Although testosterone is often associated with males it is also found in small quantities in females. Low testosterone levels can lead to erectile dysfunction and decreased bone mass, as well as reduced sex drive.
Many important functions are performed by the hormone, including:
- The development of bones and muscles
- The deepening and growth of the voice and hair, as well as other aspects related to appearance.
- The production of sperm
- As we age, testosterone production may slow down. Many older men experience symptoms of low testosterone.
- Low testosterone is defined by the American Urology Association as less than 300 nanograms of hormone per deciliter (dl). According to them, about 2 out of 100 men have low testosterone.
Twelve symptoms and signs
Here are some common symptoms and signs of low testosterone in men. These symptoms may also be seen in females.
1. Problems with erections
Low testosterone can cause fatigue and mood swings.
Low testosterone can make it hard to maintain or get erections.
Testosterone stimulates penile tissues to make nitric dioxide, which triggers several reactions that lead to an erection.
A man might not be able get an erection if his hormone levels are too low. Thats why there are available Mens Journal natural boosters.
Here are some other factors that could cause erectile dysfunction.
- Thyroid-related issues
- High cholesterol
- Stress or anxiety
- Alcohol consumption
- High blood pressure
2. Hair loss
Hair loss is a common part of aging for many men. However, it can also happen to women.
A 2012Trusted Source study found that some women receiving treatment for symptoms related to sex hormone deficiencies could benefit from testosterone implants in promoting hair growth.
3. Reduced bone mass
Testosterone is a hormone that helps maintain bone density and bone tissue.
Low testosterone can cause a decrease in volume which can increase the risk of fractures.
4. Reduced testicle size
Low testosterone can cause a decrease in size in testicles, but this is not due to cold temperatures.
You may feel the scrotum a bit softer than usual.
5. Reduced semen
The majority of male ejaculate is made up of semen. This fluid aids the sperm in moving toward the egg.
Testosterone stimulates the production of testosterone. A decrease in semen levels can be a sign of a lower level of testosterone. It can also cause problems with fertility.
6. Difficulty in sleeping
Low testosterone men may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
Low testosterone can also cause sleep apnea in many males. This can lead to sleep disruption and possibly even death.
7. Sex drive at a lower level
Low testosterone can cause a decrease in sex drive for men with low testosterone.
The natural decline in sex drive with age is a result of aging. However, low testosterone can cause a significant drop in sex desire.
8. Decrease of muscle mass
The development of muscle mass is affected by testosterone levels. A decrease in this hormone could lead to significant muscle mass loss.
According to a 2016 review Source, although low testosterone can cause a decrease of muscle mass, it does not affect the strength and function of the muscles.
Hot flashes are often associated with fluctuating estrogen levels during menopause. However, low testosterone levels may also be a cause.
10. Energy levels are declining
Low testosterone can cause fatigue and lower levels of energy.
Even after getting enough rest, a person might feel tired or lose interest in movement or exercise.
A decrease in testosterone could lead to an increase of body fat.
Sometimes, gynecomastia can occur in men who are deficient in the hormone. This causes breast enlargement.
11. Modifications in mood, mood swings
Evidence suggests that testosterone-deficient men are more likely to have irritability, lack of focus and depression.
Our dedicated hub contains more information and resources based on research for men’s healthcare.
When should you see a doctor?
If a patient has a variety of symptoms, a doctor might prescribe testosterone replacement therapy.
Low testosterone is not always accompanied by symptoms. Some people are only aware of it after routine bloodwork and a physical exam.
Anyone who has any of these symptoms should see a doctor immediately.
A doctor will usually perform a physical exam and review the patient’s symptoms to diagnose low testosterone. A doctor might request additional testing to check for other signs.
A bone density test, for example, can reveal a decreased bone mass as a result of low testosterone.
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is the most popular treatment.
TRT is usually only prescribed by a doctor if there are several symptoms that suggest low testosterone or blood tests that show a deficiency.
TRT can be delivered in many ways, including:
- Skin patches
- Tablets that dissolve in your mouth
Implanted pellets that release the hormone are surgically placed
Most people notice relief within 4-6 weeks after starting TRT.
Natural methods to increase testosterone levels
A nutrient-rich diet is a good way to increase testosterone levels.
Exercise and weight loss can increase testosterone levels.
Although lifestyle and diet changes alone will not make levels rise enough, they can be helpful.
Keep in mind that testosterone levels drop as men age. Lifestyle changes can also have a negative impact on your ability to get the benefits you desire. For example, exercise often has more impact on younger people.
A diet rich in nutrients is essential to support testosterone levels. You might consider the following foods:
- Fortified cereals
- Milk enriched with vitamin D
Natural supplements promising to boost testosterone levels should be avoided. They may not cause harm to the body but they are unlikely that they will produce the desired results.
Doctors can often recommend safe ways to increase testosterone levels.
According to the American Urology Association, around 2 of 100 men are affected by low testosterone. Although the risk of low testosterone increases with age, most men lose testosterone naturally as they get older.
Low testosterone is usually treatable. Being aware of symptoms can help you get an early diagnosis and treatment.