Low-T or Hypogonadism
A man’s testosterone blood level will normally begin to decrease starting in his 30s-40s and continue to do so for the rest of his life. If he is lucky, his levels will remain within the normal range for all or most of his life. For many, testosterone will decrease to below normal levels and start to experience symptoms of Low-T earlier in life. Besides aging, other contributing factors include obesity, chronic opioid use (prescribed as well as illegal), marijuana use, smoking tobacco chronic inflammation, history of Mumps as an adult , chemotherapy, etc.
The symptoms of Low T include erectile dysfunction (ED), decreased libido (sexual drive), decreased energy level, decreased sense of well-being, moodiness, and decreased lean muscle mass.
It is not realistic to expect that correcting his Low-T will reverse his ED, if present, as typically it is caused by a collection of factors occurring simultaneously. Nevertheless , we do see different degrees of improvements in a man’s ED when the testosterone level is corrected. In addition, correcting the Low-T can improve moodiness, depression, sexual drive, energy level, lean muscle mass and sense of well being.
It is not uncommon to see a better response from ED treatment pills if the testosterone deficiency is corrected before or concurrently.
In order to make an accurate diagnosis of low T, the blood work should be drawn , no later than 10 AM and should include both a Total and a Free Testosterone. There is no need to fast before testing.
The treatment for low testosterone ranges from intramuscular injections every 1-2 weeks to daily self-application of gels, to testosterone pellets implanted under the skin of the upper thigh – buttocks and which can last between three and four months. It is very important to monitor the PSA, hematocrit and testosterone levels to ensure adequate levels and safety. As long as the hematocrit is kept in check and the PSA is not increasing , correcting a low testosterone will be safe.
Public Opinions about Low T Treatments
Unfortunately, there has been some negative press in the news and social media about the safety of treatment for Low-T. This has not been backed up by solid scientific studies.
Male Mid-Life Quality of Life
Low T can affect a man’s quality of life and at times his marriage. The signs and symptoms of Low-T can be treated effectively but should be done under the supervision of a Board Certified Urologist or other medical professional with appropriate expertise and training