Low Testosterone Is Common Men's Health Concern

Tuesday, June 14, 2016
David Castrilli, M.D.
David Castrilli, M.D.

This week marks the 23rd annual observance of Men’s Health Week.  First designated in 1994 and observed the week leading up to and including Father’s Day, the focus of Men’s Health Week is to encourage men to get regular check-ups and seek medical advice to prevent health problems and promote early detection of diseases in men of all ages.

Low testosterone, or low T, is a common worry for men as they grow older.  Testosterone levels fluctuate during a man’s lifetime.  Peaking during adolescence and early adulthood when males develop facial and body hair, their voices change and they develop muscle mass and strength, testosterone levels begin to decrease around age 40.  “Low T is the top health concern I talk about with men,” said David Castrilli, M.D., with CHI Memorial Internal Medicine – East Brainerd.  “They want to know if it is causing the symptoms they’re experiencing and if the medication or supplements they’ve seen advertised can ‘fix’ their symptoms.”

The answer may not be so obvious.  The symptoms of low T are also common symptoms men experience as they age: fatigue, low libido, lack of motivation and general muscle weakness.  Dr. Castrilli says the focus should be on what is causing the low T.  “We have to look at whether the low level is the result of normal aging or if the body is having trouble producing the right amount of hormone or if it’s the result of another health problem.”  Health concerns such as thyroid problems, diabetes, depression and medication side effects can all affect testosterone levels.  Proper treatment of these conditions could cause the hormone level to rise.

A blood test is only way to diagnose hypogonadism, a disease in which the body doesn’t produce normal amounts of testosterone because of a problem with the testicles or the pituitary gland that controls the testicles.  Dr. Castrilli says the blood test should be given at a certain time of day to get accurate results.  “Testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day, reaching a maximum level usually around 8 a.m.  Taking a blood sample between 8 – 10 a.m. will provide the most reliable results.  But because there can be a slight fluctuation of level during the peak morning hours, it’s best to confirm the test results with a second blood test on a different day of the week to avoid false positive results,” explains Dr. Castrilli.  The results of the blood test are usually available within a couple days.

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can be used to treat hypogonadism.  Because of possible health risks associated with TRT (sleep apnea, acne, enlarged breasts, growth of prostate and blood clots),  Dr. Castrilli says a man diagnosed with hypogonadism should consult an endocrinologist to discuss the risks and benefits and determine if TRT is the right treatment.  Patients who are misdiagnosed and begin TRT have an increased risk of developing heart disease, blood clots and prostate cancer.

For men whose low testosterone level is due to normal aging, your doctor may recommend natural ways to boost hormone levels including losing weight and resistance exercises to increase muscle mass. 

Dr. Castrilli encourages all men to schedule regular visits with their doctor to discuss any health concerns. 

CHI Memorial Internal Medicine Associates – East Brainerd is at 720 Gunbarrel Road, Suite 206, Chattanooga, TN 37421. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call (423) 648-8110.



Morning Pointe Senior Living Promotes 3 To Vice President Leadership

Morning Pointe Senior Living announced three vice president promotions at its corporate office based in Ooltewah. Each of the roles provides support to 30 Morning Pointe Senior Living communities in five states, as well as regional staff and corporate associates. “We are very pleased to promote these associates who have given their hard work and dedication to Morning Pointe for ... (click for more)

LIFE FORCE Pilot Named EMS Pilot Of The Year By National Association

National EMS Pilots Association (NEMSPA) named Brad Simmons 2017 EMS Pilot of the Year. Mr. Simmons is currently LIFE FORCE 5 Base Aviation manager and pilot.   The “NEMSPA Pilot of the Year Award” is awarded to an EMS Pilot nominated by the nation’s air medical transport community of over 300 air medical services. This award recognizes an EMS pilot who has distinguished ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Committee Says Pulling Away From County Schools Is "Feasible"

After eight months of investigating the viability of Signal Mountain establishing a separate school district, a committee of six has determined that it is feasible and would meet the goal of improving the education provided to students. The committee was also tasked with identifying obstacles and if possible to find ways to overcome them.  Results of the report were presented ... (click for more)

Alexander, Corker Are Among Sponsors Of Bill To Stabilize Premiums And Access To Insurance

A group of 24 senators - 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats led by Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) - on Thursday released short-term bipartisan legislation to stabilize premiums and access to insurance in individual health insurance markets. Senators Alexander and Murray said: “We have reached an agreement ... (click for more)

Trump - And Response

Hardly a day, even a moment, goes by when some news flash appears sharing what  Trump  said or did. Not catchy and cute as we might feel when we see the baby turn over for the first time or say Da, da. Instead, this grown man and our president defies child cooing and smiling and instead frowns amid growing anger that we voted for this man, a grown up not quite potty-trained.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: New Schools On Agenda

Hamilton County School Superintendent Bryan Johnson confirmed on Wednesday that a plan for several new public schools will be included on Thursday night’s School Board agenda. Hamilton County has fallen woefully behind other metro school districts in the state and, with an estimated $340 million in deferred repairs, upgrading facilities - that now average over 40 years old - was ... (click for more)