Archive for the ‘fatigue’ Category

Read This To See About Low T (Testosterone)

February 19, 2015

Low testosterone affects millions of American men. Men who suffer from low testosterone have decreased libido, decrease in erections, and lethargy or loss of energy. In this blog I will discuss the importance of testosterone and the treatment options for the diagnosis of low T.

What Is Testosterone and Why Does It Decline?
Testosterone is a hormone produced in the testicles. It’s what puts hair on a man’s chest and responsible for his beard. It’s the force behind his sex drive.
During puberty, testosterone helps build a man’s muscles, deepens his voice, and boosts the size of his penis and testes. In adulthood, it keeps a man’s muscles and bones strong and maintains his interest in sex. In short, it’s what makes a man a man (at least physically).
After age 30, most men begin to experience a gradual decline in testosterone about 1% a year. A decrease in sex drive sometimes accompanies the drop in testosterone, leading many men to mistakenly believe that their loss of interest in sex is simply due to getting older.
The diagnosis of low T is made by a history of the symptoms of low T and a simple blood test that checks the testosterone level. The test is best done in the morning before 10:00 A.M. when the hormone level is the highest.

The bottom of a man’s normal total testosterone range is about 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). The upper limits are 1,000 to 1,200 ng/dL. A lower-than-normal score on a blood test can be caused by a number of conditions, including:

Injury to the testicles
Testicular cancer or treatment for testicular cancer
Hormonal disorders
Chronic liver or kidney disease
Type 2 diabetes
Some medicines and genetic conditions can also lower a man’s testosterone score. One of the most common drugs associated with low T are the SSRIs which are used to treat depression. Aging does contribute to low scores. In some cases, the cause is unknown.

Risks and Benefits of Testosterone Treatment?

There are also risks. Testosterone treatment can raise a man’s red blood cell count as well as enlarge his breasts. It can also accelerate prostate growth. Men with breast cancer should not receive testosterone treatment. These are uncommon side effects of testosterone treatment.

Men with prostate cancer who have symptoms of low T and have a low and stable PSA can receive testosterone treatment, however, they need to have a PSA and digital rectal exam every 1-2 months while receiving testosterone replacement.

The treatment with testosterone is safe as long as men receive careful monitoring.

Treatment options for low T include injections of testosterone given every two to three weeks, the daily application of gels under the arm or on the abdomen or lower thighs, and pellets inserted under the skin in the doctor’s office which last for 4-6 months.

Bottom Line: Low T is common. Help is available. See your doctor and get a blood testosterone level and if it is low consider hormone replacement therapy.

Tired and Fatigued? It’s Probably Not Your Adrenal Gland

November 23, 2013

Recently there has been publication about JFKs chronic medical problems which includes Addison’s disease that caused him so much discomfort including severe low back pain that required him to take powerful pain killers. In addition to the pain Addison’s disease is a source of chronic fatigue. There are multiple causes of fatigue or lack of energy. One of the rare causes is adrenal fatigue. This is a vague term that’s used by some to say that fatigue and other symptoms are caused by a poorly working adrenal gland in people who are under mental, emotional, or physical stress. But it’s not a proven medical condition.

Your adrenal glands sit atop your kidneys like caps. Certain conditions can keep your adrenal glands from working well. Your adrenal glands make hormones. One of these is cortisol, which helps your body deal with stress. If your adrenal glands stop producing cortisol, you may be suffering from Addison’s disease.
Symptoms include of real adrenal fatigue:
Trouble getting out of bed
Chronic tiredness, even after you wake up in the morning
Trouble thinking clearly or finishing your tasks
But some doctors say these symptoms can be due to other health problems. It is of interest that these are the very same symptoms which are very common in people in general.

Although adrenal exhaustion is a rare possibility of fatigue, the most common causes include poor sleep habits, poor diet, stress at work or home or depression. One of the most common causes of fatigue in men is testosterone deficiency. All of these can affect your energy level without involving your adrenal glands.

Fatigue is also a symptom of many diseases such as anemia, arthritis, diabetes, and heart failure.
Addison’s disease can cause fatigue and is associated with other symptoms, such as darkening of the skin on the palms of your hands, knees, elbows, and knuckles, general weakness, dizziness when you stand up and lack of menstrual periods in women.

If unusual fatigue is bothering you, these steps can help ensure that you get the proper treatment:
The basic elements of a healthy lifestyle will help you feel more energized.
• Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean meat. Avoid junk food.
• Get enough sleep.
• Exercise regularly.

Bottom Line: Although adrenal insufficiency is a cause of fatigue, it is rare and there are much more common causes. Speak to your doctor and have a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, and exercise regularly. This will not only help with fatigue but will help with many other conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure