How are Imbalances Diagnosed?
Diagnoses of testosterone imbalances may begin with a physical examination and questions about symptoms.
Your waist size, BMI and testicle measurements may be taken. Females should expect questions pertaining to menstruation. You could also be asked whether you use opiates or steroids, among other things.
Your doctor will then order a blood test if there is a reason to suspect existence of T level-related issues. This can help to show whether levels are too low or high.
In females, doctors will usually first check for other conditions before ordering a test for suspected low testosterone levels. This is because of lack of significant research on the link between levels and symptoms in women. High levels are seen more as a problem.
Treatment of Low Testosterone
Typically, the approach to adopt for treating low testosterone levels will depend on the underlying cause. The problem will most likely resolve when the causative factor has been dealt with.
However, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is commonly used for correcting deficiencies. This is more advisable for men with low T than women. It is available in forms of injections, gels, patches, pellets and pills.
Studies have proven that TRT can be beneficial in certain regards. It can help to deal with some symptoms of low testosterone levels. Some people even consider it as an anti-aging formula, especially for men.
However, as appealing or promising as it might sound, TRT comes with its risks, particularly when you have levels normal for your age. These are similar to symptoms of high testosterone levels. They include:
- Shrinking of testicles
- Reduction of sperm production
- Enlargement of breast tissue and prostate gland
- Greater red blood cell count (not necessarily a good thing)
- Enlargement of the clitoris
- Breathing difficulties during sleep, also known as sleep apnea
Testosterone can also increase the risk of blood clot formation in a deep vein, a condition called deep vein thrombosis. It may increase your risk of cardiovascular problems as well.
Essentially, you will need to measure expected benefits against possible risks when considering TRT. Determining whether the therapy is worthwhile depends on each individual, especially their state of health.
Perhaps, due to the risks, the Endocrine Society recommends that doctors do not prescribe therapy to men younger than 65 years.