by Christine Farrell
Turn on any media these days and you will likely see an ad for “low T.” These ads will have you believe that they can fix all that ails you with their magic supplements, but the truth is; only true testosterone replacement can make a difference in your health and well-being.
What are the signs of “low T?” Most men associate a drop in testosterone with changes in libido or sexual function. The truth is that many men experience very low testosterone levels and yet can still have a normal libido. The first symptoms are typically fatigue and joint and muscle aches as well as a decrease in overall muscle mass. These are usually ignored as the typical signs of aging and aren’t treated. Depression and lack of passion for life is another common complaint and can actually affect a man’s job performance and overall feelings of productiveness and happiness. Some men will experience a change in sleep patterns and develop a lighter, more restless sleep or even insomnia. Other men will even have night sweats and the equivalent to hot flashes in females. Libido can definitely be affected, as can erectile function, but it isn’t the primary issue in many men.
Though testosterone depletion is typically due to aging, many younger men are experiencing “low t” due to the excessive stresses of modern society. As mentioned above, this leads to health issues and a decrease in general well-being.
Treatment is simple and effective. First, a consultation is needed to establish symptoms, history, etc. Next, laboratory testing is ordered to check actual levels of testosterone and the hormones that affect it. Many general practitioners will say that if a man’s testosterone levels are “in range” then he is fine. This is not the case and the range of normal is vast. Each patient should be treated based on symptoms, age and relative levels. Subdermal implants release continuous testosterone and last up to six months while being as close to natural hormone production as possible in their release. There are also topical forms that can be compounded specifically to meet the needs of each patient.
So, if the symptoms of “low T” are affecting your life, then it is time to make the right choice and seek treatment – for your health, happiness and well-being.
Christine Farrell MSN, FNP-C is a specialist in the area of hormonal imbalances in men and women and has been in practice in the area for over 17 years. She is an Associate Clinical Professor at University of California, Los Angeles and is also an alumnus of the University. Farrell belongs to the North American Menopause Society, The International Menopause Society, and the International Hormone Society. Her practice, Bio-Identical Wellness in Westlake Village, incorporates the use of bio-identical hormones, nutrition, supplements and lifestyle changes to promote wellness of both the physical and emotional aspects of health.