If you’re a middle-aged man like me, I’ll bet you’ve noticed the television ads for testosterone replacement drugs. They ask if you are suffering from “Low T”?, if you have you lost your libido, suffered weight gain, are just not feeling like yourself anymore? Nobody ever thinks of themselves as that guy, but a lot of men could have this problem. I actually had many of the classic symptoms of low testosterone (reduced sex libido or sexual drive, insomnia, a general feeling of anxiety, irritability, increased blood pressure, and weight gain) but like a lot of other men I ignored them for a long time. It was only after my wife brought to my attention how bad things were between us that I became concerned enough to start really investigating if there could be something emotionally or physically wrong with me.
It was only a few weeks until my annual physical and when my doctor asked me if there were any other concerns I brought it up. At my age (42 years old) he didn’t think it was likely, solely based on my physical appearance because I’m in pretty good physical shape. I did convince him to have my testosterone level checked however. It’s always important to be persistent with your doctor if you have a serious concern. The test isn’t expensive, so don’t let them talk you out of it. A couple of days later when I got my results back, my concerns were vindicated. My level was less than 250 ng/gl. Anything under 300 ng/gl is abnormal at any age, so there was my first red flag.
My doctor wanted to wait a few months and test again, but again I was persistent and told him I wanted a referral to a specialist or I’d find one myself. I wasn’t going to wait. The next step would be an endocrinologist, a physician specializing in all hormones. I made the next available appointment, which was more than 6 weeks away. It was a long time waiting, but worth it. Once I got in to see the specialist, we talked about my symptoms, and he gave me a physical exam. One thing they check for is testicular cancer, which could be a cause. Luckily, that wasn’t the case for me so we scheduled a follow-up test to check my testosterone levels again along with several other hormone tests to rule out other possible causes. That time my testosterone level was barely 200 ng/gl. Things had actually gotten worse.
After that I spent a few sleepless nights worrying, because the other likely cause he told me was a pituitary gland tumor. That would mean a likely chance for surgery to correct it. The surgery is endoscopic and done through the nasal cavity. It has a relatively short recovery, only about 2 weeks, but still it wasn’t something I was looking forward to. If left untreated, even though the tumors are usually not cancerous, they can grow to cause headaches or even put pressure on the optic nerve and cause vision issues. Not something I was willing to chance.
My doctor scheduled an MRI to check for the pituitary tumor right away. I had a few tense days waiting for the results, but they came back negative. That was a real sigh of relief. My “T” levels could be linked to my Type 2 diabetes, which I’ve had for about a decade, or stress or other factors. After discussions with my doctor, we decided I’d do replacement therapy in the form of a gel applied daily. My other options included a patch or injections, but the gel seemed easy and with quick results. The testosterone replacement isn’t simply about my sexuality however. Besides improving my mood and increasing my ability to lose weight, it could also greatly reduce my chances for osteoporosis in the future as well. I’ve also heard it can improve respiratory function and insulin resistance, and maybe even reduce my cholesterol, all of which could really improve my life a lot down the road.
I’m not sure why the testosterone level isn’t part of the basic physical for men along with cholesterol, blood glucose levels and liver tests, but it isn’t. So, if you think there’s a chance you might have a problem, ask your doctor to be tested. Remember, your testosterone level has more impact on your health than just your sexuality. If you’ve got concerns, get yourself tested, just in case you are that guy. It turns out that I was, and after only a few weeks of treatment I’m feeling like a new man. Not like a superhero, but the transformation is definitely noticeable. I sometimes wonder now what direction my health and marriage might have gone it I hadn’t gotten treatment. I hope you don’t make that mistake. You don’t have to be that guy.
Look at your diet. Many people are eating a lot of soy that they don’t even know it. Soy is in most of our prepossessed foods. Soy has estrogen and could be causing this problem with in men. Soy also has Leptin, Leptin is being linked to Type II and many other things.
Ditto here… My wife was hitting her sexual peak and I was crying to Hallmark commercials. HUGE relationship problems.
After talking my Dr into T tests (he wanted me to try depression Rx first) we found out that I was also low. Did the MRI (neg) and started the cream.
Did not like the cream because I had to wear a t-shirt to bed or potentially the testrostrone could rub off on to her in the night so I switched to the shots in the arse.
One side effect (or is it affect?) is that had a huge “roid rage” episode where I seriously yelled at my wife and punched a hole in the wall over a minor issue where, in the end, I was in the wrong. Have you had similar effects?
I too was diagnosed with low T. I started off taking the injection once every 3 weeks, but I had trouble with it. Doc told me the T level would “peak and valley”, levels being the highest a short time after injection and falling off as the body metabolised the T.
My body used the T quickly, and when my levels would fall my attitude would sour, leading to more than one argument over very minor things. In my case the “roid rage” you mention was due to my levels dropping caused by the peaks and valleys of the injection cycle.
We tried doing smaller injections closer together, but ultimately the fix for me was a daily gel. This keeps my levels up and works well.
One last thing, not all the gels / creams are the same. The first one I was prescribed worked great, but was not preferred by my insurance. I had to try a few others before I found one that worked as well for me.
In the end I use one that is applied to the arm pits, in the morning, before I get dressed. So no t-shirt to bed required!