PDA

View Full Version : Hormones (odd question I know)



thesteelsage
05-29-2012, 12:35 AM
Sorry, there's nowhere else to ask this question, and this seems like the most active scoliosis board on the internet (by far!).

I'm 28 and pretty sure I produce a lot less testosterone than I should. I'll be talking to my regular doctor about it next month--maybe.

I've done research online about the causes, and symptoms of too little testosterone, as well as the precautions and side effects of taking testosterone. It seems that I match a lot of the symptoms (though we all know how occasionally a person can see symptoms when they're looking for them, even if they're not really there.

Frankly, I'm just wondering if you guys thing it might be a smart idea to start talking to my doctor about this now, as well as asking for the opinion of my surgeon. You know.. is it doing too much at once, or might the doctor be interested in this? I loathe the idea of accidentally distracting my doctor.

(If you haven't seen my previous post, I haven't undergone any surgery yet, and see my doctor for the second time early next month. I am not a muscular person. I'm a little bit more out of shape than I'd like, and of course, fitness is a concern going into surgery).

susancook
05-29-2012, 01:12 AM
Why do you think that you produce too little testosterone? I think that you should ask your OB GYN MD about this. You could ask your regular doctor, but he would probably refer you to your OB GYN. I doubt that your scoliosis-orthopedic surgeon would be interested. Mine wouldn't.

Good luck.

Susan

thesteelsage
05-29-2012, 03:36 AM
Thanks Susan.

If I misled you to think I'm a woman, sorry lol. I am a guy.

I share a lot of symptoms of low testosterone, including small muscle mass, and very little body/facial hair, but I do have the receding hairline that plagues all the men on my mom's side of the family. I have a below average sex-drive which runs counter to my desire to meet a nice girl, fall in love, all that jazz.

Another listed symptom is depression, trouble with focusing and trouble with memory. I can see all of these things in me, though I never really questioned the trouble with focus/memory because I try not to worry too much... that leads to more depression.

Thanks for the input, and you might be right. The biggest reason I thought it might make a difference is that testosterone can increase muscle gain, and stronger muscles (internal of course) is better for entering, enduring, and moving beyond surgery. I've never been quite as athletically conditioned as I'd like--because, frankly, it hurts a lot to attempt that stuff.

Again though, I don't want to distract my doctor unnecessarily and I've lived with this level of T for a long time (whether or not it is low), and if supplementing my testosterone won't help, I can certainly wait several more months, or a year, before concerning myself with low T.

loves to skate
05-29-2012, 07:54 AM
I think you should see an endocrinologist about the ? low T and not bother the spine specialist about it.
Sally

LindaRacine
05-29-2012, 12:21 PM
Please take this up with your primary care doctor or an endocrinologist. Asking people on a public forum, especially one focused on an entirely different medical condition, is like playing russian roulette.

susancook
05-29-2012, 04:36 PM
Thanks Susan.

If I misled you to think I'm a woman, sorry lol. I am a guy.

I share a lot of symptoms of low testosterone, including small muscle mass, and very little body/facial hair, but I do have the receding hairline that plagues all the men on my mom's side of the family. I have a below average sex-drive which runs counter to my desire to meet a nice girl, fall in love, all that jazz.

Another listed symptom is depression, trouble with focusing and trouble with memory. I can see all of these things in me, though I never really questioned the trouble with focus/memory because I try not to worry too much... that leads to more depression.

Thanks for the input, and you might be right. The biggest reason I thought it might make a difference is that testosterone can increase muscle gain, and stronger muscles (internal of course) is better for entering, enduring, and moving beyond surgery. I've never been quite as athletically conditioned as I'd like--because, frankly, it hurts a lot to attempt that stuff.

Again though, I don't want to distract my doctor unnecessarily and I've lived with this level of T for a long time (whether or not it is low), and if supplementing my testosterone won't help, I can certainly wait several more months, or a year, before concerning myself with low T.

