2009 had heart attack, placed coronary stent, everything okay. Put on statins to keep lipid levels down to prevent further artery blockage. One year later developed Peyronie’s disease, low sex drive, fatigue, testicles withdrawn and hurting. Testosterone level was 85. Diagnosed with hypogonadism. Started Androgel, felt normal after a couple of weeks. I believe statins is the cause of my low T, you need lipids for hormone transport. Androgel could only bring my T level in the 250 range. Switched to Axiron (better, less messy), and my T level stays around 500 range. I get samples of Testim every now and then, it has a manly woody fragrance that women like. At present, I’m feeling a little fatigue, and mild dehydration. My lab work is always normal, except my red blood cells is always on the high side, almost abnormal. Next week I am going to donate some blood, to bring my RBC count down, and see if that will help.
Known as the "male hormone," testosterone is produced primarily by the testicles. "Beginning around age 30, testosterone levels begin to decline naturally and continue to do so as a man ages," says Holly Lucille, ND, RN, a naturopathic doctor, educator, and author, "sometimes leading to low testosterone symptoms such as depressed moods, decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and difficulties with concentration and memory.”
The oldest form is an injection, which we still use because it’s inexpensive and because we reliably get good testosterone levels in nearly everybody. The disadvantage is that a man needs to come in every few weeks to get a shot. A roller-coaster effect can also occur as blood testosterone levels peak and then return to baseline. [See “Exogenous vs. endogenous testosterone,” above.]
The mineral zinc is important for testosterone production, and supplementing your diet for as little as six weeks has been shown to cause a marked improvement in testosterone among men with low levels.1 Likewise, research has shown that restricting dietary sources of zinc leads to a significant decrease in testosterone, while zinc supplementation increases it2 -- and even protects men from exercised-induced reductions in testosterone levels.3
Epidemiological data has associated low testosterone levels with atherogenic lipid parameters, including lower HDL cholesterol (Lichtenstein et al 1987; Haffner et al 1993; Van Pottelbergh et al 2003) and higher total cholesterol (Haffner et al 1993; Van Pottelbergh et al 2003), LDL cholesterol (Haffner et al 1993) and triglyceride levels (Lichtenstein et al 1987; Haffner et al 1993). Furthermore, these relationships are independent of other factors such as age, obesity and glucose levels (Haffner et al 1993; Van Pottelbergh et al 2003). Interventional trails of testosterone replacement have shown that treatment causes a decrease in total cholesterol. A recent meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials confirmed this and found that the magnitude of changes was larger in trials of patients with lower baseline testosterone levels (Isidori et al 2005). The same meta-analysis found no significant overall change in LDL or HDL cholesterol levels but in trials with baseline testosterone levels greater than 10 nmol/l, there was a small reduction in HDL cholesterol with testosterone treatment.
Testosterone levels generally peak during adolescence and early adulthood. As you get older, your testosterone level gradually declines — typically about 1 percent a year after age 30 or 40. It is important to determine in older men if a low testosterone level is simply due to the decline of normal aging or if it is due to a disease (hypogonadism).