Book An Appointment



Pay Attention to Low T: Our Functional Medicine Toronto Clinic Explains Why


Do you find yourself making excuses to not visit a health practitioner? At the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre (TFMC), we can gently shift your wellness towards optimal health, especially for hormone imbalances. 

Medical journals have implied that males tend to refrain from getting advice for their health concerns; in some cases, it may be due to societal standards. “This reluctance means that men often do not seek help until a disease has progressed,” confirms a BMJ article, which goes on to explain, “Late presentation can have serious consequences.” 

For the male human body, testosterone influences several aspects of health. When testosterone levels dwindle, they can demote your current health status, especially sexual health, muscle mass, and energy levels. Moreover, low testosterone can boost your risks for heart disease. 

Studies have shown that low testosterone (“low T”) may be linked to various disease conditions, including obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis. Thus, paying attention to testosterone levels could impact your long-term health – and understanding how your body works is the first step. 

So, what is testosterone and its exact functions? The TFMC explains this, along with the benefits and side effects of testosterone replacement therapies.

Gaining Insight into Testosterone: Its Role and Impact on Men

This is a sex hormone with key roles in the growth and physical features of men. Testosterone is formed when the hypothalamus releases gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which then stimulates the pituitary gland to set the luteinizing hormone (LH) free. LH then takes a “trip” to the testicles, triggering the formation and release of testosterone. 

The hormone contributes to the functioning of several body systems, affecting libido, male characteristics (i.e. hair), muscle size and recovery, bone development, the production of sperm, and more. Low or excessive amounts can affect your stress levels, too. Testosterone is regulated through a “feedback loop”, which controls the amounts of hormones that enter your bloodstream. If there is excessive testosterone in the body, the brain will tell the pituitary gland to slow down the release of LH; then, the testicles will produce less testosterone.

What are the Symptoms of Low Testosterone? 

Each male may experience individual symptoms of low T, but there are some common ones: 

    • Erectile dysfunction
    • Hair loss
    • Body temperature changes (i.e. hot flashes)
    • Male infertility/low sperm count
    • Reduction in testicular size
    • Weakness
    • Reduction in muscle strength and physical exertion
    • Low libido
    • Depression
    • Brain fog, difficulties with focus and memory
    • Increase in body fat

As men age, testosterone levels can progressively diminish by 1% annually once their thirties or forties have been reached. For diagnosing low T, it’s necessary to see if the root cause is due to aging or underlying conditions (i.e. hypogonadism). 

There are conventional tests available, and functional medicine testing is offered by Western medicine doctors and integrated health care centres, such as ours. For instance, we would run a DUTCH test for these types of health concerns, and we would measure both testosterone and adrenal hormones. By quantifying these imbalances, we can help tailor a distinctive health care plan to help increase testosterone.

Suggested Reading: Functional Medicine Toronto Approach: Herbal Supplements for Supporting Adrenal Function

Testosterone Replacement Therapy: Potential Benefits, Risks, and Side Effects

Once you’re diagnosed with low T, there are therapeutic options to consider. Testosterone treatments are available through conventional medicine and/or integrative medicine clinics. These treatments are available in different forms, such as creams, gels or injections. 

Overall, getting TRT is a personal decision that can only be made by the affected patient, as this is a discussion that must occur between yourself and your health practitioner. Every patient is individualistic with different health needs, so the benefits, risks and side effects of hormone treatments can  vary for each person. 

If you need assistance from a functional medicine practitioner, please reach out to the TFMC. After all, achieving your hormonal balance can be a challenging journey! Our functional medicine clinic, though, is available to design a comprehensive treatment plan slated for your needs only. Learn how in the next section.  

Getting Personalized Treatment Plans at the TFMC

Health goals are personal. This is why our custom approach to health care considers the key components of your individuality. Various aspects of health are deliberated for addressing health concerns, including your entire health history (medical history), lifestyle factors, environmental surroundings, and results from functional lab tests. Once we’ve gathered these components, we can tailor your comprehensive treatment plan. 

In your custom health plan, you may find a wide variety of treatment modalities. This is because we practice integrative medicine, which allows for patients to use health strategies from different sources at once. Our personalized approach to wellness may include Western medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, naturopathic medicine, herbal medicines, intravenous therapy, acupuncture, among others. If IV therapy or bio-identical hormones are advised as adjunct support, your dosages will still be customized through the functional medicine model.   

Hormone issues do not have to hinder optimal wellness – please contact us for help, and we can connect you with a functional medicine Toronto provider. Leave us a message to request your initial consultation. 

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.



Banks I. No man’s land: men, illness, and the NHS. BMJ. 2001 Nov 3;323(7320):1058-60. doi: 10.1136/bmj.323.7320.1058. PMID: 11691768; PMCID: PMC1121551.

Barone B, Napolitano L, Abate M, Cirillo L, Reccia P, Passaro F, Turco C, Morra S, Mastrangelo F, Scarpato A, Amicuzi U, Morgera V, Romano L, Calace FP, Pandolfo SD, De Luca L, Aveta A, Sicignano E, Trivellato M, Spena G, D’Alterio C, Fusco GM, Vitale R, Arcaniolo D, Crocetto F. The Role of Testosterone in the Elderly: What Do We Know? Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 24;23(7):3535. doi: 10.3390/ijms23073535. PMID: 35408895; PMCID: PMC8998588.

Goodale T, Sadhu A, Petak S, Robbins R. Testosterone and the Heart. Methodist Debakey Cardiovasc J. 2017 Apr-Jun;13(2):68-72. doi: 10.14797/mdcj-13-2-68. PMID: 28740585; PMCID: PMC5512682.

Kwon M, Lawn S, Kaine C. Understanding Men’s Engagement and Disengagement When Seeking Support for Mental Health. Am J Mens Health. 2023 Mar-Apr;17(2):15579883231157971. doi: 10.1177/15579883231157971. PMID: 36880329; PMCID: PMC9996733.

Osterberg EC, Bernie AM, Ramasamy R. Risks of testosterone replacement therapy in men. Indian J Urol. 2014 Jan;30(1):2-7. doi: 10.4103/0970-1591.124197. PMID: 24497673; PMCID: PMC3897047.

Smyth APJ, Gammage KL, Lamarche L, Muir C. Examining University Men’s Psychobiological and Behavioral Response-Recovery Profile From a Social-Evaluative Body Image Threat. Am J Mens Health. 2020 Mar-Apr;14(2):1557988320910831. doi: 10.1177/1557988320910831. PMID: 32285747; PMCID: PMC7158253.


CALL US TODAY (416) 968-6961