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 "Makes Its Mark" Giving More Than 40,000 Hours For 20th Anniversary

The calendar year 2017 was about paying it forward, as Morning Pointe Senior Living celebrated its 20 th anniversary in a big way. The Chattanooga-based senior health care company has spent the past 12 months engaging with communities across the Southeast through volunteerism, setting a goal to give back 20,000 hours of service through the “Make Your Mark” campaign. As part ... (click for more)

Erlanger Nearing Deal To Acquire Hospital In Murphy, N.C.

Erlanger Health Systems is nearing a deal to acquire a hospital in Murphy, N.C. Both the boards of Murphy Medical Center and Erlanger are slated to vote to approve this agreement next week.    The Murphy Medical Center board votes  next Tuesday  and Erlanger’s trustees vote on the agreement at  next Thursday’s  board meeting,  Jan. 25 . (click for more)

BlueCross Sells Huge Tract Along River For $8.1 Million

BlueCross BlueShield has sold a huge tract along the riverfront in Lupton City for $8.1 million. The purchaser is listed as Riverton LLC., 651 E. 4th St., Suite 403, Chattanooga. BlueCross had bought the 216-acre site in 2001 as a possible site for its corporate headquarters. However, it wound up building a $299 million campus on Cameron Hill instead. BlueCross started ... (click for more)

1 Person Injured In Duplex Fire In East Lake Wednesday Night

One person was injured when fire broke out in a duplex Wednesday night in East Lake. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at  11:53  p.m. on  Wednesday  and responded to the 4800 block of General Thomas Boulevard with several fire companies. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, Captain Chris Cordes with Engine 9 said a significant ... (click for more)

Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you, Dr. King for stepping-out.  Thank you for your lasting voice to what it's all about. Thank you, Dr. King for  stepping up and also showing-up, ...when decisions were being made and  your refusal  to shut-up.  We find your fingerprints on both directions and toward progress.  your modeling, mentoring,  and reactions helps ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: This Is Not A Drill

Last Saturday morning in paradise, at 8:07 to be precise, an alert appeared on every cell phone that read: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” I can envision no greater horror than having to ask myself how much time do I have, and what is the wisest way to spend it? It was a long and dreadful 38 minutes until the correction ... (click for more)