Low T, or low testosterone, is sometimes called male menopause.
“When you are young you have high levels and as you age those levels gradually decrease but it can lead to a lot of symptoms and side effects,” says Dr. James Borden, urologist with Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.
In the same way aging women produce less estrogen and progesterone, men see a drop in their testosterone.
“Symptoms can be fatigue, decrease sexual desire, generalize muscle weakness, weak bones; it can also lead to cardiac disease and diabetes. Weight gain can also be a side effect of low testosterone,” says Dr. Borden.
No one knows it better than Charlie Lotze.
“I got it all, I got the fatigue. I couldn’t get enough sleep. I started getting this and I’m naturally thin,” says Charlie Lotze, low T patient.
Twenty years ago his doctor found he wasn’t making any testosterone at all. It was affecting his bones.
“He said I got the feeling your bone scan is going to be the same situation because you’re short that much in that hormone. And he said you’re below everything, right on the bottom of the chart for your bone scan,” says Lotze.
Testosterone starts dropping when men are in their early 20s, but symptoms rarely appear until they hit their 40s or 50s. Often misdiagnosed and misunderstood, the medical community is now recognizing low T as a treatable condition.
“In order to get replacement you either have to do it through injection, which has to be given every few weeks. The other option is a topical jell, you put it on the skin rub it on every day. Another option is to have a pellet put it, that’s the newest development. Time release pellets that are planted under the skin and they are absorbed over period of months,” says Dr. Borden.
Implanted in the patient’s backside, testosterone pellets last three to six months. Charlie is happy with his choice to go with pellets. And is ready to get on with life.
“I hope to have another twenty years and make up for some of the time I’ve lost,” says Lotze.
Testosterone therapy, it’s helping men with low T, get their groove back.