I've been waiting on a few lab tests to come back, but I've been planning to start the same thread. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis a little over six years ago and have been in a flare for a little over a year.
I've been complaining to my GP about general fatigue for about a year and, then, about 6-8 months ago it started to get worse and, then, about two months ago it became completely unbearable. All along and unbeknownst to me, I was bringing to my doctor's attention what were actually symptoms of low testosterone -- fatigue, waistline pudge, low libido, mental fog, aggravation, etc. -- but he claimed they were symptoms of ulcerative colitis. (They can be similar, but I do feel like he wasn't really paying attention. That I wouldn't take prednisone or 6mp or Remicade also contributed to his opinion that I was just doing this to myself.)
To make a long story short, when I told him I absolutely had to have surgery or had to sell my home because I couldn't take the stairs anymore, he thought to check my testosterone because a "34-year-old runner shouldn't feel that way." (No crap , doc. . . .) I don't know what took him so long.
My doc did a different test than seldom_seen's, but my numbers barely registered and were below those of a 100-yer-old man. My doctor actually apologized. I've been on the patch for about two weeks and I feel like a completely different person. The people around me are amazed at the change.
I haven't found much of a connection between low testosterone and uc but my doctor considers the two problems related. It is mentioned in passing in an Italian study that suggests all male uc patients be tested for low testosterone. At any rate, it is up in the air whether the colitis causes low testosterone or whether colitis and low testosterone are a symptom of a general autoimmune problem.
As part of testosterone replacement, my doctor wanted a baseline bone scan, and the bone scan shows osteopenia. Again, this is not to be expected in a 34-year-old man who exercises regularly. It is likely to be a symptom of low testosterone, but it could also be a symptom of colitis. My understanding is that what's causing the bone density problem will reveal itself depending on whether the bone loss reverses itself.
It seems like a lot of bad news, but I'm actually relieved to get to the bottom of the problems I've been having.