Testosterone is a hormone the body produces in both men and women, although men have much higher levels. As men get older, the amount of testosterone the body produces starts to decrease, often causing fatigue and/or a decrease in libido. Low testosterone can also be caused by a variety of other factors, with being overweight or obese being common causes.
Testing a man’s testosterone levels is fairly simple and only requires a few blood tests over a period of time. If his levels are consistently low, he can discuss treatment options with his provider. There are two primary forms of treatment: injections or a gel. Injections need to be taken every two weeks, but they can be done from home once the man is comfortable administering the injection himself. The gel is rubbed onto the skin daily. While treatment is fairly straightforward, there are side effects that men should watch out for, such as an increase in cholesterol or thickening of the blood. Testosterone treatment can also affect the prostate and sperm production, which is why many providers recommend testosterone treatment after a man is done having children.
If you or a loved one is experiencing the symptoms of low testosterone, talk to your primary care provider about testing and treatment. While this condition is common, it’s also easy to test for and to treat. Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of men’s health specialists and primary care providers dedicated to educating and caring for men throughout the community in order to promote overall well-being and good quality of life.
Dr. Evan Corey is a sports medicine specialist at Cone Health Primary Care at MedCenter Kernersville and a member of Cone Health Medical Group. Dr. Corey received his Bachelor of Science in biology from Hampden-Sydney College in 2004 and he completed medical school at The University of North Carolina School of Medicine in 2010. Dr. Corey completed his residency at Cone Health in 2013 and a sports medicine fellowship at the Cone Health Sports Medicine Center in 2014.