Testosterone is the most important sex hormone for men and plays a major role in everything from secondary sex characteristics and muscle development to mental health. Low testosterone can even have adverse health effects like high cholesterol and anemia. While one in four men over age 30 have low testosterone levels, not everyone needs hormone replacement. However, you may be a good candidate for testosterone therapy if you’re affected by any of the following conditions.

Testosterone Deficiency

A small reduction in testosterone levels with age is normal, but some men have very low levels due to factors like genetic conditions, cancer treatments and pituitary gland disorders. Some of these conditions present as early as puberty, and affected men may need to receive supplemental testosterone for the rest of their lives. Early treatment can help boys and men prevent secondary complications like low self-esteem and difficulty socializing that can arise from lack of normal development.

Aging

Most men experience a natural decline in testosterone levels with age, but you shouldn’t dismiss symptoms of low testosterone as a normal part of getting older. While hormone replacement has been a popular treatment for post-menopausal women for many years, aging men are just beginning to realize the benefits of replenishing their lagging hormones. If you’re a mature man who suffers from symptoms like tiredness, low sex drive and loss of muscle strength, testosterone replacement can help restore your youthful virility. Whatever your exact circumstances, you might want to consider supplementing diet and exercise with treatment as you get older.

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is a common problem that many men are too embarrassed to talk about. Although the majority of ED cases are the result of circulatory and cardiovascular problems, some can be attributed to inadequate testosterone levels. Supplementing with exogenous testosterone can increase libido and energy, making it easier to maintain an erection and perform in bed. There are multiple ways to treat ED, so consult with a doctor and figure out what it right for you.

Mood Disorders

We know there is a strong connection between hormonal balance and mental health in women, but hormones can also cause or exacerbate conditions like anxiety and depression in men. Men who suffer from mood disorders should consider having their testosterone levels checked and try hormone replacement instead of or in addition to antidepressants and mood regulating medications. Mental health issues can come from a variety of sources: life circumstances, general stress, or misbalanced brain chemicals. Considering all the tools in your toolbox can help you effectively treat your mental health.

Remember, the symptoms of low testosterone can also be caused by other serious health conditions. It’s important to visit your doctor and have your testosterone levels checked before beginning treatment. If you’re a young man, it’s also a good idea to have a full panel of tests to determine the cause of your lagging hormone levels. If you consult with a doctor and assert your needs, things should go smoothly. If any of the problems above are familiar to you, you could find a solution in testosterone replacement.