Some men have a lower-than-normal testosterone level without signs or symptoms. For others, low testosterone may cause:
- Changes in sexual function. This may include reduced sexual desire, fewer spontaneous erections - such as during sleep - and infertility.
- Changes in sleep patterns. Sometimes low testosterone causes insomnia or other sleep disturbances.
- Physical changes. Various physical changes are possible, including increased body fat, reduced muscle bulk and strength, and decreased bone density. Swollen or tender breasts and hair loss are likely. You may experience hot flashes and have less energy than you used to.
- Emotional changes. Low testosterone may contribute to a decrease in motivation or self-confidence. You may feel sad or depressed or have trouble concentrating or remembering things.
It's important to note that some of these signs and symptoms are a normal part of aging. Others can be caused by various underlying factors, including medication side effects, thyroid problems, depression, and excessive alcohol use. A blood test is the only way to diagnose a low testosterone level.
He didn't feel right - "just lethargy, feeling run-down, not sleeping well."
Smith, a former vice and narcotics officer in Colorado Springs, had hit 280 pounds before getting weight-loss help at Omaha's Preventative Medical Clinic of Kohll's. A thinner Smith returned to the clinic, described his symptoms, and got a blood test, which showed he had low levels of testosterone.
The levels were low enough; he said, "that we decided to try the hormone replacement therapy."
That was in the spring of 2010. He started weekly, self-administered injections in his shoulder muscle soon afterward.
The effects weren't immediate.
"It's a gradual thing," Smith said. "By the third or fourth week, I actually felt something is really helping here. I certainly felt like I was sleeping better and waking up with more energy.
"There was probably a little less libido at the start of it," he said. "I guess I would say that that's turned around."
Testosterone is a hormone that helps maintain bone density, muscle strength, red blood cells, sperm production, and sex drive. Doctors say the level in men starts to decline around age 30. "Despite that," said Dr. Brian Boerner, an Omaha endocrinologist, "most men will maintain normal testosterone levels even late in life."
Testosterone replacement therapy "has really been hitting the medical mainstream over the last year," said Sara Legleiter, a nurse practitioner at the Preventative Medical Clinic. (You may have noticed the clinic's "Low T" ads in this newspaper.) The clinic has treated well over 200 men in that time, she said.
The men who seek treatment, Legleiter said, complain of low energy, fatigue, problems concentrating and reduced libido. Some note that they have been working out at the gym but seem to lose muscle mass. "They really don't like that," she said.
The men's blood work will show whether they have low testosterone levels, Legleiter said. After treatment begins, the men must come in every three months to have their levels checked.
Boerner said fatigue, muscle weakness, loss of muscle mass, depression, and poor concentration might not necessarily indicate low testosterone. The more specific symptoms, he said, are decreased libido, erectile dysfunction and bone fracture from minor trauma. If they have such symptoms, he said, they should have a thorough medical evaluation before any low-testosterone diagnosis or treatment.
Health professionals need to determine the patient's motivation for seeking treatment, said Dr. Brad Anawalt, an endocrinologist and a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. "Are you trying to recuperate a lost youth or some notion that you had that you're suddenly going to be wildly successful in the romance department? If that's your motivation, it's very unlikely that this is a testosterone-related problem."
Anawalt, who addressed the issue at a recent Endocrine Society meeting in New York City, said doctors or nurse practitioners should ask men whether they have lost all interest in sex. Also, he said, "if you're somebody who has low-trauma fractures, that greatly increases your chance that you're a man with low testosterone."
Omahan Jason Bair, a 36-year-old soccer player who said he works out most days of the week, had been taking prohormones - legal supplements that increase muscle size and strength. After he stopped a cycle of those, he said, he felt he wasn't "bouncing back the way I should," mentally and physically.
Bair said tests at the Preventative Medical Clinic showed that he was "somewhat low" on his total testosterone number. "They prescribed me a low dosage of cream to basically just rub on your shoulders to help bounce back." He uses the transdermal testosterone cream once a day.
