Low Testosterone in Men
Low testosterone is becoming an increasingly prevalent condition in American society. Testosterone levels have been declining by 10% per decade for the last three decades. The cause of this hormonal decline in men is unclear. Some attribute it to the 90,000 chemicals that are new in our environment. Others feel the high stress, no sleep attitude of our rush trash society is at fault. Others believe that the high carbohydrate diets are at fault. Regardless of its cause, low testosterone is a reality for a very high percentage of males. Age has no boundary here. I am seeing an increasing number of males in their early twenties who are already deficient. The long term implications of this delicacy can have serious health consequences.
Many think of testosterone solely as a sex hormone, if sexual function is good, then testosterone must be ok. Unfortunately this belief is far from the truth and awaiting sexual difficulties as the heralding sign will allow a severe deficit to persist for many years before treatment with adverse health consequences.
Testosterone effects are multiple. Low Testosterone is my most common form of treatable fatigue. Testosterone is by far, my best energizer. It also greatly enhance mood, and many “depressed patients” find that they no longer need anti-depressants once he deficit is corrected! It also improves sleep and anxiety… In fact, anxiety if often the chief complaint of someone with deficiency.
In addition to the quality of life improvements, there are substantial health benefits to having an optimal testosterone level. Let me reiterate that normal values are often associated with the classic signs of low testosterone, yet most physicians only consider treatment at extreme low levels. I hear on a daily basis, the story of someone whose primary MD (and even endocrinologist) have told the patient that they do not have the conditions and do not need treatment despite the usual symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, anxiety/depression, sleep disturbance, brain fog, prior libido and ED. This constellation of symptoms alerts even an uneducated patient of the possible diagnosis as TV commercials repeat these daily. How frustrating to be able to make your own diagnosis and not have a physician who is properly educated to address or fix the problem. Go home, there is nothing wrong, feel tired and miserable, but it’s not low testosterone! Fortunately you have found an MD that understand the problem!
Testosterone supplementation can have life changing effects on you. First the improved quality of life can allow your life to flourish. With improved energy, activity can improve, and with improved mood, there can be less reliance on placating comfort foods. So diet can improve. Sleep becomes more restful.
In addition to the quality of life issues, metabolism improves. It stimulates the burning of belly fat while improving muscle and bone tissue. This results in a redistribution of weight to healthier and more aesthetically pleasing distribution.
Testosterone improves brain function and focus. It improves blood sugar, metabolism, prostate function, cardiovascular health, blood pressure, and lower levels are associated with higher death rate. Very low levels also contribute to the most lethal form of prostate cancer.
Oh, and it is a sex hormone, so I do see drastic improvements in sexual function and libido as well.
Testosterone therapy is not without risk, I do monitor for estradiol and red blood cells, which can bother become elevated with treatment. Fertility issues can also occur, which is why self-medication is not recommended, testosterone therapy is best under the skill of an experienced provider.