What is low testosterone (Low T)?
When a man has Low T, it means his testosterone is below normal levels. It’s natural for men to produce less testosterone as they age but it’s not natural for testosterone to fall below a certain level. When a man’s testosterone falls below a level of around 300 ng/dL, it’s generally considered to be low.
What causes low testosterone?
Low T can happen when there is a signaling problem between the brain and the testes that causes a drop in the amount of testosterone that is being produced. Also, if the brain feels that there is too much testosterone in the body, it can signal the testes to cut production. Another reason Low T can occur is that your body simply can’t produce enough testosterone due to a defect in the testes.
Low T may be due to a medical condition called hypogonadism. We at St. Elizabeth Urgent Care & Family Practice can tell if you have hypogonadism by giving you a medical exam to assess your signs and symptoms and then if necessary perform needed blood tests. We can also decide which treatment options such as testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can help to bring the testosterone levels back to normal.
St. Elizabeth Urgent Care & Family Practices also offers cash pay lab services to check for low testosterone. When your results from the lab are given a decision can then be made to schedule a physician appointment to correct any imbalance.
Other Causes of Low T
- Natural process of aging
- Infectious diseases
- Excess of blood iron
- Inflammatory diseases
- Chemo/radiation treatment
- Performance boosting drugs
- Pain or hormonal medication
Symptoms of Low T
- Run-down feeling
- Decreased energy
- Decreased mental quickness
- Decreased muscle tone
- Increase in body fat
- Mild to moderate irritability
- Low libido
A study reported in the Journal of Sexual Medicine (Vol. 10, Issue 2, 2013) sought to quantify the cost burden imposed by testosterone deficiency in men.
After examining six national databases, scientists estimated that testosterone deficiency was affecting 13.4 percent of men between the ages of 45 and 74. They also estimated that testosterone deficiency is involved in the development of approximately 1.3 million new cases of cardiovascular diseases, 1.1 million new cases of diabetes, and more than 600,000 osteoporosis-related fractures in the first year it is present.
Over a 20-year period, the researchers estimated that testosterone deficiency would be responsible for up to $525 billion in health-care expenditures in the United States.
As this study points out, the cost of not treating testosterone deficiency is severe; increases in diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis are all related to testosterone deficiency.
The most frequent complaint of a man with low testosterone is fatigue. Other complaints include irritability, low libido, poor brain function, and weight gain. Testosterone deficiency has been linked to the development of many chronic illnesses including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis for over 70 years.
Balancing a man’s testosterone levels can literally change his life in a short period of time. Patients have described the feeling as being like coming out of a deep sleep.