For men as they age, low testosterone becomes something of a concern. While it’s true that testosterone production naturally starts to decrease in a man in his late 30s to early 40s, the symptoms of low testosterone aren’t very specific.
“There can be very vague symptoms. Low energy, maybe sex drive isn’t as good, mood might be altered, concentration, work performance not as good,” according to Dr. Jared Bieniek from the Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute.
Yes, there are other issues that can cause these types of symptoms – for example, work or family stress, or financial issues – men often don’t realize that low testosterone can also be a contributing factor.
“That’s one of the biggest things I find is men will come in, maybe they’ve been found to have a low or borderline testosterone level, but there may be other issues going on in their life,” said Dr. Bieniek.
The good news is that, in many cases of actual low testosterone, the first way to deal with it can be done by the patient himself.
“Studies have shown if we can get men to exercise more regularly, get to a healthier weight, they can improve their testosterone. And so it’s more than just giving medications. It’s getting them into weight loss specialists in those cases.”
In other words, jumping to testosterone replacement right off the bat is not a good approach for most men. In fact, jump right to testosterone replacement and the body becomes less less inclined to produce the hormone independently.
“Testosterone replacement isn’t something that we enter into lightly,” he said. “It’s going to decrease a man’s testosterone production in the testicles.”
Dr. Bieniek also cautions his patients to beware of promises of quick fixes such as those advertised on TV and the Internet.
“We’ve heard all the radio, TV. We’ve seen all the internet ads for boosting testosterone, and most of the supplements don’t actually boost testosterone levels significantly. And so it’s, some of them may or may not contain other ingredients which aren’t listed.”
Get the real scoop on low testosterone and treatments for it from the Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute here.