Well, last week I went to the doctor, actually I went to my general physician and then I went to a specialist. When I went to my primary doctor she wanted to focus on the fact that I haven’t been getting enough sleep. So she prescribed Ambien, and then we also talked about some natural ways that I can try to fall asleep.
I’ve been doing most of those things already such as getting off the computer an hour before I plan to go to sleep, staying away from other electronic devices, not working in bed, clearing my mind and trying to relax mentally and physically before I actually need to sleep; yet none of those things seem to work for me.
So we figured that taken the Ambien would be something that I can add to this routine a few days a week. The one caution that she gave me – after I told her that taking melatonin makes me feel groggy in the morning – is that I need to get myself at least eight hours after taking the Ambien to be able to sleep. That means that if I’m going to bed late one night I probably shouldn’t take Ambien because when I wake up I’ll feel sleepy and groggy and it will be difficult for me to function throughout the day.
Not getting any sleep was the beginning of all of my problems, but I actually went to her to figure out if there was any problem with my thyroid or with any hormone imbalance that was causing all of the symptoms including the insomnia. She wanted to focus more on the lack of sleep, so she didn’t want to run any tests because she figured that may complicate the diagnosis.
However, because I am used to getting a few hours of sleep a day for long periods of time and never feeling the way that I have felt recently, I insisted that she do the blood test in order to rule out any other abnormalities. Fortunately, she agreed and drew blood that afternoon.
She called me with the results of the blood tests and told me that my testosterone levels were extremely low. However, all other markers for which she tested came back perfectly fine. This was sort of a confirmation from me since for about a week before I went to the doctor I was looking up symptoms of low testosterone online and found that I had all of the nonsexual symptoms. That includes fatigue physically and mentally, not feeling motivated, insomnia, hot flashes, and even a denigration of short-term memory.
In fact, before I even made the appointment to see my primary doctor I had a ready made an appointment to see an endocrinologist. After calling me with the results of my blood test, my primary physician suggested that I keep the appointment with the endocrinologist and she sent over the results.
When the endocrinologist saw the results of the blood test he agreed to my testosterone was very low and he actually assumed that it was because I had gained a good amount of weight over the last year or so. When I told him that I actually lost a lot of weight over the last year he was shocked to see my levels that low, but he suggested that my testosterone levels could actually be on the rise since obesity is a huge determining factor in testosterone levels.
He said that rapid changes in weight could cause low testosterone and also that if your body is used to being at a heavy weight for long period of time, it may take a long time for your body to adjust to losing weight even if you do it slowly. However in my case I lost less than 60 pounds in about 15 months and even he indicated that losing 1 pound per week is a very safe rate.
So there was really nothing that he could pinpoint in my life that would be the cause for low testosterone except for the fact that I am still fat. As I said, if my weight is the problem then I am already doing what it takes to solve the problem. 😉
He suggested that I get another round of testing done as soon as possible and then also repeat the same tests in six weeks. He actually added a few more tests that my general physician did not have on the original, exam so hopefully I’ll get more answers when I go to get my blood work in the near future.
I have an appointment to see him in eight weeks in order to discuss the two tests that he is sending me for, however, if the test that I’ll take this week comes back with any abnormalities outside of the testosterone levels, he will see me immediately.
He asked that I be patient and give my body time to react and adjust to continuing to lose weight. His hope is that when I go back to see him and eight weeks, my testosterone levels will be even higher than they were with this last test and also on the test that I would take this week. If that is the case then maybe we can do something to treat the symptoms of low testosterone, while the fact that I’m losing weight will handle the cause of my low testosterone, my obesity.
So there’s the update from the doctors. I will take the Ambien a few days a week in order to see if I can regulate my sleeping, and if so, hopefully some of the symptoms will go away or at least be less intense. Lack of sleep can contribute to low testosterone levels so we may be dealing with a “chicken or the egg” scenario, since low testosterone causes insomnia as well.
So hopefully next time I come to you with an update on my health, I will tell you that my sleep is more regulated, my memory is getting better, that I am feeling less fatigued both physically and mentally, I feel sharper, I have more motivation to fight against temptations, and that I am able to complete tasks that are difficult or mentally draining.
photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net
© 2013, Khaleef “Fat Guy” Crumbley. All rights reserved.