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Testosterone helps lift mood & overall well being, improves sex drive, erectile function, muscle tone & improved bone health, among other benefits. Pretty much a silver bullet for hypogonadism. Recent research also elevates testosterone therapy to counter metabolic ailments, even improve cardio-vascular health. Testing for low-T might even emerge as a preventive measure for Covid too, since quite a few studies have established low-T indicates severity of disease.
Does this mean it’s all cut & dried, just a matter of supplementing testosterone? Well, not quite. The process starts with a comprehensive blood test which looks at many parameters including serum testosterone levels, and this test is always done in the morning while serum testosterone levels are at their highest level. The test also might be repeated for accuracy.
Low-T by itself does not qualify for TRT therapy. Only men with symptoms of low-testosterone and confirming blood serum levels are candidates for TRT therapy.
Age – After 30 testosterone levels start tapering down.
Injury or infection (orchitis), chemotherapy, metabolic disorders, too much iron in the body, dysfunction or tumors of the pituitary gland, medications, hormones & steroids used, chronic illness, cirrhosis of the liver, chronic kidney problems, inflammation of lungs and other organs, obesity, alcohol abuse, Kallman syndrome – abnormality in the hypothalamus which master-minds many hormones, Klienefelter syndrome, too much of hormone prolactin production. Excessive estrogen, Aging, sleep apnea, pubertal delay, radiation exposure, brain surgery, primary hyperthyroidism.
Only a doctor can determine suitability of TRT therapy after eliminating all other underlying medical conditions.
Low Testosterone – Symptoms
Low-T can also cause the following:
An internationally used assessment tool called the ADAM Questionnaire is a good first step to ascertain if TRT therapy is right for you. It does not necessarily mean that one has low testosterone, or TRT therapy is warranted if the YES column is checked.
It is a good check-list to make the initial TRT doctor consult productive. A guide to ask questions and understand:
|Yes | No|
|1. Do you have a decrease in libido (sex drive)?|
|2. Do you have a lack of energy?|
|3. Do you have a decrease in strength and/or endurance?|
|4. Have you lost height?|
|5. Have you noticed a decreased “enjoyment of life”?|
|6. Are you sad and/or grumpy?|
|7. Are your erections less strong?|
|8. Have you noticed a recent deterioration in your ability to play sports?|
|9. Are you falling asleep after dinner?|
|10. Has there been a recent deterioration in your work performance?|