The answer depends on your symptoms and general health. If you experience unusual fatigue, a low sex drive or impotence (erectile dysfunction), hair loss, or depression, you should ask your doctor about getting tested for low T. Simple blood tests will inform your doctor of your testosterone levels and can help diagnose low T.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can raise testosterone levels and eliminate symptoms. Because of some possible side effects, HRT is not appropriate for everyone. Men with prostate cancer should not have HRT as it can cause prostate growth or make prostate cancer worse. If you and your doctor decide that treatment is a good option for you, you can expect any symptoms of low T to diminish or disappear.
In addition to the effects of low T that you experience every day, there are some serious long-term effects if it is not treated. Decreased red blood cell counts due to low T can contribute to cardiovascular disease. Bone density can suffer when testosterone levels are low, causing osteoporosis. Some men experience depression as a result of low T, a condition with ripple effects throughout the patient’s life that is often difficult to overcome.
Hormone replacement therapy can treat both the short term and long-term symptoms of low T. If you are experiencing some of the symptoms listed here, a men’s health specialist can help. Once you determine that you have low T, your doctor will discuss treatment options for HRT and any possible side effects.
Dr. Richard Natale is a board-certified urologist at Carolina Urology. If you suspect you have low T, call (704) 786-5131 with your questions or for your consultation today. We have offices in Concord or Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s a good idea for all men to schedule an appointment with a urologist at some point as they age, but especially so if you notice signs that testosterone levels aren’t what they should be.