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Talking to Your Doctor about Low Testosterone

Talking to Your Doctor about Low Testosterone

By Mike Kocsis | 7 minutes read | Last updated: May 7, 2024
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  • Medically Reviewed by Dr. George Touliatos

    Evidence Based Research

    Testosterone is an essential hormone required to live a normal, healthy life. Testosterone deficiency can negatively affect your mental, physical, and emotional health.

    Different factors such as age, weight, diet, and health conditions can contribute to low testosterone. According to a survey, 40% of men who are 40 or above suffer from low testosterone. Another study shows that 30% of obese men develop low testosterone.

    If you, too, are suffering from this health issue, you might be planning to visit your doctor in the near future. Here is a simple guide that’ll help you make the most of your doctor visit.

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    Testosterone – The primary male sex hormone

    Testosterone is an important hormone found in humans. Some other animal species also produce it.

    Both men and women produce it. However, men make it in higher concentration than women. Testosterone is involved in different functions in the body, such as regulating fertility, improving bone health, and promoting the production of red blood cells.

    The levels of testosterone in a man change throughout his life. They even change throughout the day. Experts believe that men have the highest testosterone levels in the morning and the lowest in the evening.

    Testosterone is produced by the testes in men, while in women, it is produced by the ovaries. The brain controls the production of testosterone. It sends signals to the pituitary gland, present underneath the brain. The pituitary reads the message and sends signals to testes to begin testosterone production. It creates a “feedback loop” which controls testosterone levels in the blood. Any disturbance in this loop can either increase or decrease blood testosterone levels.

    What roles does testosterone play?

    Testosterone plays a variety of roles in both men and women. It works with estrogen (primary sex hormone in females) to regulate different functions in women.

    Here are the primary roles that testosterone plays.

    Why do I have a low sex drive and lack of energy?

    Your body will be able to execute testosterone-related functions properly as long as it produces a normal amount of testosterone. But if there is any increase or decrease in normal testosterone levels, it may fail to perform different tasks.

    If your body does not make enough testosterone, you may have a condition called low T or testosterone deficiency syndrome. Men suffering from low T experience different symptoms, including low sex drive and lack of energy.

    More symptoms of low T include:

    If you have low T, you will not experience all of these symptoms but only a few of them. Different men experience different symptoms. No matter what the symptoms are, they can have an impact on your sex life, social life, and work life.

    How can I find out if I have low T or not?

    If you experience any of these symptoms, it does not confirm that you have low T. There can be some other underlying causes of your symptoms. Therefore, it is important to first find out the cause through authentic means and then look for suitable solutions.

    You should visit your doctor and share your concerns with professional help. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, and he may have a physical examination. If the physical examination indicates that you may have low T, then he will recommend you have a testosterone test.

    A testosterone test is like a simple blood test. You will have to give your blood sample, and then your total testosterone level will be detected in the blood. A blood sample for this test is usually taken in the morning because it is when you have the highest testosterone levels.

    Your doctor may ask you to have two testosterone tests because the concentration of this hormone changes throughout the day. It would be better to have it checked twice before drawing any conclusion.

    If both of your testosterone tests show that your testosterone level is below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL), it means you have low T.

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    Make the most of your visit to the doctor

    When you notice low T symptoms and believe that you have a deficiency, you should consult a qualified professional to get the best possible solution. If you plan to visit your doctor to talk about low T, you may be confused and not know how to prepare yourself for a visit.

    Worry not, we have got your back! We have designed the following step-by-step guide to help you make the most of your visit to a doctor.

    1.     Make a journal

    To make sure you do not miss anything, it is best to make a journal and write about everything that concerns you.

    Do you think your sex life is suffering and your partner is not satisfied anymore? Write about it in the journal.

    Do you think you have a hard time concentrating and recalling good old times? Mention this issue in your journal.

    Or you may be concerned about your body weight and increase in breast tissue mass? Write about it, too.

    Sharing your mind and thoughts with your doctor will help you feel better, and your doctor will also find it easier to detect the issue.

    2.     Be honest and open

    Do not get shy when talking to your doctor about health issues. If you want to be treated as early as possible, you will have to be open and honest.

    Share your medical history with the doctor. Tell him if more people in your family are having the same issue. If you had surgery in the past, inform your doctor about it because brain and prostate surgeries can lead to conditions like low T.

