“A lot of men walk around with blinders thinking that it’s just their age. It’s not.”
Imagine waking up with the energy and drive of a 25-year-old again, every day. That’s the goal Charleston testosterone doctors Dr. Mark Luckie and Dr. Arthur M. LaBruce of West Ashley Wellness and Rehab strive for with every patient.
“Men as they age forget how good it felt when they were in their 20s and early 30s,” said Dr. Luckie.
Testosterone is something of a buzzword in the health and exercise spheres, but the hormone itself can be mystifying. Normal levels, according to a 2017 study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, should be around 300 to 900 nanograms per deciliter. Those numbers are for healthy-weight men between 19 and 39 years old, but, like anything in the body, testosterone levels are subjective to each man. Testosterone itself is made in the testicles and is regulated by the brain and everything from age to environment or weight can affect its performance.
“Many men come in not feeling themselves,” said Dr. Luckie.
“They’re not performing well at work; they’re not performing well at home. Once they get the right treatment, they become new men.”
Symptoms of low testosterone are widespread but sometimes vague, contributing to the misconceptions surrounding testosterone.
The first red flags are loss of energy, increased fatigue and decreased libido.
“Those things are the most important for men,” according to Dr. Luckie, “but they are not the only things. Having optimal levels of testosterone helps you perform better in the boardroom, on the court and in the bedroom.”
One out of every three men suffer with the effects of low testosterone, Dr. Luckie explained, including loss of energy, increased fatigue, decreased libido, stubborn belly fat, loss of focus and concentration, and general malaise. It all adds up to what Dr. Luckie said many write off as “feeling my age.” However, over time, more serious health effects can result.
“When you have low testosterone for a number of years, that’s going to be a causative factor for a host of health issues,” Dr. Luckie explained.
When it comes to testosterone and health, maintenance is key.
“Typically, women take care of themselves and come to the doctor more regularly,” said Dr. Luckie. “Men typically don’t come to the doctor unless it affects them in the bedroom or their hobbies.”
At West Ashley Wellness and Rehab, the doctors understand – Dr. Luckie even started treatment himself two-and-a-half years ago. Ease of use, affordability and professional expertise are top priorities at the center, without endless doctor visits.
“Having a man come into the office for treatment once a week is not optimum for their health because they’ll get busy with the things they enjoy doing,” Dr. Luckie said.
On the first visit, doctors run a comprehensive blood panel, assess a man’s personal testosterone levels and decide if treatment is necessary. From there, patients learn how to administer injections at home and the treatment is mailed to them, making weekly checkups unnecessary.
“Injections have been shown to be the most effective in testosterone replacement,” said Dr. Luckie, and West Ashley Wellness and Rehab’s specific, bioidentical testosterone treatment includes HGC, a compound that encourages the male body to produce its own testosterone rather than become dependent on injections. Another blood panel at week eight reveals results and checkups after that are six weeks apart.
“Within 12 weeks, I completely changed my sleep patterns, my stress level went way down, my moodiness stopped and I’m able to handle loads more work than before,” said Dr. Luckie of his own treatment. “I feel 25 every day I wake up.”
By Enid Spitz