Look and feel your healthy best: A guide to diagnosing and treating testosterone deficiency or Low-T
Low T Guru in Frisco, Texas, is led by one of the world’s foremost authorities on male reproduction and male hormones, Dr. Jeffrey Buch. Accurate diagnostics inform treatment options to resolve distressing symptoms in the short term and to resolve the underlying condition responsible for such symptoms over the longer term.
For instance, you may suspect low testosterone is to blame for your lack of energy, libido, and other concerns. How to know you have “Low-T” for sure comes down to “more than a hunch”; it requires trusted expertise and experience, courtesy of our “guru,” Dr. Buch.
A hormone made by the testicles, testosterone serves many vital functions, from supporting the development of features such as facial hair to muscle strength and bone health. It also contributes to the production of sperm and a man’s sex drive. Testosterone levels fluctuate over a lifetime as needs change and with advancing age.
Consider how natural declines in this hormone occur at a pace of 1% annually after age 30. This medical condition arises when a man’s body cannot naturally increase low levels of testosterone. It is important for Dr. Buch and our team to differentiate between natural declines in testosterone that accompany aging and “true” testosterone deficiency or male hypogonadism that may require treatment with Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT).
Dr. Buch accounts for the “whole picture” when evaluating the root cause of symptoms and lagging levels of testosterone. Testing to assess the total blood testosterone level is generally considered the most prominent indicator of testosterone deficiencies. The results from this test and specific and non-specific symptoms of Low-T will be considered in making an accurate diagnosis.
Additionally, we will review your medical history, perform a brief physical exam and conduct other assessments to comprehensively understand the condition and function of various bodily systems and organs.
For example, prolactin and estradiol are usually found at low levels in men. These hormones have been associated with symptoms and conditions ranging from low testosterone and diminished libido to erectile dysfunction and fertility challenges. Failure to pinpoint other hormonal abnormalities can offset any benefits that may be achieved with other medications or supplements designed to boost testosterone.
Depending on what Dr. Buch finds following a comprehensive medical evaluation, we at Low T Guru may recommend testosterone therapy. Testosterone may be supplemented in many forms, from topical gels to intramuscular injections and subcutaneous testosterone pellets. Alternative therapies may be recommended for men with concerns over the effect of TRT on their fertility.
Frequently Asked Questions
I THINK I HAVE LOW-T. WHAT ARE THE COMMON SYMPTOMS?
Potential symptoms of Low-T that are often directly linked to this medical condition include:
- Lack of interest in sex
- ED (Erectile Dysfunction)
- Decreased hair growth
- Hair loss
- Decreased muscle mass
- Weak bones
- Chronic fatigue
- Weight gain
- Depressed mood
WHAT ARE “NON-SPECIFIC” SYMPTOMS OF TD?
The following signs differ from “specific” symptoms in that they may not be linked to Low-T. These symptoms include:
- Decreased energy
- Impaired endurance
- Decrease in physical strength
- Lack of concentration
- Poor work performance
- Cognitive decline
WHAT CAUSES LOW-T?
Numerous congenital and acquired conditions can cause testosterone deficiencies. These conditions range from certain cancers and tumors to autoimmune diseases, aging, obesity, and some medications.
HOW DO YOU TEST FOR TD?
Testosterone deficiency is a total testosterone level that falls under 300 ng/dl (nanograms per deciliter). Normally, testosterone levels span 300 and 1,000 ng/dl. Total testosterone is measured with a blood test. But, it is also important for the doctor diagnosing and treating low T to understand normal levels for your age. For instance, if you are 30 years old and your T level is 350 and normal for your age is 750, then your symptoms of low T qualify for TRT even though your level is not below 300.
WHAT ARE SOME OTHER TESTS FOR TD?
We may order additional blood tests to check the level of hormones like prolactin. High levels of prolactin may be indicative of pituitary gland problems or abnormalities. We can also check for the level of hormones like estradiol that can affect testosterone levels and cause TD symptoms.
WHAT ARE MY TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Testosterone replacement or testosterone therapy may be recommended after testing and a thorough evaluation. For those men who are done having children and whose fertility is not as much of an issue when choosing treatment options, Dr. Buch may suggest weekly intramuscular injections of testosterone. Others may feel more comfortable, and their schedules may better permit the application of subcutaneous testosterone pellets. These pellets only need to be placed two to four times per year.
Topical testosterone gels may be effective for you; however, many men do not absorb the testosterone well enough to continue this treatment.
For men and partners concerned about TRT’s significant negative effect on fertility, we may recommend “sperm friendly” alternatives like clomiphene, tamoxifen or letrozole pills which stimulate the testicles to produce more testosterone and sperm. We can discuss injectable therapies; for instance, hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin), indicated to treat male hypogonadism by triggering the body’s own production of testosterone and sperm with no significant side effects.
Still, other options address imbalances with other hormones, like estradiol. Anastrozole is sold under the brand name Arimidex® and may be prescribed to boost testosterone and decrease estrogen levels by blocking the enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen. Symptoms of elevated estrogen in men include gynecomastia (enlarged or swollen breast tissue) and water weight gain with facial puffiness.
GREAT! WHAT’S NEXT?
We are also happy to discuss any concerns you may have, including maintenance treatments and the cost of TRT. Our clinic’s services are competitively priced, and you benefit from the expertise of a leading authority in men’s health with more than 35 years of experience in male reproductive medicine. Additionally, depending on your unique situation, insurance may cover at least a portion of the total costs of TRT.