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.


Allie Pierce Named Aesthetic Nurse At Plastic Surgery Group

The Plastic Surgery Group has named Allie Pierce as their aesthetic nurse. Ms. Pierce received her licensed practical ursing degree from Chattanooga State College and previously served as a nurse with the practice for more than two years.  She is a member of the International Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Nurses and the Society of Plastic Surgical Skin Care Specialists. ... (click for more)

Dr. Mark Sumida Joins Parkridge Bone And Joint

Parkridge Health System announces Mark S. Sumida, MD, board-certified orthopedic surgeon, has joined the Parkridge Bone and Joint physician practice. Dr. Sumida will continue seeing patients at his existing office, 1724 Hamill Road, Suite 204 in Hixson, which will create another access point to specialized orthopedic services offered by Parkridge Bone and Joint.  While ... (click for more)

Young Woman Suffers Serious Injuries In 30-Foot Fall At Quarry At Greenway Farms

A young woman was seriously injured on Wednesday night  when she fell approximately 30 feet from a bluff at the the Greenway Farms quarry in Hixson.   Some kayakers were paddling in the quarry shortly after  8 p.m. when they saw the woman fall to the ground below. They immediately went over to the victim and called 911. The Chattanooga Fire Department ... (click for more)

Walker County Taking Out Another Loan To Deal With Debts Left By Bebe Heiskell Administration

Walker County officials said they are having to take out another loan to deal with debts left by the Bebe Heiskell administration. Commissioner Shannon Whitfield has called a special meeting for Thursday at 2 p.m. at the commissioner's office in Lafayette. The agenda includes a $4 million tax anticipation note from Lafayette Bank, which stepped in to help the new administration ... (click for more)

CPS Should Have A Manned 24/7 Presence In Every County

This week something became abundantly clear to me. The Department of Child Protective Services in the state of Tennessee, or at least in Hamilton County, are asleep at the wheel.   Early yesterday afternoon local news stations broke the news: "Animals Removed from Soddy Daisy Home."  What the news station either didn't know, or didn't report, was that the children of ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Heroes Gather On July 14

Oliver North, whose journey as American patriot has not been an easy one, never lost hope. He once admitted he lied to Congress under oath, was found guilty of three felony counts after he followed the direct orders of his superiors, and then endured the wrath of the ignorant before the ACLU – of all sources – had the charges vacated. The former Lt. Colonel in the Marine Corps ... (click for more)