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(NC)—Do you lack energy and vitality? Are you feeling grumpy and tired? Do you think these feelings are a natural result of aging? Think again.

Take this simple questionnaire to find out why you may not be feeling like your usual self. Called the ADAM Questionnaire (or Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male), this simple test can help you determine if you may have testosterone insufficiency.

Answer the following yes or no questions:

  1. Do you have a decrease in libido (sex drive)?
  2. Do you have a lack of energy?
  3. Do you have a decrease in strength and/or endurance?
  4. Have you lost height?
  5. Have you noticed a decreased "enjoyment of life"?
  6. Are you sad and/or grumpy?
  7. Are your erections less strong?
  8. Have you noticed a recent deterioration in your ability to play sports?
  9. Are you falling asleep after dinner?
  10. Has there been a recent deterioration in your work performance?

If you answered "yes" to questions 1 or 7 or at least three of the other questions, you may have low testosterone levels.

Levels of testosterone, a male hormone, begin to increase at the time of puberty and peak about age 30. Testosterone is responsible for the development of masculine physical features such as body and facial hair, larger and stronger muscles, deeper voice and sexual maturity and drive. After age 30, these levels begin to decline naturally. In fact, researchers have determined that one in eight men in their 50s may have testosterone levels that are below normal, and this proportion increases with each decade. In some instances, unfortunately, these lower testosterone levels may not be sufficient for some men. Testosterone insufficiency can rob a man of his vitality.

Check with your doctor and ask about a blood test that can be done to measure the levels of your bioavailable or total testosterone in your blood (there may be a small cost for this in some provinces). If your testosterone levels are below normal, there are a number of replacement therapies available if that is, in fact, an approach that should be pursued by you.

The doctor will discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of testosterone injections (usually given every four weeks), pills that are normally taken with food (initially two pills twice a day), patches that can be put on the skin at night (usually one is required) or a gel that is rubbed on the skin once a day in the morning. It is important to note, however, that testosterone replacement is not appropriate for all men; in some cases, it may not even be right for men with testosterone insufficiency.

Being tired and grumpy is not a natural part of aging. It is possible to restore your vitality and improve your quality of life. Talk to your doctor about your testosterone levels.

Parent Category: Disorders