Low-T also referred to as low testosterone or male hypogonadism, is a condition in which the gonads (testicles) do not produce enough testosterone—the hormone responsible for bone growth and strength, libido (sex drive), sperm production, muscle size, and strength, and other crucial functions.
Low testosterone can occur during fetal development, before adolescence, or during adulthood. In adult men, low-T can cause erectile dysfunction, infertility, decreased libido, loss of bone mass (osteoporosis), among several other symptoms.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of low testosterone, it is in your best interest to see a urologist. Read on to learn about how a urologist can confirm a diagnosis and help reverse your condition.
Diagnosing Low Testosterone
To ascertain that your symptoms are indeed of low testosterone, your urologist will do a comprehensive evaluation. They will start with asking you about your symptoms, your medical and surgical history, and the medications you’re currently taking. Your urologist will also likely perform a digital exam to assess your prostate gland as well as order blood work to check your hormone levels. Additionally, they will also order a urinalysis and sperm count test.
If based on the results of the evaluation, your urologist finds out that you indeed have low testosterone, they may perform additional tests to pinpoint its cause, whether it is due to testicular disorder or a pituitary abnormality. The tests could be a combination of the following:
- Genetic studies
- Hormone testing
- Pituitary imaging
- Semen analysis
- Testicular biopsy
Treating Low Testosterone Levels
If your urologist determines that your condition is caused by a pituitary abnormality, they will likely refer you to a neurosurgeon or endocrinologist for appropriate intervention. If a testicular disorder is what’s causing your low testosterone levels, your urologist will prescribe the treatment suitable for the specific type of testicular disorder you have. If your low-T is not related to any of these conditions, your urologist will recommend either lifestyle changes or testosterone replacement therapy, or both.
1.) Lifestyle Recommendations
There are dietary and lifestyle changes that you can make to restore your testosterone levels naturally. These include the following:
- Regular exercise
- Attaining a healthy body weight
- Reducing stress levels
- Controlling blood pressure and blood glucose levels
- Avoiding alcohol intake
- Limiting intake of soy products and foods loaded with trans fats
- Eating testosterone-boosting foods (e.g., eggs, tuna, low-fat milk, fortified cereals, beans, etc.)
- Smoking cessation
2.) Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is the most common treatment for low-T. It combats the symptoms of hypogonadism by normalizing testosterone levels.
Your urologist will help you decide which of the following preparations is the most suitable for you:
- Skin patches (Androderm)
- Testosterone gels (AndroGel)
- Testopel (tiny pellets surgically placed under the skin every few months in the hip or buttocks area)
- Injections (either short- or long-acting)
However, it’s worth keeping in mind that TRT does have contraindications. Thus, if you have any of the following conditions or circumstances, you should tell your urologist:
- You currently have prostate cancer or a benign prostate nodule.
- You have elevated red blood cell counts.
- You have had a stroke or heart attack within the past six months.
- You plan on starting a family soon.
- You have a high risk for blood clots.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy in Mint Hill, Concord, and Charlotte, NC
At Carolina Urology Partners, our board-certified urologist, Dr. Richard Natale, is one of North Carolina’s leading men’s healthcare specialists, and he not only treats low testosterone but all other conditions that may accompany it, such as erectile dysfunction, ejaculation problems, and urinary problems. Dr. Natale has helped countless men in Mint Hill, Concord, and Charlotte not only reinvigorate their sex life but also improve their overall health, so you know you can count on him!
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Natale, please call us at (704) 786-5131. You can also use our appointment request form.