He said he has noticed "a rise in libido, just mental, thinking, awareness, energy."
The Endocrine Society says testosterone therapy is not recommended for people with breast or prostate cancer; men at high risk of prostate cancer; people with a concentration of red blood cells in their blood above 50 percent; those with untreated severe obstructive sleep apnea, severe lower urinary tract symptoms, or uncontrolled or poorly controlled heart failure; or those desiring fertility.
Anawalt said that experts "don't have a good handle on the safety of long-term testosterone therapy," but that standard replacement dosages don't appear to cause any significant side effects.
"You can see acne in younger men. In older men, you unmask an underlying tendency to balding. It causes your own genetic predisposition to be uncovered."
For some men, Anawalt said, "if they start eating more healthfully and start exercising regularly, you'll see their testosterone levels rise. There's a significant number of men who are just obese and out of shape, and their testosterone levels are low because of that."
Contact Us Now
- Testosterone levels seen prior to birth in fetus' fingers, jawline - September 16th, 2019
- New Study Finds That Testosterone Does Not Increase Cardiovascular Risk - September 2nd, 2019
- Baby Boomers find “The Fountain of Youth” in Testosterone - September 2nd, 2019
- Dr. Richard Bebb - Testosterone, Diabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome - Video - August 21st, 2019
- Declining Testosterone Levels in Men Not Part of Normal Aging - August 12th, 2019
- Low testosterone levels may affect man's sex drive and affect his intimate relationships - August 11th, 2019
- TEFINA: Nasal Spray That Can Increase Female Orgasms - Video - August 10th, 2019
- Quick Weight Loss Tips and Diet Recommendations for HRT - August 10th, 2019
- Testosterone and Alcohol: Your Health and the Holiday Season - August 9th, 2019
- Testosterone builds muscle but has risks - August 4th, 2019
- Testosterone not always to blame - Sat, 04 Aug 2012 PST - August 4th, 2019
- Testosterone, the Power Hormone - August 1st, 2019
- Behavior and Lifestyle Linked to the Effect of Declining Testosterone, Not Necessarily Natural Aging - July 31st, 2019
- BUSTED: Myths About Testosterone And Its Link To Sexual Desire In Men And Women - July 28th, 2019
- Testosterone shown to help sexually frustrated women 0 - July 20th, 2019
- Green tea could mask testosterone doping - July 14th, 2019
- Some experts say testosterone decline is a normal part of aging in men - July 14th, 2019
- The Secret to Guys’ Sex Appeal: Low Stress, High Testosterone, Strong Immunity - July 7th, 2019
- Is testosterone the new drug of choice on Wall Street? How traders are using male hormone booster shots to maintain a ... - July 4th, 2019
- The Effects of Parenthood Upon Testosterone Levels - April 22nd, 2019
- Testicular Cancer Survivors are at Risk for Low Testosterone - April 21st, 2019
- Amygdala and it's Relationship to Testosterone and Fear - April 19th, 2019
- Testosterone Does Not Cause Atherosclerosis (Hardening of the Arteries) in Older Men - April 19th, 2019
- Increased Testosterone DOES NOT Cause Prostate Cancer to Spread - April 19th, 2019
- Testosterone Cypionate and Testosterone Enanthate: The Real Facts - April 19th, 2019
- A Surprising Side Effect of Methadone Treatment: Suppressed Testosterone - April 19th, 2019
- Low T - My life was falling apart because I had low testosterone - April 16th, 2019
- Testosterone Replacement Beneficial for Modern Men? - April 2nd, 2019
- What Is Testosterone AndroGel - April 2nd, 2019
- How long does it take for Testosterone replacement treatments and therapy to work? - April 2nd, 2019
- The Testosterone Industry Globally is Booming - April 1st, 2019
- Five Benefits of Testosterone That You Need to Know - March 31st, 2019
