An older man stressed due to lack of sleeping

Low Testosterone or Sleep Apnea?

One of the great tragedies of the fatal Bronx train derailing is that all the evidence was available to prevent the loss of life, injuries and excessive property damage that occurred. But when the driver went to his doctor with symptoms of fatigue and daytime sleepiness, he was diagnosed as having low testosterone rather than sleep apnea.

This is probably a common misdiagnosis, and it can have disastrous consequences for you and for others.

Symptoms of Low Testosterone

An older man stressed due to lack of sleepingOne of the reasons for the common misdiagnosis is that low testosterone levels and sleep apnea share many symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of low testosterone include:

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Depression
  • Low energy and chronic fatigue
  • Decreased bone density
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Weight gain
  • Loss of facial hair and body hair

Half of those symptoms–decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, depression, low energy, and chronic fatigue, and weight gain–are also associated with sleep apnea. They’re also among the most commonly reported symptoms and the ones doctors are likely to rely on to make their diagnosis.

This explains why this is probably a common misdiagnosis.

A Dangerous Error

This is not a harmless misdiagnosis. When doctors make this mistake, they put your life at risk.

Untreated sleep apnea is a deadly condition that can lead to death through many complications. Every day you go untreated is another day of high risk. A misdiagnosis can postpone sleep apnea treatment until it is too late.

Worse, if you are treated for your low testosterone, it can make your sleep apnea worse. Trials of testosterone therapy showed that the treatment either induced sleep apnea or worsened sleep apnea in individuals.

Get a Second Opinion

If you have been diagnosed with low testosterone, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion to determine whether sleep apnea might be the real cause of your symptoms. Talk to your doctor about sleep apnea or get a referral to a sleep doctor who can determine whether you have sleep apnea.

And if you’re looking for comfortable, convenient, and effective sleep apnea treatment, please call (402) 493-4175 for an appointment with an Omaha sleep dentist at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.