Do I Have Low Testosterone?

Dr. Brandon Chastant, CEO and Medical Director of Grand Canyon Clinics, speaks frequently with male patients who exhibit symptoms of low testosterone (Low T). It is a diagnosis that has become more prevalent in recent years. “I’ve had more of my male patients being more open in talking with me about their symptoms – many of which have been pointing to Low T than in the past,” he said. “I think that is because it has become more ‘mainstream’ with the prevalence of television commercials and the fact that our male patients have educated themselves on the issues before they contact our clinic.”

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 An increase in the diagnosis of low testosterone has been driven by an aging male population, less stigma in talking with a Low T doctor and by men wanting to continue to have a vibrant sex life.

 Common symptoms of low testosterone or a drop in testosterone include:

  1. Lack of sex drive

  2. Feeling “weak”

  3. Depression

  4. Fatigue

  5. Reduced lean muscle mass

  6. Irritability

  7. Erectile Dysfunction

 To understand a drop in testosterone, it is helpful to understand what testosterone is:

 When a man hits age thirty, he may experience a gradual decline in his testosterone. A decline in his sex drive may also accompany this drop in testosterone. Many men may believe their loss of interest in sex is because they’re getting older, when in fact, it could be because of a drop in his testosterone.

 A drop in testosterone may not be the only culprit in the symptoms men face as they age. It could be due to other health issues in addition to aging. There are many symptoms of Low T that are mirrored by other health problems including: high blood pressure, coronary disease, depression and/or diabetes. Now that awareness of low testosterone has risen among the medical community, it is recognized as potentially the root of the problem.

 At Grand Canyon Clinics, we rule out other health issues before we blame low testosterone for lack of sex drive, depression or feeling weak. A blood test can determine a man’s testosterone levels.

 

How low is too low for your testosterone?

A normal total testosterone range is 300 nanograms per deciliter; the upper limit is 800 nanograms per deciliter. If there is a lower than typical score it could be caused by other health issues, not related to low testosterone, they include:

  1. Hormonal disorders

  2. An infection

  3. HIV/AIDS

  4. Chronic liver disease

  5. Chronic kidney disease

  6. Obesity

  7. Type 2 diabetes

  8. Certain medications

  9. Aging

 Dr. Chastant explains that even though a man may have a testosterone level of between 300 and 1,200, “It is a very wide range for ‘normal testosterone levels,’ but many men have all the Low T symptoms even when they are within this range.” He also says that, “Most doctors are not experts in testosterone related treatments because they do not specialize in it and don’t do continuing medical education in this field. If you think you’re suffering Low T, it’s important to find a doctor who focuses on this.”

 Even if a man isn’t suffering symptoms of Low T, getting a blood test to determine his testosterone range may be advised because Low T could lead to a drop in bone density.  

 Treatments for Low T include and most are currently available at Grand Canyon Clinics:

 Testosterone replacement therapy can be administered and prescribed in various forms and they include:

  • Compound creams. The testosterone will be absorbed directly through the skin. The gel is applied once daily.

  • Transdermal. A skin patch with testosterone that is applied to the arm or upper body once daily.

  • Injections. Testosterone can be injected daily, by the patient, at home. Your body will slowly absorb the testosterone into the bloodstream. Grand Canyon Clinics will be adding implants to its treatment options in the future.

Testosterone therapy requires medical follow up and further blood tests to assure the chosen therapy is boosting the patient’s testosterone. We will perform preliminary labs, unless a patient has had his T levels done with in the past six months elsewhere or if they are currently on testosterone and do follow up blood work to ensure effectiveness of the therapy. Dr. Chastant takes a holistic view and in addition to evaluating testosterone levels he evaluates all of his patient’s other hormones, blood sugars, cholesterol levels as a way to balance all aspects of his patient’s health.

 Call Grand Canyon Clinics today to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Chastant via an in office visit or via Telemedicine if you’re in Arizona or California.  

 Can’t make it to our Flagstaff location? Dr. Chastant provides telemedicine appointments to his patients in Arizona and California. Talk with Dr. Chastant about your medical concerns, including erectile dysfunction and low testosterone from the comfort of your home. Telemedicine offers the ability to speak with a Grand Canyon Clinics doctor without losing time from work or having to commute to a doctor’s office.