I don’t have as much energy as I used to. Could it be because of low testosterone?
Yes, it’s possible. But it’s not the only answer. Figuring out the exact cause of your specific issues is very important.
Recently, there has been a greater awareness that energy level, muscle mass, sexual desire, and mental acuity relate to testosterone levels. For men who have hypogonadism—a condition where the body does not produce enough testosterone—or those who are at the low end of normal, hormone injections or ointments could make a big difference. But testing is necessary. There are men who come to my clinic saying they feel down and blame it on low T, but tests show their level is fine. For them, the culprit may be stress and poor health habits. Conversely, there are men who have hypogonadism but don’t present with any symptoms.
It’s inadvisable to take testosterone unless you need it. Once you begin supplementation, the body shuts down its natural hormone production—you’re hooked on it forever. And overdoing it can harm the heart and liver and affect fertility. A great non-pharmaceutical help is a healthy diet, sufficient sleep, and exercise—especially resistance and high-intensity interval training.
Have a question for Dr. Choi? Email him at [email protected].
Benjamin Choi, M.D., is a urologist in New York City and a clinical assistant professor of urology at Weill Cornell Medicine.
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