How To Talk To Your Doctor About Low Testosterone
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If you are feeling permanently tired, possibly depressed, have little interest in sex or simply find it hard to get and maintain an erection, there is a possibility ( especially if you are aged 40 or over) that you could be suffering the effects of reduced testosterone levels.
At its peak in our 20’s, from the age of 30 our natural testosterone production reduces by around 1% a year.. as we pass through our 40’s, into our 50’s and beyond, the levels of this essential hormone can become lower than is recognised as being normal and acceptable..
Studies suggest that between 10 and 25% of the male population could be suffering from low testosterone, with around 66% experiencing some form of symptom or side effect
The fact is that in most cases these symptoms can be treated… the problem is that many men simply do not ask about it..
Karen Herbsy MD – an endocrinologist based at the University of California in San Diego believes that if more men talked about it with their doctors, so many of them could go back to leading regular, fulfilling lives.
Dr Herbst does believe however that a man should not be given a testosterone test until he has satisfied the doctor that he actually has symptoms that can be accredited to low testosterone..
Symptoms of Low Testosterone can develop rather slowly, unlike in women who as they reach menopause can find their levels of estrogen dropping dramatically, a man going through the andropause will experience a slow and steady reduction in testosterone production, in some men the effects ( reduced muscle mass, libido, and moods) are so slow and gradual that the man himself hardly notices any effects.
Testosterone replacement therapy can certainly help reduce the effects, for many men the primary problem being reduced libido and/or erectile dysfunction… the problem is that many men find it difficult, or are simple unable or unwilling to talk to their doctor about these issues..
Talking To Your Doctor
There is no pre set or magic way to discuss these problems.. if you think that you have low testosterone, there are several ways that you can start the conversation..
The guidelines recommend that you simply tell the doctor exactly how you feel….
If you are experiencing from a lack of energy or reduced concentration, you can start off by saying something like
“I’ve been feeling out of sorts – not been myself for a while…. I find myself feeling really sleepy all the time and I cannot concentrate…. I get plenty of sleep, but just feel like i have no energy…. Do you think that i could be suffering with low testosterone???
If you have lost interest in sex or have problems with erections, you could start of by saying something like
“ I know that i am not a young man any more, but I am worried that I do not seem to have any or much sex drive anymore.. I simply don’t feel interested anymore and i know for sure that it bothers my wife…. When we do try and have sex, i find it difficult to get and keep an erection… I do find it hard to talk about, but I want to make sure that its nothing serious… Could it be low testosterone???
If you feel that you are becoming depressed… try starting off with
“ My family think I am depressed, i can be extremely irritable and moody… I feel tired all the time, i have no energy and i have lost all interest in things I used to love doing…Could this be caused by Low Testosterone??
Other Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Do my symptoms indicate the possibility of reduced testosterone, or are there any other problems that cause similar effects ?
- What benefits could testosterone supplements give me?
- Are there any risks to testosterone therapy?
- How long would the treatment last for?
- Could I make any changes to my lifestyle, diet or exercise regime that would help?
Speaking to your doctor is essential… do not ignore the problem, it will not go away and can have a real impact on your overall enjoyment of life…
If you have low testosterone levels, its usually relatively easy to address… we hope these few guidelines will help you make the first steps to recovering some of those youthful feelings and experiences that you are no doubt missing…
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR –
I am 59 years old, I currently live in London. I have one married daughter aged 33
I have always had a passion for fitness, In my younger days I was a keen swimmer and competed at county level both at home and abroad. I am also a keen squash and tennis player and have always been a keen gym goer.
I have a CPD accreditation in Sports Nutrition and am a published author with my articles featuring in some popular publications.
Over the past 13 years I have studied the effects of testosterone both in the younger man and as we get older, the effects of low or reduced testosterone and how increasing its production can really improve your health.
On a personal level, a number of years ago, I was diagnosed with Low-T myself, and my own in-depth research has helped me to redress my own health concerns.