Your sex hormones — namely testosterone — cast a surprisingly wide net over your health and wellness, so when these levels dip, you can experience everything from fatigue to symptoms of depression. When this happens, you’re eager to find the path back toward better health — and there are several.
One of the first steps in re-establishing hormonal health is to identify the underlying cause of your low testosterone (low T), which helps Dr. Robert Cornell and our team tailor a testosterone-raising treatment plan to suit your needs.
Here, we explore a few of the more common culprits behind testosterone deficiency, also called low T, and some of the steps you can take to regain your health.
Understanding testosterone numbers
Under normal circumstances, men should have testosterone levels that fall between 270-1070 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). Anything under 300 ng/dL is considered low T, but we caution that these numbers are just jumping-off points.
For example, if you normally have testosterone levels that range between 800 and 900 ng/dL, a dip to 400 ng/dL will likely come with noticeable side effects as your body adjusts.
In other words, we use testosterone numbers as a point of reference, but we also consider your symptoms, your health, and your quality of life.
Testosterone deficiency due to injury or disease
There are many instances in which a man can experience low T due to an injury or disease that affects the production of the hormones.
The most common examples of this are:
- Damage to your testicles
- Removal of a testicle
- Chemotherapy or radiation
- Autoimmune diseases
If your low T is caused by damage or disease, there are several ways we can try to raise your testosterone levels, such as testosterone supplementation therapy, reducing estrogen levels to improve your ratio of sex hormones, or increasing your testicular output of testosterone if your low T stems from a signaling problem.
Secondary testosterone deficiency
In many cases, men may have lower-than-normal testosterone levels as a result of another problem.
For example, one study found that 30% of men who are overweight have low T, compared to 6.4% of men with low T who are within normal weight ranges. If we find that your weight may be influencing your testosterone levels, the answer may lie in losing weight.
The same study also found that men with diabetes is linked to low T, which is why we may recommend better managing your diabetes to help with testosterone production.
Age-related testosterone loss
After the age of 30, men lose about 1% of testosterone production a year, which is perfectly normal. As the years add up, however, so does the loss in testosterone.
If your quality of life has been greatly affected by this loss, we can discuss the benefits of testosterone replacement therapies, which may be able to boost your libido, increase your muscle mass, reduce your body fat, and improve your energy levels.
If you’d like to learn more about how we may be able to help you improve your testosterone levels, please contact our office in Houston, Texas, to schedule an evaluation.