Discussions about low testosterone levels for men have been trending recently, but much of what’s being said or written only skims the surface of low T and the role of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Men from New Orleans and throughout Louisiana who come to our Baton Rouge-area clinics have multiple questions about testosterone levels and whether they’re good candidates for HRT.
In this blog post, we’ll explain the role testosterone plays as men get older, describe low T symptoms, and discuss the benefits and limitations of hormone replacement therapy for men diagnosed with low testosterone levels.
What Does Testosterone Do?
Most people associate testosterone with a man’s sex drive, but it plays many other essential roles for a body to function properly. Testosterone is necessary to build muscle, maintain bone density, and have a healthy red blood cell count, among other things. Male testosterone levels naturally decrease with age, but lower testosterone levels don’t necessarily mean a man needs hormone replacement therapy.
Unnaturally low levels of testosterone, however, can reduce a man’s quality of life, and HRT represents a treatment option that alleviates low T symptoms.
What Are Symptoms of Low T?
Men begin considering testosterone replacement therapy because they experience one or more of the symptoms associated with lower-than-normal levels of the hormone. Symptoms of low T include:
- Fatigue and lower energy levels
- Reduced libido
- Mood swings
- Lack of concentration
- Loss of muscle mass
- Erectile dysfunction
You may experience certain symptoms initially, which then cause other symptoms to emerge. For example, feeling fatigued may lead you to exercise less often, which reduces your muscle mass. Or you may feel irritable or depressed if you’re experiencing a reduced sex drive.
Can Testosterone Replacement Therapy Help?
When a patient comes to Rejuvime Medical because he’s concerned about low T symptoms, we follow a straightforward 3-step process that includes meeting with an experienced nurse and having blood drawn. You’ll then return to discuss the results of your lab work with a medical provider, and next, we will monitor your progress if you choose to undergo hormone replacement therapy.
Most patients notice results within weeks of starting HRT, including a renewed sex drive, improved mood, and increased muscle mass. It’s important that patients combine HRT with a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a balanced, nutritious diet.
What Are the Risks of HRT?
The risks associated with hormone replacement therapy are minimal when monitored by a medical professional who specializes in HRT. Some men experience certain side effects that include:
- Low sperm count
- Increased risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke
- Testicular shrinkage
- Breast size increase
- Fluid retention
It’s up to each patient to decide if the potential risks involved with HRT are worth its benefits. This is a conversation you should have with our team of medical professionals or your primary care physician.
If you’re concerned about low T and want to learn more about HRT at Rejuvime Medical, request a consultation with a hormone specialist by using the online form or by calling us at (225) 960-1580 (Baton Rouge) or (504) 252-9579 (Metairie).