Have you lost that lovin’ feeling? Do you seem to be dragging around instead of walking through life with your usual zip? Getting your basketball fix from the television rather than the court?
Feeling like this isn’t normal. It’s not inevitable. And, if Low T is at the center of these symptoms, you can do something to stop it.
Schedule an appointment to talk to one of our experienced professional to be tested for low testosterone, or hypogonadism.
This aspect of men’s health is becoming more and more popular. Recently, it has taken on the nickname Low T in commercials everywhere. It is estimated that millions of men have low testosterone. However, the issue is not just about sex; it is truly about men’s health as some of the symptoms can rob you of some of the best life has to offer.
Testosterone is a hormone produced in the testicles that essentially makes you a man as an adolescent and maintains your masculinity throughout adulthood. As it increases in puberty, it builds muscles and bones, deepens a boy’s voice and increases his sex drive. Beginning around age 30, the amount of testosterone in a man’s body begins to gradually decrease; about one percent a year according to the Mayo Clinic. If your levels fall to too low of a level, you may notice symptoms such as fatigue, depression, difficulty concentrating and a lack of sex drive. Other symptoms include increased body fat, sleep disturbances, swollen breasts and mood swings. Some men even experience hot flashes and brittle bones, as well as erection problems.
Because of the wide variety of manifestations, often men are misdiagnosed and the center of their problems gets overlooks and goes untreated. Men’s health is often thought to be less complicated than women’s and therefore, it hasn’t been talked about as much as perhaps it should have been.
There was a time when men just lived with these symptoms, either accepting them as a normal process of getting older, or avoiding talking about them out of embarrassment. Also, new threats to our health that come to us through our environment and the chemicals we use are making this problem worse. However, as more men’s health issues are talked about more openly, men are learning there may be treatments for true problems created by low testosterone levels. Trust only a medical provider experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of Low T to properly evaluate your whole health, and whether testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is right for you.
A simple blood test is used to determine if a man truly has hypogonadism, but the fix is may not be as simple as replacing the hormone. Testosterone interacts with several other hormones to do the work it does and making sure all these interactions are playing out correctly takes a specialized practitioner, focused on men’s health.
It is important to determine the cause of Low T. While a slight and gradual drop in testosterone is natural in men, a sharp, early drop is not. Other issues also cause Low T:
* Diseases of the body structures that make and manage testosterone such as the hypothalamus or pituitary glands.
* Damage to the testes from accidents, or radiation, surgery or chemotherapy used to treat testicular cancer.
* Certain genetic diseases, like Kallmann syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, or myotonic muscular dystrophy can cause testicular failure.
How to Check for Low T
Once you have acknowledged that Low T may be at the center of the issue for you, the next step is to seek more information. You should schedule an appointment to get a reliable evaluation of your health and symptoms of Low T. After a thorough medical history is taken to see when your symptoms started, what kind of stressors you encounter, what kind of medicines you are taking and what kind of sexual problems you may have experienced, your blood test results will be evaluated. These results are typically back in less than 30 minutes. You will have the time to ask all the questions you need answers to. Don’t be hold back information; honesty is the best way to get to the bottom of what is going on with your health.
After all that, if there are no underlying causes that need further treatment, a provider could prescribe testosterone replacement therapy by a variety of methods:
* gel or patches applied to the skin every day
* pellets surgically implanted under the skin which stay in your system for months
* Or, injections of testosterone directly into the muscles, which often allows for more definitive and consistent treatment
All of these treatments come with risks, so close follow up with your provider is extremely important.
So, while low testosterone comes with symptoms that are frustrating and potentially damaging, it also may be a sign of a deeper men’s health issue. Either way, it is important to not ignore such symptoms and get an appointment with a trusted provider so you can be back on the game instead of just watching from the sidelines.