The Lowdown on Low T
Luckily for the millions of men who suffer from it, you can’t usually spot someone with Low T just by looking at them. But dark circles under the eyes may hint at difficulty sleeping. An expanding waistline might be a giveaway. A lack of interest in sex might leave your wife scratching her head – and leave you wondering how to get back to a better place.
While your gym partner, colleagues or family might not recognize the symptoms, the professionals at Better Life Carolinas know a hormone imbalance when they see it.
At Better Life Carolinas, we don’t diagnose low testosterone with a blood test alone. Some of our patients’ hormone levels may be considered “normal” by other physicians, but there’s nothing normal about the way they’re feeling.
That’s why our staff is trained to take a comprehensive, whole-patient approach, instead of merely analyzing the number of nanograms per deciliter that a blood test reveals. While other doctors ignore symptoms if testosterone levels are between 300ng/dL and 800ng/dL, we believe that levels below 600ng/dL, coupled with Low T symptoms, are worth investigating.
Once low testosterone has been diagnosed, you’ll likely add a number of questions to your growing list of frustrating symptoms. What exactly causes Low T? When is treatment necessary? And most importantly, is it possible to feel like yourself again?
The Problem with Low Testoterone Levels
As we get older, “normal aging decline” occurs, a process that typically includes a decrease in testosterone. Although Low T can strike at any age, most men experience a 1-3% decrease per year after their 35th birthday. But that doesn’t mean post-40 patients are doomed to suffer from low libido, stubborn flab and mood swings.
Nutrition also plays a role in low testosterone. A poor diet and high intake of hormone-rich foods, such as dairy and meats, can negatively impact testosterone levels. A sedentary lifestyle, obesity and history of smoking or drug abuse are also thought to contribute to low T levels.
Injuries & Illness
Men with a history of concussions or brain trauma are more likely to suffer from Low T, as are men who have sustained injury to their testicles. Diseases such as diabetes, HIV and cancer are also linked to hormone imbalances. Treatments, like chemotherapy and radiation, as well as certain opioid pain medications, antidepressants and steroids can also cause testosterone levels to drop.
Low testosterone can have a number of causes, but when you’re suffering from exhaustion, weight gain and decreased sex drive, the solution to the problem seems much more important than what triggered it.
For most men, hormone replacement works wonders. The experienced, compassionate staff at Better Life Carolinas understands that increasing testosterone levels not only restores sexual function, but improves cognition and focus and helps protect the heart and prostate. If you’re feeling like half the man you once were, hormone replacement might be the solution to getting back to a better place.
Dr. Mickey Barber was CEO/CMO of Cenegenics Carolinas for ten years and founded Better Life, an Age Management and Wellness Center. She graduated from The College of Charleston, completed medical school at The Medical University of South Carolina, did her residency at Tulane University, and finished her fellowship at Harvard. She also was an assistant professor at Tulane University. Throughout her academic and private practice, she passionately pursued her interest in health, nutrition, exercise, and mind-body medicine. Further studies and certification in Age Management Medicine allow her to combine her unique interests and training to empower her patients to live vigorous, healthy lives at any age. In November 2012, Dr. Barber was awarded the top honor in her field and presented with the Alan P. Mintz Award for Clinical Excellence in Age Management Medicine.