- Testosterone Nasal Gel: A New Form of Testosterone Replacement Therapy - March 17th, 2019
- Testosterone: Should You Take it to Regain Your Libido and Youthful Energy? - March 17th, 2019
- Manhood Washed Away: You Could Unknowingly be Annihilating Your Testosterone - March 17th, 2019
- New Research Proves Testosterone Replacement Therapy is Safe for the Heart - March 17th, 2019
- Skinny Bartender with Low Testosterone Becomes a Ripped Bodybuilder - March 16th, 2019
- Five Facts About Testosterone (That Maybe You Didn't Know) - March 16th, 2019
- Testosterone's Surprising Link to Men's 'Love Hormone' Oxytocin - March 16th, 2019
- More Sex: A Better Way to Boost Your Testosterone Levels - March 15th, 2019
- Testosterone Replacement Therapy Boosts Aerobic Capacity - March 15th, 2019
- Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) Reduces the Risk of Serious Adverse Health Consequences! - March 15th, 2019
- Eleven Foods that Can Drain Your Libido - September 6th, 2018
- Some Animal Research Suggests that High Testosterone May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk - September 6th, 2018
- The Truth Behind Common Male Sex Myths - August 27th, 2018
- Physiology of Testosterone - August 26th, 2018
- Testosterone Injections for Low-T and Andropause - August 26th, 2018
- Testosterone Therapy Allows Man to Have the Body That He Was Meant to Have - August 26th, 2018
- Could Civilization Have Been Formed as a Result of Declining Testosterone Levels in Males? - August 26th, 2018
- Testosterone and Aggression: How T-Levels Impact Human Response to External, Social Threats - August 21st, 2018
- Testosterone Deficiency Strongly Linked to Heart Attack Risk in New Study - August 19th, 2018
- Testosterone and Geriatric Frailty - August 18th, 2018
- Seven Types of Drugs That Can Inhibit Sex Drive and Libido - August 18th, 2018
- Low-T and Your Health - August 17th, 2018
- How to Build Muscle Quickly by Boosting Testosterone Levels - August 9th, 2018
- Andropause: Age-Associated Testosterone Decline - August 5th, 2018
- High-Dose Testosterone Injections May Be a Viable Palliative Late-Stage Prostate Cancer Treatment - August 5th, 2018
- Fortesta Brand Testosterone Therapy - August 3rd, 2018
- Testosterone Therapy and Androgen Deficiency Guide - August 2nd, 2018
- Testosterone Creams for Low Testosterone Treatment and Andropause - August 1st, 2018
- Testosterone, Anxiety, and Depression - July 9th, 2018
- Oral Testosterone Pill Could Make Lipocine's Share Price SKYROCKET - March 18th, 2017
- What is Testosterone? What does Testosterone do? Find on - August 9th, 2016
- The Truth About Testosterone | The Dr. Oz Show - June 9th, 2016
- How Men Work | HowStuffWorks - May 28th, 2016
- 6 Ways to Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally - wikiHow - May 4th, 2016
- Testosterone: Common Questions | Testosterone Test: Total ... - May 4th, 2016
- Adrenalast Testosterone Booster | Boost Muscle Sexual ... - April 6th, 2016
- How to Lower Testosterone in Women | eHow - February 8th, 2016
- Testosterone Booster Reviews - Consumers Guides - February 8th, 2016
- A Harvard expert shares his thoughts on testosterone ... - February 8th, 2016
- Does Andro 400 Work; does it increase testosterone? - February 8th, 2016
- All About Testosterone! - Bodybuilding.com - February 8th, 2016
- 5 Natural Testosterone Boosters - Healthline - November 2nd, 2015
- Testosterone - Low-T and Androgen Replacement Therapy - November 2nd, 2015
- Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels ... - October 17th, 2015
- Testosterone nasal gel works best at three doses a day, study finds - October 4th, 2015
- Testosterone: The Test | Testosterone Test: Total ... - October 1st, 2015
- Testosterone: A Major Breakthrough for Menopausal Women - October 1st, 2015
- Testosterone (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - October 1st, 2015
Word Count: 950