Low testosterone affects as many as 5 million men in the USA. Are you concerned that you might be suffering from low T levels?
Testosterone is an important male sex hormone. It plays a vital role in the development of male genitals, body hair, and other sexual characteristics.
We’re here to tell you the key symptoms of low T levels. But first, a quick word on what causes this in the first place.
Why Might I Have Low Testosterone?
Low levels of testosterone can be the result of a number of factors.
It can be due to inherited conditions, such as an undescended testicle. This is where the testicle remains inside the body during prenatal development.
Or it can be due to environmental influences. You’re more likely to have low testosterone, for example, if you’re obese. Or experience physical injury to the testes.
It’s also true that hormone production changes as we get older. Plus, other illnesses like stress can wear us down and affect testosterone secretion.
Now you know a little bit more about the causes, let’s examine the symptoms.
1. A Low Sex Drive
Testosterone, as we’ve said, is the hormone that largely drives male sexual development. It’s also responsible for our sex drive.
A low T level generally means a low sex drive too. It can also cause a lower sperm count. Although you won’t be able to tell this with the naked eye, it can affect men who are trying to have children.
It can also result in erectile dysfunction — though this can be down to vascular issues as well as hormone disbalance.
A low sex drive isn’t necessarily down to a lack of testosterone though. It can also be attributed to exhaustion, depression and other mental health problems.
Keeping an eye on your health can help you realize when a condition is developing. Use these useful apps to keep a watchful guard.
2. Fatigue and Tiredness
If you’re really tired all the time, it may be down to low T levels.
If you think that’s the case, you should look into male hormone replacement therapy. Being exhausted is exhausting, and it can be a vicious cycle to escape from.
Eating a healthy diet and doing exercise can also help to get you back to normal. As part of that healthier lifestyle, drinkers should also try to cut down on a few beers a week.
Alcohol in itself can inhibit sleep and contribute to tiredness. This exacerbates the symptoms you’re experiencing due to low testosterone.
This can help rebalance your hormones and get you back to your old, active self.
Insomnia can be caused by low T levels. You may still feel tired all day, because of fatigue – but then find yourself completely unable to sleep at night.
Or you may wake up in the middle of the night, and not be able to fall asleep again. For seemingly no good reason.
You’ll probably feel tired as you lay there, but sleep seems a million miles away.
4. Mood Swings and Irritability
Men suffering from low testosterone may be particularly irritable.
They may experience mood swings and become frustrated or angry quickly.
Depression and other mood disorders may also be the result of low testosterone. This can then lead to a lack of activity, resulting in weight gain.
Feeling less attractive after this has happened can make irritability and the symptoms of depression worse.
But weight gain can also be a direct result of low T levels as well.
5. Your Body Fat Increases
Low levels of testosterone can directly cause body fat to increase.
It’s not unusual for this to specifically develop around the breast area, due to an imbalance between testosterone and estrogen. The medical term for this condition is ‘gynecomastia’.
Estrogen is the key female sex hormone. Think of it as the equivalent of testosterone for women.
Both sexes have both hormones but in different amounts. This is what causes our bodies to work in different ways.
6. Your Muscle and Bone Mass Reduces
As well as increasing body fat, low T levels can lead to muscle wastage.
Hitting the gym can help to build your muscles back up to where you started. It can also combat any depression you’re experiencing because of this disorder — even in small and regular doses.
More importantly, lower levels of testosterone can also cause decreased bone mass. In severe cases, this can lead to osteoporosis.
This nasty condition causes the thinning of bones. It’s more common among older men, due to the fact that less testosterone is produced as we age.
7. Hair Loss
If your body doesn’t produce enough testosterone, you can start to lose your hair.
However, hair loss is also dictated by genes. Just because you’re losing hair, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re experiencing low T levels.
For example, male pattern baldness affects 50 million men (and 30 million women) across the USA. There’s not a lot you can do about this. It’s dictated by inherited factors.
To be frank, it’s difficult to find the real reason you’re losing your hair without further examination.
What Can I Do About My Low T Levels?
Male hormone replacement therapy is widely available for those looking to tackle a problem with low testosterone.
If you have had low testosterone in the past, you should find out if this information was ever stored in your medical record.
The notes from previous bouts will help your doctors decide on a course of action this time around.
Low testosterone can cause many physical and mental symptoms, which makes getting help harder. No one wants to feel like less of a man. But no one will judge you for this. It’s not your fault.
The first step is simply asking for help. All the support is out there. All you need to do is ask.