Hypogonadism or Low T:
Low Testosterone or Low T
The incidence of Low Testosterone (Low T) increases with age. A man’s testosterone blood level will normally begin to decrease starting in his 30s and continue to decrease 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 and never experience any of the symptoms of Low-T. Hypogonadism is a term which signifies low testosterone, aka Low-T
Common Male Midlife Symptoms
Whereas the symptoms and presentation of erectile dysfunction are obvious, those of low testosterone (hypogonadism) can include erectile dysfunction itself, decreased libido (sexual drive), decreased energy level, decreased sense of well-being, moodiness, decreased lean muscle mass and others.
Possible Causes for Low T
Conditions encountered in male midlife are most commonly caused by a combination of medications and other health conditions. The first contributing factor to Low-T would be the man’s increasing age. Other contributing factors include obesity, chronic opioid pain medication use, chronic inflammation, history of Mump orchitis, chemotherapy, etc.
Treatment Results for Low T
It is not realistic for a man to think that correcting his Low-T level will reverse his ED as typically it is caused by a collection of factors occurring simultaneously. Having said this, 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, decreased motivation, decreased libido all of which will likely help to some degree the erectile dysfunction.
Treating Low T prior to Treating ED
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 in the early a.m., 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 for safety. As long as the hematocrit is kept in check and the PSA is not increasing at a fast rate, 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.