Signs and Symptoms of Low Testosterone

Low testosterone (hypogonadism) is increasingly becoming a serious health concern for men. More men are being diagnosed with the condition, with studies indicating that 4 out of 10 men who are 45 and older have low testosterone (low-T). Likewise, 25 percent of men between 30 and 79 have low-T while about 50 percent of men over 80 have the condition. In fact, low testosterone is so common in men of various ages that numerous TV commercials have been created to make money promoting low-T solutions.

So what is low testosterone?

Also known as Testosterone Deficiency (TD), low-T refers to abnormal blood levels of the male hormone testosterone. The condition is characterized by testosterone levels below 300 ng/dl (nanograms per deciliter) in male patients when the measurement is done correctly. While low-T problems primarily occur in adult males, they are not restricted to male adults. However, when the condition occurs in women and young men, its definition and characterization are slightly different and less clear than for male adults.

Symptoms of low testosterone

Although the symptoms of low-T may differ from one man to another, the most common sexual signs are fewer and weaker erections and reduced sex drive, while non-sexual indicators are depression, low iron levels, increased fat around the waist and lack of energy. Other symptoms of low-T are reduced lean muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, irritability, absent or reduced orgasm, reduction or loss of facial, armpit or pubic hair, sleep disturbances, reduction in strength, sweating or hot flashes, breast enlargement or discomfort, reduction in testes size and memory reduction. Other signs observed only in tests or by doctor examination include osteoporosis, anemia, increased body fat and absent or reduced sperm production.

Treatment of low testosterone

While there are several options for treating low-T, the right treatment for any patient depends on various factors, including the severity of the symptoms, cause of the condition and the patient’s preferences. For instance, if the low-T is caused by lifestyle, a change of habits such as losing weight may be an effective and natural way to boost testosterone levels. Similarly, testosterone levels can be enhanced through supplementation. For men having bothersome or worrisome symptoms such as depression, testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) applied as a skin gel or a regimen of regular injections can improve testosterone levels and alleviate the symptoms.

At Advanced Urology Institute, we recognize that low testosterone is a common burden on many men. We endeavor to provide viable solutions including the safest and most effective testosterone replacement therapy for the needs of all our patients. Driven by the belief that every patient is unique and may suffer from serious complications if treatment is generalized, we deliver a highly personalized replacement therapy to our patients. We also follow our patients very closely and ensure we give testosterone therapy the right way. For more information on safe and effective treatment of low-T, visit the “Advanced Urology Institute” site.

What is an Erectile Dysfunction? with Dr. James E. Renehan

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a man’s inability or difficulty to get or keep erections that are firm enough to enable sexual intercourse.

While occasional ED is very common in men, particularly during times of stress, depression or fatigue, frequent ED can really ruin a man’s life. For instance, some men with erectile dysfunction may avoid contact with their partners for fear that they will have trouble satisfying them sexually in the bedroom while others may get into a complete emotional and psychological meltdown.

Forms of erectile dysfunction

According to Dr. James E. Renehan of Advanced Urology Institute, erectile dysfunction can take a variety of forms. For example, some men may be unable to get an erection under any circumstance, while other men with ED may occasionally get an erection. In other men, getting an erection is possible but the erections are not strong enough for satisfying sexual intercourse.

“Erectile dysfunction does not mean that you are infertile,” says Dr. Renehan. “In fact, the majority of the men having difficulties with getting an erection are still quite capable of achieving an orgasm and getting children. ED just means that you cannot consistently get or sustain an erection.”

What are the symptoms of erectile dysfunction?

You could be suffering from ED if you frequently have:

  1. Difficulty getting an erection.
  2. Trouble sustaining an erection throughout sexual intercourse or during sexual activities.
  3. Diminished interest in sex.

However, there are also a number of factors related to erectile dysfunction, such as:

  1. Premature ejaculation.
  2. Difficulty achieving orgasm even after ample stimulation (anorgasmia).
  3. Delayed ejaculation.

Experiencing such symptoms for 2 or more months may indicate that you have erectile dysfunction. So it is important to speak with your urologist to determine if you have a sexual disorder.

“Men should know that erectile dysfunction is not in the head,” says Dr. Renehan. “You will not simply get an erection by stimulation, as 80 percent of all cases of ED are usually caused by treatable physical disorders, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. So make sure you visit your doctor for advice.”

Causes of erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction may have several possible causes, including both physical disorders and emotional problems. The most common causes are:

  1. Diabetes
  2. Obesity (being overweight)
  3. Smoking, alcohol use or drug abuse
  4. Hypertension
  5. Cardiovascular disease
  6. Hyperlipidemia
  7. Injuries
  8. Stress, anxiety or relationship problems
  9. Damage from surgery or cancer treatment
  10. Increased age

Because there are many possible causes of erectile dysfunction, it is important to work with a urologist so that any underlying medical conditions are identified and treated.

Diagnosis of erectile dysfunction

When you visit your urologist, you will be asked questions related to your symptoms, health history, emotional and physical problems. You also should expect a physical examination in which the doctor will listen to your lungs and heart, examine your penis and testicles and measure your blood pressure. The doctor may order various tests to determine whether you have an underlying disorder, such as blood and urine tests. A rectal examination may be requested to check your prostate.

