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The progressive decline in a man’s testosterone levels that occurs from about the age of 30 on is typically responsible for a corresponding decline in his energy, stamina, strength, and sexual vitality. But what is a dangerously low testosterone level for any man to have developed? Does having Low T levels automatically lead you down the path to being confronted by more serious health issues?
If there is one thing that doctors and medical researchers have learned about a man’s testosterone production it is that every individual has their own unique hormonal chemistry. The ranges that have been clinically determined to be the norm for men at particular stages of adulthood are approximations of what normal testosterone levels should be. It is possible for a man to have levels that are lower than the norm for his age group and not be bothered by Low T symptoms; yet it is also possible for some men within the low end of the normal range to experience a number of undesirable symptoms related to having Low T levels – for him.
However, hormone therapy doctors and researchers have also learned that what is a dangerously low testosterone level means that it is significant below the 300 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter) measure that clinicians often refer to as normal. Equally significant is the existence of associated symptoms, which include a very low libido; declines in energy and stamina; weight gain; loss of muscle mass; and experiencing moods of depression, anger and/or anxiety.
Yet living with Low T is more than just living with its symptoms; it also has a detrimental effect on the optimal function of your body’s systems and organs. This is where some of the dangerous aspects of having this disorder are hiding and if you are unaware of future health damage that low testosterone levels can cause, it can come at you later in the form of a very unwelcome medical event.
What are your Low T levels hiding from you? Start with the fact that leaving your condition of male hormone deficiency untreated contributes to bone density loss, which can lead to the development osteoporosis in later adulthood. You mostly likely can’t see it happening inside your bones now; but years from now, it could easily show up as frequent bone fractures and falls that can cause broken hips and other damage.
Another reason that you would want to know about the health consequences of what is a dangerously low testosterone level is that chronically low levels have been linked to the increased risk for developing hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. And all through the years between now and your seventies, eighties or even nineties (because projected longevity statistics for those living in the US continue to trend higher), if you don’t use treatment for your Low T symptoms, those will also continue to become more pronounced and chronic.
You will continue to have the accumulations of unhealthy excess fat concentrated around your mid-section; your muscles will continue to decline in size and tone; your energy levels will become even lower than they are now; you will have progressively less strength and stamina; your low sex drive and erectile dysfunction won’t improve on their own; your cognitive function will continue to diminish; and you will probably experience more frequent bouts of depression and moodiness.
The alternative is that you can receive medical treatment for what is a dangerously low testosterone level and restore your male hormone supply to the level that supports rather than sabotages your ongoing health and vitality. Doctor prescribed testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is used by thousands of men in the US to supplement their Low T levels and reduce or eliminate the symptoms that we described above. It also reduces your risk for developing the degenerative medical conditions that testosterone deficiency causes that were also referenced above. And this is why there has been a five-fold increase in the use of TRT in men aged 40 and older between 2001 and 2011, according to JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association).
A certain segment of the medical community, which is of the opinion that TRT is being overly prescribed and used for anti-aging purposes, has expressed concerns about the long-term effects that this treatment could cause. While some members of this segment agree with what is a dangerously low testosterone level and others do not, the general consensus has indicated that they believe that too many men who don’t really need TRT are now using it.
Their concerns are not based on any strong clinical evidence that supports the premise that the long-term use of testosterone replacement therapy because none has been produced. In fact, the studies that have been performed to date largely indicate that using this form of treatment over an extended period of time (1) does not increase a man’s risk for developing prostate cancer and (2) does not lead to a higher incidence for stroke or other thrombotic events.
In 2015, the results of several recent major studies on the long-term use of TRT were reported at a press conference held at the American Urological Association annual meeting. What made these findings so notable was that they showed that using this treatment, which they stated had proven thus far to be absolutely safe for older men, was actually capable of improving several important health parameters. They found improvements in metabolic factors, such as declines in glucose, cholesterol, and in the tryglyceride:HDL ratio of the men using it; and they also found that the men studied were able to maintain a much healthier weight.
However, for younger adult men, it must be noted that using TRT for what is a dangerously low testosterone level can increase their risk for experiencing infertility issues. This is a danger that knowledgeable hormone replacement therapy doctors have known about, and have been warning younger male patients about, for quite a while. So for men who are concerned about preserving their fertility, the long-term use of testosterone replacement therapy might not be a viable treatment option for their Low T levels.
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