So what do you do with a symptom that is vague, overused or perhaps misunderstood? Does the lack of specificity render it useless as a trustworthy indicator for diagnosis altogether? Essentially that depends on how the information is interpreted or applied. Frankly, there is little diagnostic value in this symptom as a stand-alone marker of testosterone levels.
For the purposes of screening for Low T, fatigue must be evaluated as a single component of a onglomerate of symptoms. It should take its place among the myriad of possible negative effects that hypogonadism (low testosterone production) can induce. Rarely would a person with an isolated symptom of “tiredness”, but who is completely free of other important symptoms such as decreased libido et al., be appropriate for treatment.
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) should be reserved for those individuals who are truly symptomatic and verifiably testosterone deficient. As with any medical intervention, there are side effects to be contemplated and monitored (discussed HERE), and forging ahead with unnecessary treatments is both reckless and unethical.
How To Think About Fatigue
In the proper context, it is very important that someone who is considering TRT be mindful of their energy levels. A careful self-examination of what effects Low T may be having on how you feel is vitally important to having an honest discussion with your provider about your symptoms.
“Fatigue is physical and/or mental exhaustion that can be triggered by stress, medication, overwork, or mental and physical illness or disease.”
Thinking of fatigue in this way allows one to acknowledge that this symptom may be multifactorial. That is, it may have several different causes at one time. Also, it is entirely possible for someone to be suffering from Low T and not experience significant fatigue at all. The presence or severity of fatigue will manifest differently, and be experienced differently from person to person.
As imprecise as fatigue may be, evaluation of how a lack of energy may be keeping you from engaging your family and loved ones or how exhaustion may be contributing to a deteriorating work performance remains relevant and exigent.
The Cost of Fatigue
A study (by Shahraki S, Bakar N.) published in the International Journal Of Academic Research in 2011 showed that the “cost” of fatigue “were roughly equal to 2.3 days absent per worker every month.” This is not counting actual absenteeism, but rather time at work when so little is accomplished by a given employee, that it is as if they aren’t even there.
While this virtual absenteeism may not affect your wages as a sick day might, it is likely that it could affect your performance evaluations, attainment of success, and salary raises (or lack thereof). One can only imagine the economic impact on larger scales with some studies estimating that more than 13 million American men suffering from Low T.
The Impact on Productivity
Another study evaluating workplace performance divided the symptoms of fatigue into three groups. Group I was “drowsiness and dullness”, group II was “difficulty in concentrating”, and group III was “projection of physical disintegration”. Below is the table of listed complaints the subjects were to identify with. They are so split to quantify the progression and patterns of fatigue in different tasks.
Manifestations of fatigue.
The participants logged these symptoms as other influences were added in. Lighting and temperature changes were also used and evaluated. In essence, it was determined that “maintaining performance” (i.e. combating fatigue) is crucial in “predicting productivity”.
It is intuitive that if you lack energy that you don’t perform your best. Productivity may be the building block of work performance, but what about our commitment to the relationships that mean the most to us?
Personal Repercussions of Fatigue
How many times do you turn your kids down when they ask you to play with them, take them outside, or just watch them do their new “trick”? How often do you feel yourself sinking into your couch while you wish you had the energy to be the husband/father that connects with his family more? Moreover, what is this costing you? Can you even put a price on it?
A good work ethic is a great thing. Providing for loved ones and yourself is a rite of humanity. However, if trudging through the daily grind at work leaves you with nothing left in the tank at the end of the day, think of the imbalance this is causing at home. You are not the only one impacted by your symptoms.
Your lack of energy may be because of low testosterone levels. You don’t have to live with Low T!The test is simple and the science is real. The treatment could change your life. CONTACT US now or come by in person for a FREE consultation.