37-year-old Shawn Malark started his own transportation business in Rochester. It wasn't easy.
"A lot of hours - tons of hours. Seven days a week," said Malark about his schedule. "Just trying to get the operation up and running and adding new customers."
Just a few months ago, he started to feel under the weather. Fatigue, distraction and achy.
"Rest didn't work. Basically what happened was the more I rested, the worse I felt," said Malark. "I started to fall behind on some of my obligations as a business owner, and that's what led me to see my primary care phyisican."
He thought it was the onset of diabetes. It turned out to be something much different: A low testosterone level.
"(My doctor) said this was a case that they're starting to do more studies on, and that they're finding that the low testosterone is causing all of these symptoms I was having, and it wasn't diabetes," said Malark. "I was pretty happy to hear that it was an easy solution."
"It usually goes along with a lifestyle of 'gee, I'm tired all day, especially in the afternoon. I fatigue easy. I'm a young guy, I used to play football, i used to play sports,'" said Dr. John Valvo, a urologist at Rochester General Hospital.
The simplest test is a blood test from your doctor. "It is greatly masqueraded by the other things we've talked about. Daily stresses, fatigue on the job, marital issues, depressive states," said Dr. Valvo.
Shawn's been using a mild testosterone replacement gel. It's worked.
"If you're in business, or you're just an average person with all of today's stresses on you, it's nice to know that maybe you're not depressed, and it's not something that you've done to yourself," said Malark. "It's just that your body's not functioning properly."
Like hormone replacement for women, there are similar concerns for men. It can enhance the risk of certain cancers such as prostate cancer. Patients who are on testosterone replacement need regular blood tests from their doctor.
For more information on hormone replacement for men, call RGH's information line at (585) 922-LINK.