying cause for your decreased testosterone levels. Treating the underlying cause and seeking treatment at a testosterone health center may lead to a dramatic improvement in your health and overall well-being.