Low Testosterone Verses Erectile Dysfunction

Dr. Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, Endocrinologist, discusses Low Testosterone Verses Erectile Dysfunction.

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Dr. Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, Endocrinologist, discusses Low Testosterone Verses Erectile Dysfunction.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC
Video Title: Low Testosterone Verses Erectile Dysfunction
Duration: 2 minutes, 40 seconds

It’s important to realize the difference between low testosterone, or medically we call that hypogonadism, and erectile dysfunction.

It’s often mixed up. Not just by the lay public, but by healthcare practitioners. Erectile dysfunction is when the penis isn’t working, and it’s, again, related primarily to vascular issues; the blood vessels have been damaged inside the penis.

Low testosterone, on the other hand, is a more global condition where testosterone, which has most of its effects in terms of erectile function on the brain and interest in sex or libido, will have some effect on erectile dysfunction but it’s that plus more. A man who has low testosterone will often have the symptoms of low energy, low libido or interest in sex, so profound sometimes that it doesn’t even enter their minds.

They’re going to feel fatigued, their muscles are going to be weaker, they’ll sometimes describe muscle pain, decreased endurance for activities of a physical nature. It can have effects on the mind in terms of almost at times producing a depressive type of thought processes. It’s been shown in studies that these men are often very irritable and grumpy.

Testosterone also has effects on the bones; it makes your bones stronger. It affects the bone marrow where you get blood produced, and so you’re hemoglobin level will be low if you’re low in testosterone. There’s effects on the kidney, the liver, your skin, and the sexual function as well includes effects on the prostate and the genital organs. So, a testosterone deficiency syndrome is very different from simply erectile dysfunction. That’s important in terms of treatment as well.

Many people think, well, I just need some testosterone or more testosterone and it’s going to fix my erections. Well, it will help if you’ve got the testosterone deficiency syndrome, but if it’s just purely erectile dysfunction that’s not the problem. Again, erectile dysfunction is usually a vascular problem.

So, to differentiate erectile dysfunction from low testosterone you’ll need to sit down with your primary care practitioner, have a history, a physical, do blood tests to measure the blood levels of testosterone, and then come to a conclusion as to what’s going on, which will help guide treatment in your particular case.

Video Title: Low Testosterone Verses Erectile Dysfunction

Presenter: Dr. Richard Bebb, Endocrinologist, Victoria, BC

Local Practitioners: Endocrinologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.