Mark Liszt, a food broker from Los Angeles, has had operations on both knees and a toe. A doctor has suggested a total replacement of his right knee, but he’s afraid it will affect his ability to play ball. At 59, Liszt can’t stop. On Tuesdays and Fridays, he plays basketball with guys who are sometimes half his age. On Saturday, he hobbles around all day with serious knee pain. Friends and family have referred him to doctors, but he’s stayed away. “I don’t want to be told what a fool I am,” he says...
Low T can also cause osteoporosis, which gradually weakens your bones, leaving them brittle and at risk for breaks.
Testosterone is also important for muscle health. Low T can cause muscle atrophy, which can also lead to increased risk of falling. The heart is a muscle too and needs testosterone.
As testosterone levels drop body fat increases, which can increase the risk for diabetes.
"Men should be aware of these symptoms and think about low testosterone," says endocrinologist Spyros Mezitis, MD, PhD, of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "Physicians have to think about it as well. It remains under-diagnosed and it's not part of a routine checkup."
But these symptoms can also be related to other conditions. Make an appointment with your doctor, who can do some tests to see what's causing your symptoms.
At the Doctor's Office
When you go to the doctor with symptoms of low T, your doctor will:
Go over your medical history
Discuss medications you take (prescription and non-prescription)
Ask you about any family or relationship problems
"We want to look for other possible sources of the symptoms," says Jason Hedges, MD, PhD. Hedges is a urologist at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. "Other things can lead to these symptoms, including your job, stress, and everyday life."