    If you are taking certain medications and narcotics, you should tell your doctor the name of each medicine because medications can also contribute to low testosterone. Discuss your daily routine and eating habits as well because it will also help diagnose the problem.

    3.     Talk about testosterone replacement therapy

    If your test shows that your testosterone level is low, then your doctor may recommend testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). It is a beneficial treatment that has helped many men to restore their testosterone levels.

    It involves the administration of testosterone derivatives or synthetic testosterone to the body.

    4.     Discuss the risks and benefits

    Testosterone replacement therapy has its pros and cons that you must discuss with your doctor to find whether it is suitable for you or not.

    Its benefits include:

    In contrast, general side effects of testosterone replacement therapy may be:

    • Swelling of legs and hands
    • Increase in the breast size
    • Shrinkage of testicles
    • Low sperm count
    • Acne

    5.     Ask for alternative treatment options as well

    People diagnosed with low T are often first asked to bring healthy changes to their lifestyles, such as reducing alcohol intake, doing exercise regularly, getting enough sleep every day, eating a balanced diet, and increasing testosterone through natural food sources.

    If these solutions do not work for you, your doctor will recommend you have testosterone replacement therapy to recover your testosterone levels.

    6.     Choose the suitable treatment option

    If your doctor has decided that testosterone replacement therapy is the right solution for you, you will have to decide which method of testosterone administration to choose. There are different ways of taking testosterone, including:

    • Injections
    • Pills
    • Gels
    • Skin patches

    If you choose injections, you will have to get your dose once or twice every month. If you choose gels or skin patches, you will be asked to apply them once a day.

    Once you start this treatment, you will have to visit your doctor often to ensure you have normal testosterone levels and no serious side effects. Your doctor can ask you to have blood tests and rectal exams during these visits.

    Restoring testosterone levels through treatments like TRT can help you improve your mental and physical health. Reach out to a professional TRT therapist today to get the best solution and live a healthy life like before.

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    Summary/Scientific Studies/Further Reading/References

    Traish, A.M., 2018. Benefits and health implications of testosterone therapy in men with testosterone deficiency. Sexual medicine reviews6(1), pp.86-105.

    Tyagi, V., Scordo, M., Yoon, R.S., Liporace, F.A. and Greene, L.W., 2017. Revisiting the role of testosterone: Are we missing something?. Reviews in urology19(1), p.16.

    Köhn, F.M., 2006. Testosterone and body functions. The aging male9(4), pp.183-188.

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    Evidence Based Research

    This article has been researched and written based on scientific evidence and fact sheets that have then been crossed checked by our team of doctors and subject matter experts.

    References, sources and studies used alongside our own in-house research have been cited below, most of which contain external clickable links to reviewed scientific paper that contain date stamped evidence.

    Our team of healthcare experts and GMC registered doctors are licensed to UK GMC standards. We strive to provide you with the latest evidence based, researched articles that are unbiased, honest and provide you with accurate insights, statistics and helpful information on the discussed topic to ensure you gain a better understanding of the subject. You can read more about our Editorial Process by clicking here.

    We value your feedback on our articles, if you have a well-researched paper you would like to share with us please contact us.

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    You may have low testosterone depending on the symptoms you have, please contact us to find out how we can help.

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    You must be over 38, have had your ovaries removed or have suffered with premature menopause to warrant further hormone tests.

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    Further investigation needed

    Please contact us to discuss your hormones, we need your total testosterone levels to validate your hormone deficiency. You can order a blood test here.

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    Low Testosterone Levels

    You may have low testosterone depending on the symptoms you have, please contact us to find out how we can help.

    Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

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    About the Author: Mike Kocsis

    Mike KocsisMike Kocsis has an MBA with a focus on healthcare administration and is an entrepreneur and medical case manager for Balance My Hormones Ltd which offers medical services in the UK and Europe. Mike has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare sector, much of that working with people who have hormone imbalances. Mike has appeared on podcasts and radio and is an expert speaker on the subject of hormone imbalance. He specialises in Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and has helped thousands of people suffering from hormone imbalances recover and regain control of their lives. You can follow him on LinkedIn and on the Balance My Hormones YouTube Channel.

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    Last update: May 7th, 2024
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