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Testosterone is a hormone frequently called a “sex hormone,” because it plays a significant role in male sexual development and function. Its what puts hair on a man’s chest and is the force behind his sexual drive. But that’s not all it does. Like most of the body’s chemical messengers, it also helps promote overall health and well-being in various ways.

Testosterone begins to gradually decrease by about 1 percent each year, starting around age 30.  Unlike women, who experience a rapid drop in hormone levels at menopause, men experience a gradual decrease in testosterone. For that reason, many men experience troubling symptoms but don’t realize that a low T level is a culprit. The older the man, the more likely he is to experience below-normal testosterone levels.

Dr. Michael Tachuk of the Viva Wellness Medical Group, located in the Point Loma neighborhood of San Diego, has helped countless men feel like themselves again with testosterone replacement therapy. To determine whether you are a candidate, Dr. Tachuk first evaluates your symptoms and the results of laboratory testing.

The goal of testosterone replacement therapy is to optimize your testosterone levels to alleviate the symptoms and improve quality of life, not for muscle building or to enhance athletic performance, although this will probably benefit. Each patient’s unique regiment is designed to restore the T levels to the optimal range for his age.

The Viva team offers the following nine signs that you could be suffering from low testosterone.

Ongoing fatigue

Most everyone experiences fatigue on occasion. When your testosterone levels dip below 300 nanograms per deciliter, you might feel as though you can’t shake the exhaustion. Fatigue may start and linger for no apparent reason, even after you’ve had a good night’s sleep.

Memory loss

Declining testosterone levels can also affect your memory, concentration, and problem-solving abilities.

Low sex drive

Some amount of reduced libido with age is also pretty standard, but a significant drop may derive from low testosterone levels. Your interest and desire for sex, both physically and emotionally, can reduce to the point that it impacts your intimate relationships.

Erectile dysfunction

Difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection is another possible sign of low testosterone and one that can lower your libido even more. Low T can make nocturnal erections less frequent or absent, as well as erections once the rest of you feels aroused for sex.

Low semen volume

When you do experience erections and ejaculate during sex, low testosterone levels can lead to a lesser amount of semen. While this may not seem like a big deal, it can be a sign of the condition to mention to your doctor.

Reduced muscle mass

Even if you work out consistently, you can experience reduced muscle mass due to low testosterone levels. The condition doesn’t seem to affect muscle function or strength, however, so this is something you might notice when looking in the mirror or wearing fitted clothes.

Increased body fat

While your muscle size decreases, your body fat can move in the opposite direction when low T is at play. Excess belly fat, in particular, can stem from low testosterone levels. This fat form is a particularly risky one, linked with conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Reduced bone mass

The thinning of bone mass, medically known as osteoporosis, can put you at risk for fractures. And low testosterone levels can be the cause. This is because of testosterone’s role in both producing and strengthening bones.

Loss of confidence

Low testosterone can impact your emotional health as well, causing you to feel depressed, irritable, and lack focus, and irritability. While some of this stems from the fact that the hormone influences mental capacity and moods, these symptoms can also occur as byproducts of other symptoms of low T, which can be difficult to live with.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy is usually effective with minimal side effects and is generally safe with careful monitoring.

If you think you might be experiencing low T, make an appointment with, please reach out to the medical professionals at the Viva Wellness Medical Group. Call the office at (619) 369-3079, or request an appointment using the online booking tool.

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