Treatment of erectile dysfunction

The treatment chosen by your doctor will depend on the type of symptoms and any underlying causes for the dysfunction. At times, a combination of treatments may be necessary. The most common treatments for ED include:

  1. Medications: The doctor may prescribe medications to improve blood flow to the penis and improve ED symptoms. The drugs commonly indicated include Alprostadil (Caverject), Avanafil (Stendra), Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis), Testosterone (Androderm) and Vardenafil (Levitra).
  2. Talk Therapy: If it is established that the erectile dysfunction is caused by psychological factors such as stress, depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, the urologist may recommend that you see a therapist. Working with the therapist, you will attend several sessions in which you will be helped to recover from stress, anxiety, subconscious conflict or negative feelings around sex. A relationship counselor also may be called upon if the ED is affecting your relationship.
  3. Alternative Treatments: Treatments such as prostatic massage, acupuncture, yoga and pelvic floor exercises also may improve your condition. Likewise, lifestyle and diet changes, such as regular exercise, losing weight, lowering your blood pressure and avoiding cigarettes and alcohol can be recommended to help you overcome erectile dysfunction.
  4. Surgery: When medications and exercises fail to work, the urologist may perform a surgery to correct any problems in the penis or to add a penile implant. Penile implants help to generate spontaneous and controlled erections.

Erectile dysfunction is treatable

Most cases of erectile dysfunction are treatable. At Advanced Urology Institute, we have helped thousands of men to improve their symptoms and regain their confidence through compassionate, multidisciplinary, patient-centered treatment approaches. Depending on your condition, we will administer the right medications or treatments to ensure that you achieve an erection and be able to have satisfying sexual intercourse. Come and discuss your symptoms with us so we can fix your problem. For more information on help with erectile dysfunction, visit the “Advanced Urology Institute” site.

4 Common Symptoms of Enlarged Prostate

Prostate gland enlargement occurs in men as they age and is quite common in men above the age of 50. Medically referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), the condition can be completely benign or have serious complications such as bladder blockage, urinary retention, bladder infections, kidney stones or kidney damage. Since the prostate gland is located underneath the bladder, its increased size can block the flow of urine through the urethra, a tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body via the penis. This in turn results in problems with urination and other complications.

Benign prostate enlargement (BPH) is not prostate cancer.

Even though the complications of an enlarged prostate may be serious, BPH is not prostate cancer. Neither does it imply you have a greater risk of getting prostate cancer. Usually, the growth of prostate tissue associated with BPH starts around the inner prostate (a ring of tissue around the urethra) and progresses inward. In contrast to this, prostate cancer often grows from the outer part of the prostate and continues outward. Therefore, having an enlarged prostate does not increase your risk of prostate cancer because the two conditions typically begin in different areas of the prostate. Nevertheless, men can have prostate cancer and enlarged prostate at the same time, so you should speak with your urologist or GP if you have any concerns about prostate cancer. Keep in mind that BPH does not cause erection problems and does not affect a man’s capacity to father children.

What causes BPH?

Generally, an enlarged prostate is considered a normal part of the aging process in men, believed to result from changes in hormone levels and cell growth. And while the actual cause of benign prostate enlargement is still unknown, studies have shown that changes in the cells of the testicles play a role in the growth of the gland. This is confirmed by the fact that men whose testicles are removed at a young age never develop the condition while those whose testicles are removed after developing BPH experience shrinkage in the size of the prostate. Some studies have also revealed that men with obesity or diabetes, as well as men with a father or brother with the condition, are more likely to develop BPH.

What are the 4 common symptoms of an enlarged prostate?

One of the more common symptoms of BPH is a frequent or urgent need to urinate. Men with BPH will have the urge to urinate more often and particularly at night, a condition known as nocturia. By frequent urination, we mean having to pass urine eight or more times a day. The need to urinate will be urgent because the increased pressure placed on the bladder and urethra by the enlarged prostate make holding urine more difficult.

On the other hand, urinating can be made more difficult by BPH because the increased pressure on the urethra may block urine flow from the bladder out through the penis. You may find it hard to start a urine stream or experience an interrupted or weak urine stream. Depending on the severity of your BPH, you may find it difficult to pass urine, a condition resulting in urine retention. When this happens, you must see your doctor immediately so that a catheter can be inserted into your bladder to drain the urine. Your doctor may recommend you see a urologist for surgery to remove a portion of the enlarged prostate tissue or make cuts on the prostate in order to widen the urethra.

Another symptom is pain during urination or ejaculation caused by pressure on the urinary tract or reproductive system due to BPH. In fact, some men even feel the need to push out urine, which may also cause pain. Remember, pain during ejaculation or urination may also be due to infection.

Other problems associated with an enlarged prostate include urinary tract infections, unusual urine color or smell, blood in urine, bladder stones, and bladder or kidney damage. But not all men with BPH show these symptoms. In fact, some men with enlarged prostate do not get any symptoms at all. If you do have symptoms, you should definitely see your doctor.

How is an enlarged prostate treated?

Your urologist will ask you questions about your symptoms and about your past health. A physical exam, a urine test (urinalysis) and a digital rectal examination will also be performed to aid diagnosis. In some cases, your doctor will request the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test in order to rule out prostate cancer.

If you only have mild to moderate symptoms, your doctor can recommend “watchful waiting” for lifestyle changes and regular check-ups to monitor symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe medications such as alpha-blockers or 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors to alleviate the symptoms.

If your condition does not improve after trying recommended lifestyle changes and medications, your doctor may opt for surgery. The type of surgery chosen by the urologist will depend on the size of your prostate, any other medical problems you have and the potential risks and benefits of the operation. For more information about treatments for enlarged prostate, visit an Advanced Urology Institute clinic near you.