I just checked your "member info" and it does not give gender. LOL on me! I work in OB GYN and frequently get the question among women worried that they have low T. Sorry about the assumption that you were a woman.. You should mention this to your primary provider. There are some blood tests that can determine T levels. Pretty complicated field as there also how your specific body responds to whatever level you have. Too much T is problematic, not good for your body. Do start w/ your primary and follow this up. It worries you and takes up your valuable time worrying. As you know, there are lots of other reasons for your symptoms, so a good checkup w/ your primary provider is in order. What is your thyroid level? You need a good workup by a skilled Internist listing all of your symptoms and concerns. Plain old depression might be a part of the whole picture, not all of it, just a part. I wish you the best of luck....get going to your doctor and stop diagnosing yourself on the internet. Good luck. Susan [maybe I'm really a "boy named Sue", but you might be too young to know that J Cash song]

thesteelsage
05-29-2012, 05:18 PM
I just checked your "member info" and it does not give gender. LOL on me! I work in OB GYN and frequently get the question among women worried that they have low T. Sorry about the assumption that you were a woman.. You should mention this to your primary provider. There are some blood tests that can determine T levels. Pretty complicated field as there also how your specific body responds to whatever level you have. Too much T is problematic, not good for your body. Do start w/ your primary and follow this up. It worries you and takes up your valuable time worrying. As you know, there are lots of other reasons for your symptoms, so a good checkup w/ your primary provider is in order. What is your thyroid level? You need a good workup by a skilled Internist listing all of your symptoms and concerns. Plain old depression might be a part of the whole picture, not all of it, just a part. I wish you the best of luck....get going to your doctor and stop diagnosing yourself on the internet. Good luck. Susan [maybe I'm really a "boy named Sue", but you might be too young to know that J Cash song]

Thanks!

To other reponses: Thank you. I'm aware that a scoliosis forum might be the wrong place to address this, but like I said, I don't want to distract my surgeon.

I love that song, though I've only heard it a half dozen times in my lifetime.

I'm having a really difficult depressed time in life and I'm trying to rationalize it. As any depressed person would tell you, I'd do virtually anything to just be normal, to just be one of the guys and so when I read about testosterone and depression, it raised a promising flag because nothing else in the treatment of depression has worked.

I very much appreciate your insight.

To other responses: Thank you, I'm not seeking diagnosis, just insight :).

jrnyc
05-29-2012, 05:19 PM
hi steel
there are doctors who specialize in hormone tx...
i have one in CA....she and her ex husband both specialize in it...
they both treat both men and women...
they are divorced now, so in separate offices...
i still go to woman of the two...Dr Hall...Hall Longevity Center
i am on bio-identical hormones....
this is just to tell you that if you see a doctor who
specializes in the field, you are better off...
many endocrinologists are not up on bio-identicals...

jess

thesteelsage
06-05-2012, 10:38 PM
I did bring it up to my doctor today.. because my regular doctor wants to do testosterone levels / prostate exam next appointment.

He actually said it was interesting to him because he's apparently been having a discussion with others about the use of T as therapy. I didn't mention me possibly having low T, since the doctor's tests will show that one way or the other.

To save anyone some googling, the recovery benefit, mainly, is increased muscle growth.

rohrer01
06-06-2012, 12:35 AM
Thesteelsage,

I'm just curious how severe your scoliosis is. The reason I mention it is because, at least on this forum, it seems that men have a little harder time with self-image and scoliosis. Are you in surgical range? (above 50*) Is your deformity noticeably large in your eyes? This could contribute to your already existing depression if it is.

Also, I have kids that suffer from different degrees of depression (I am female). I have a son with low libido and depression, although he is muscular but doesn't have hardly any facial hair, but neither did his father. He isn't currently taking any antidepressants. Although be aware that some, if not most, anitdepressants do cause lowered libido, the benefits of the meds usually by far outweigh the side effect of lowered sex drive. You have to remember that not every man has a lot of muscle mass or facial hair. Sex drives vary, too. There are also doctors that specialize in sexual dysfunction if it is still a problem when you meet that "special someone".

