Avatar universal

Low testosterone?

I am male, 55 yo.  At my annual physical last Fall, my GP suggested that I get my Testosterone level checked and had a blood sample drawn.  A week later he called and said that my total testosterone was 206 - in his words a little low and he mailed me a prescription for Testim.

I called my prescription drug provider and they went partially ballistic saying that they wouldn't fill this prescription until they spoke to my GP directly and even if they approved my cost would still be more than $200 a month.

A little shocked at this, I called my GP and he said that I was only slightly below the low end of normal range which was 241.  And he said I didn't need it if I felt it was too expensive.  So I didn't pursue it any further.

Since that time I have been obsessing about this.  In searching on-line I have found that 206 is well outside of normal for a 55 yo.  Furthermore, I find that I have many of the symptoms of low T - inability to concentrate, depression, ED, etc.

So I have 3 questions:

1)  Is 206 low enough that I should be doing something about it?  

2)  Should I be seeing an Endocrinologist?

3)  Should I be concerned that my GP took this so casually - both prescribing HRT on the basis of 1 lab test and then agreeing that it was no big deal if I didn't do it?  I mean, HRT is a big deal, right?

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Avatar universal
     May be you should first try to improve the testo level naturally before going in for replacement. Your level is low, but possibly you could make it up with some additional  efforts.
First of all ensure that you get your daily requirements of macro nutrients including ZINC from your daily food. There is FDA recommendation available for the same, you can google and get it. Do also moderate exercise to reduce fat in the body.Avoid all types of junk food and canned beverages.

If you have put on weight recently, may be you have more estrogen levels which  would have reduced the testo levels. In this case,doing exercises and reducing weight would be beneficial.

A test of free testo levels in addition to the total measured now will reveal if  you have sufficient free levels inspite of  having  a low total testo level. In this case you may also check your SHBG levels as well as blood sugar levels. Diabetes can reduce testo levels.
Generally speaking, if after regular exercise along with balanced food intake and  adequate sleep, your testo levels are not improving, you could consult an Endo for full hormone testing and try to solve the basic problem. Keep the option of hormone replacement as the last choice.

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Avatar universal
Thanks for the advice.

I have been on the diabetes borderline for some time now.  My HB A1C last Fall was 5.9.  I take a statin for cholesterol (now 170 total) and 2 meds for blood pressure (now 110/70).

About 20 months ago, I had minor surgery for repair a blocked artery in my leg following a botched angiogram.  It was kind of a wake up call.  I basically gave up junk food and soft drinks.  Once fully recovered, I purchased an elliptical machine and free weights and started a "moderate" exercise program.  I had actually lost 15 lbs in the 12 months prior to my last physical.

So last Fall I was probably in the best shape I've been in for many years.  The diagnosis of low testosterone was kind of devastating.  I haven't exercised since - sore leg, too tired, too busy at work, not feeling well, etc.  I have gained back 10 lbs.  

I've done enough research in the last few months to know that the problem is complex.  Multiple glands, multiple hormones, multiple feedback mechanisms, etc.  Thats one of the reasons I'm so ticked at my GP who was so quick to push HRT on me.

I know that I'm obsessing over this and I need to fix my frame of mind, but I need something substantial to hang my hat on.

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Avatar universal
   Needless to say that in your case, exercising and keeping out of stress are the best medications. Take balanced food, do some meditation, if possible do some Yoga under a teacher and moderate exercise like walking, these should help you to improve your health.
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