Anyone with diagnosed Low T? Straight Dope Doctors

This may be a long thread…I’m looking for input / symptoms from others that have suffered from low T or just general input. I want to get it checked due to my libido loss, but the lack of health insurance is a deterrent.

I am a 30 year old healthy male without health insurance. My BP is consistently in the 125/70 range. I herniated a disc 2.5 months ago and currently feel completely healed (still don’t have a reflex in my knee). My pain was so bad that I wouldn’t get more than 2 hours of sleep a night. I couldn’t work out. I couldn’t lay down. I’ve been with my girlfriend for 6 months. Before I herniated my disc, we’d have sex multiple times a day almost everyday. I had no problem with erections. Recently I’ve noticed weak erections, very tough to get an erection and just in general not motivated. It’s not all the time; there are times where there isn’t an issue at all. It’s just far too frequent.

I initially thought the libido issues were due to my injury, but like I said, I’m completely pain free. Now I’m just stuck with weak/tough to achieve erections. It’s been 3 days since we’ve had sex and I’m not even craving it. That’s why I’m thinking about getting blood panels to check my T levels.

Any other thoughts/input would be appreciated. I will probably go to my primary care physician in a couple weeks if this lasts.

I am not a doctor. But I would say that it seems more likely you’re just experiencing lingering fatigue from your injury (especially the sleep deprivation) than that your testosterone suddenly cratered. I am suspicious of the seeming increase in men being treated for “low T”. Sounds like another case of natural variation being redefined as a disease with vague symptoms so that somebody can sell more treatments.

There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that “low T” is a scam. Some men diagnosed with it have no libido issues; others with libido problems had perfectly fine testosterone levels. It’s usually just a normal part of the aging process.

I would look elsewhere for answers.

Durring your recovery period the dynamics of your relationship may have changed. The energy may have somehow shifted. It might justt be a matter of building the relationship back up. Only 6 months together I imagine it is pretty fragile.

There is a lot of evidence that men may experience problems due to low testosterone, even in the range considered normal. It’s a controversial area. I’m seeing a doctor that specializes in testosterone issues. He has been working with a group of physicians based at Harvard to study this issue further. The normal range means you aren’t about to become impotent, but it may still be too low for general health. He says I could benefit from testosterone therapy, however that will be problem because of my other health issues. It is still controversial, and you’ll get different opinions from different doctors. Unfortunately some doctors have prescribed testosterone as a Fountain of Youth to men who do not need it which has added concerns to the real issue.

In the end, you need blood tests for the different measureable testosterone levels, fatigue and lack of interest in sex can be due to many other things.

Do you have a cite for any of this evidence?

…That and I don’t think that any adult should hide their relationship problems behind snake oil and d-ck creme…

As a certified person with low-T (pre treatment, we’re talking practically non-existent levels, if memory serves, lower than 100. post back in the proper ranges ) - I’m going to suggest that you do a bit more research than that.

Yes - sure - there is certainly a snake oil bit out there if you are looking solely at the OTC comments - this has nothing to do with those of us who’s production of T has stopped or lessened.

There are specific blood tests that your doctor can order to check for a number of hormone levels and help to determine the cause - and even IF that is the actual issue you are dealing with.

For the OP - for me - it had nothing to do with libido itself - erections were fine, desire was there - it was more of a lack of enthusiasm or caring - and constant fatigue, lack of concentration among a few other things. ‘never’ feeling refreshed after sleeping a full 8 hours, constant sleepiness - Hell, I remember starting to fall asleep standing up at times.
If I recall anything around my erections specifically - it was that I had a lot less “morning wood”.**

Reality is - I never realized how bad it was until I started replacement therapy and levels got up to normal.

So - RealityChuck - you need to check your reality and consider the fact that Low-T is a very real thing - which has nothing to do with certain claims being made about low-t by the scamsters.

To the OP - see a doctor - get a test - @ 30 , I would think not and that there may be other issues at play - but only a doctor can determine these things. - Don’t resort to the scams, while I vehemently disagree with RealityChuck’s statement - there are certainly scams out there.

(**did I really just talk about this on a message board? )

IANAD but I suspect that the sudden physical inactivity coupled with lack of sleep are your main issues. I think 6 months is too short a time for testosterone to be a factor, especially in a 30-year old. Particularly when you were having sex multiple times a day fairly recently. Also, once it’s on your mind, the problem compounds. Mind over matter.

Libido’s remarkably intertwined with your mental state; IANA doctor, but I’d be surprised if the physical side of things was fine, and the issue was in your head.

For example, how many times have you heard of men having a hard time keeping it up on their first time? Completely mental; most of them are young and otherwise walking boners.

I bet you’re just out of the habit and have convinced yourself that something’s wrong, which only compounds the problem.

“My pain was so bad that I wouldn’t get more than 2 hours of sleep a night. I couldn’t work out. I couldn’t lay down.”

Been there; done that. The last thing I wanted was to engage in a physical relationship with the girl I was in love with, as my self-confidence was broken. I just wanted to get better, so I could be an attentive partner with her and not a sack of coal.