Exercise doesn't have to be painful and can help as part of your treatment for depression and get you in shape for surgery. I started at our hospitals cardiac rehabilitation center (because of an arrhythmia) for treatment of headaches and pain. I've exercised three times a week for one month. They didn't want to trigger any pain episodes with me so we started really light, and I mean really light! Over the course of the month, I went from not being able to ride a bike for more than two blocks without being tired, to riding several miles (on a real bike) because of the slow but steadily harder workouts. Before long you'll be in great shape. I might add that the endorphins you get when you exercise make you feel great even with light exercise. The old slogan "No pain, no gain" is bogus. I'd give it a start, with your doc's permission of course, and see how you feel. Try a slow walk around the block if that's all you can do. Then pick up the pace a little more as you feel up to it. Take it slower on days you feel tired, but keep up the routine. If you have a local gym, check out some light weights. Don't be embarassed to do light workouts. You can ask for a trainer and tell him you "HAVE" to have light workouts so it doesn't trigger pain from your scoliosis. I feel more energized than I did before and have no plans to quit. AND it has caused me zero pain.

I hope your doc does a full work-up as others have suggested. Make sure your thyroid is checked. Also, low cortisol can make you very tired, so have that checked as well. There are a slew of hormones that they can check to make sure you are on track. How is your blood sugar? If diabetes runs in your family, you'll want to have that checked, too. Just be sure to get a full work-up.

I wish you all the best. Hang in there. We're here for you. And PLEASE let us know how your scoli appt goes, too. I wouldn't suggest burdening your scoli doc with your other problems, but you can certainly let him know that you are being checked out because you want to be as healthy as you can for surgery...and if you're not having surgery you want to be as healthy as you can to keep your back strong. Your surgeon may even get you started with PT, which may lead you into a regular exercise routine that you can do at home or at the gym.

Sincerely,
Rohrer01

thesteelsage
06-06-2012, 09:26 PM
Thesteelsage,

I'm just curious how severe your scoliosis is. The reason I mention it is because, at least on this forum, it seems that men have a little harder time with self-image and scoliosis. Are you in surgical range? (above 50*) Is your deformity noticeably large in your eyes? This could contribute to your already existing depression if it is.

I have something like 86 degree curve in my spine. I've just gotten some crippling news. My doctor doesn't think there's a lot he can do about the appearance of my curve which.. is just debilitating. Quality of life is feeling pretty sucky at the moment.

My doctor is excited at the prospect of stabilizing health, and maybe improving it somewhat. I'm bummed at the idea of living with this back looking like this for the rest of my life.

Thank you for you're long reply rohrer, and thanks for the encouragement. I do hope things go well and will try to keep people updated.

I'm not bothered so much by low libido.. just noticing that I seem to have a lot of symptoms of low testosterone, that included.

Confusedmom
06-06-2012, 10:12 PM
Steel,

Maybe you should get another opinion. Scoliosis surgery is not for cosmetic reasons, but if you're going to have it, you might as well get the cosmetic benefit! There are several excellent surgeons who seem to give both good medical and cosmetic results, judging by the posts on this forum. You deserve that!

Evelyn

rohrer01
06-08-2012, 06:52 PM
I have something like 86 degree curve in my spine. I've just gotten some crippling news. My doctor doesn't think there's a lot he can do about the appearance of my curve which.. is just debilitating. Quality of life is feeling pretty sucky at the moment.

My doctor is excited at the prospect of stabilizing health, and maybe improving it somewhat. I'm bummed at the idea of living with this back looking like this for the rest of my life.

Thank you for you're long reply rohrer, and thanks for the encouragement. I do hope things go well and will try to keep people updated.

I'm not bothered so much by low libido.. just noticing that I seem to have a lot of symptoms of low testosterone, that included.

Dr. Lenke takes on people with that kind of curve. So does Dr. Boachie. That is if you are able and willing to travel and have insurance coverage. I would definitely see another doctor for a second opinion. You don't have to live this way.

golfnut
06-08-2012, 09:37 PM
I would definitely get a second opinion and like Evelyn, recommend Dr. Lenke. I had a stiff spine and got a 75% correction at age 60. Don't give up. I am now riding my bike, playing golf, and tap dancing . . . and also look so much better and have a brighter future since I took the plunge and had surgery with Dr. Lenke.