Testosterone – What You Should Know About Low T
Men’s testosterone levels often start to dip in middle age-and it can detrimentally affect their quality of life and overall health. Dr. Marc Benevides, one of 15 Board-Certified urologists at Associated Urologists of North Carolina, offers insight and hope.
WHAT QUALIFIES AS A LOW LEVEL OF TESTOSTERONE?
Anything below 300 nanograms per deciliter, which can be determined by a blood test. For patients on the borderline, I recommend re-testing every six months.
WHAT ARE SOME SIGNS OF LOW TESTOSTERONE?
Men with low testosterone frequently experience fatigue, poor mood, problems in the bedroom, or even depression. I often hear patients say they would go to the gym every day two years ago, but now they come home and sit on the couch. The main medical reason to address low testosterone is to improve bone health. Low testosterone is a common cause of osteoporosis, which increases the risk of fractures.
IS LOW TESTOSTERONE IN MEN SIMILAR TO LOW ESTROGEN IN WOMEN?
While symptoms can be similar, the decline in hormone production for men is a slower and more gradual process, rather than a well-defined period. Men with low testosterone also aren’t likely to experience the typical hot flashes associated with menopause.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
The most common treatment is a topical gel that is absorbed directly through the skin, but other options include testosterone shots, long-acting pellets, and patches. Testosterone pills are also available, which many men find more convenient and economical.
HOW CAN WOMEN HELP THE MEN IN THEIR LIVES WHO MAY BE SUFFERING FROM LOW TESTOSTERONE?
Low testosterone affects so many aspects of health other than low libido or erectile dysfunction. Support and encourage your partner to be proactive about changes in his health and visit a doctor.
WHY VISIT A UROLOGIST?
Excellent primary care physicians can handle common urological problems, but urologists are specialized in treating more complex issues, such as low testosterone. A trained urologist has the knowledge and experience to recommend the best treatment plan for each patient’s unique situation.