Once my sleep got back to normal - with the help of learning about ‘sleep hygiene’, yoga, f.lux, pills and some other evening relaxation exercises - I started to regain some confidence, which was actually enjoyable and revealing to me. I began to see how ‘this’ or ‘that’ turned me and her on, in small doses, as I got back to being my normal self. Rather than my seeing a naked, sexy woman as being something I had to have, I developed a new sense of what would she likes, what would we like and without that ‘urge’ that I’d had since I was a teen it became an activity I could share with someone who had chosen to be with me.

Without that urgent need it gets more complicated, but can be a lot more rewarding too. The lack of sleep will negatively effect your engagement with her, and the symptoms are mental and physical. Best you focus on your sleep first, and asking for her help will pay dividends in the future, and trust that your other physical issues will right themselves once you’re able to place more trust in her assistance.

Taking a pill to right your circumstance may be a quick result, if it’s in addition to talking with her and trying to work through your predicament. You’re 30-years old so, physically, you’re miles ahead of many but that age is a difficult transition to go through (40 was, for me, much easier than 30, and 41 was a breeze). I’d speak with your partner and have some, initially difficult, conversations with her and a doctor. You reached out on the Straight Dope so you’re open to others’ opinions, keep that up and you heal much more quickly, and also you might get some enlightening results.

I think the key is getting the blood tests simster mentioned. A friend of mine had similar symptoms and had the test and got the treatment, and said the same as simster, that he hadn’t realized how tired he was until he got treated and wasn’t tired all the time any more. So, if you “think” you might have low-T, then get the test and you will know.

This is new to me, so I have no knowledge about low-T. Could you give some symptoms and a way to ask for a test? I’m just imagining me going to a doctor and asking for a T-est and they looking at me like I’m speaking Chinese.

near constant fatigue - no matter how much sleep you get. “I wake up sleepy no matter how much rest I get, fall asleep mid afternoon, etc” - they’ll likely talk about sleep studies and snoring and other possible causes as well. It was a lightbulb moment for my doctor after about a year of trying to figure it out.

simply say you’ve been doing some reading and some of the symptoms seem to match up - its a simple blood test (or 2) to check levels and determine cause (and to track trends).

One of the things abot T - its highest in the morning after rest, which is why ‘waking up sleepy’ is a bigger sign - people focus on “testosterone == sexy feeling” - its more than that.

Stress also can play a big factor in it.

I may have had low testosterone for a while, I can’t have kids - although I’ve been practising a lot with lots of partners - I’ve ‘known’ from a very age and during the occasional post-rugby shower I saw the biology chages. couldn’t help but notice. The latest readings, which I don’t seek out (I’ve always known I can’t have kids) put my biological problems down to my my mothers over-use of painkillers. What ever, I’ll never bl to bear chilfren

WebMD Article on Low-T and infertility

While they are linked - there are different reasons and treatments for both.

The issue “scam” issue is not that there are not people who really have low T but that it is being over-diagnosed, incorrectly diagnosed, and over-treated.

Issues include even just defining what is normal and what is “low” for an aging male.

Here’s a reasonable editorial about it in the NYT.

Pardon me if I don’t take this “opinion” to be worth a grain of salt - even if he is an “internist” - you’ll note the byline does not state other creds.

He’s shilling his own version of a ‘scam’ - every single medicinal treatment has potential side affects, etc.

Lets face it - there are legitimate cases of Low-T, there are cases where evertyhing out there gets ‘over prescribed’ or appears to be a fad - and then you have shil’s that take that info and pump up their own sales with it (GNC and other vitaherbalkeepers that want to get in on it.)

A proper consultation with your doctor on the subject with appropriate blood tests (trends, causes, etc) is the right way to go.

I can only tell you my experiences, but my doctors keep telling me I have low-normal T. Basically it’s right at the lower end of the scale. I’ve refused to go on the supplement because I’ve heard of the increased chance of heart attack and other things like that.

About 5-6 years ago I started having problems with my vision, I gained weight, my sex drive went down, sex satisfaction changed, energy went down. I thought at first it was because I was getting older, mid 30s at the time, and had two young kids. My doctor told me I had low T, but I skipped the treatment at the time. Almost 4 years ago my eye doctor sent me in for an MRI and it turns out I have a pituitary gland tumor, it was killing off my testosterone, pumping out prolactin, which is a female hormone, which was causing me to have all of those symptoms. I’ve been told that about 20% of people have such a tumor, but to most people it doesn’t do anything.

I went on another drug for the tumor, and now I feel ‘normal’ for a 42 year old. After about a month my energy came back, my sex dive came back, and I lost about 30 pounds without trying.

Even with my low T I still can, and sometimes want to, have sex a few times a day. I asked my doctor one time the benefits of a testosterone replacement and he said more energy, higher sex drive, and a couple of other things. I turned it down simply because I don’t think I need it.

You should ask your doctor for a blood test, bring up more then just the low T, but ask about other hormones too. They can do it all in one test, I get mine done every couple of months, and it lists testosterone, prolactin and a few other hormones. They could find another cause contributing to your issues.

With Obamacare, you should have health insurance through your state’s medicare program if nothing else.