Testosterone is a male hormone crucial to man’s masculine physical traits, sexual health and mental health. Testosterone levels take a gradual drop as men age, starting at the age 30, but once it reaches a significantly low level, symptoms may start to appear, and these could greatly impact a man’s life.
How do you know you have low testosterone? What symptoms do you need to watch out for? Here are 16 low testosterone symptoms in men:
1. Erectile Dysfunction
Are you constantly having difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection? Don’t you get nocturnal or morning erections anymore? It could be low T.
Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, is a sexual disorder characterized by the difficulty of achieving or maintaining an erection to complete a sexual act. Achieving erection is a process that involves many systems in the body working synergistically to enable blood flow into the penis. There are several things that could hinder this process, and this includes low testosterone, which plays a major role in a man’s sexual response and sexual health.
The relationship between low testosterone and erectile dysfunction is complex and until now remains not completely understood. Some healthy men with testosterone levels lower than the normal range achieve an erection without difficulty while many other men with low T are unfortunate to suffer from erectile dysfunction.
What is clear though, is that testosterone plays a role in the erection mechanism and that low T is a common factor in chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, which increase a man’s risk of suffering from ED.
Erectile dysfunction due to low testosterone may improve through hormone replacement, but first, a doctor has to accurately diagnose low testosterone through a blood test before recommending the treatment.
2. Extreme Fatigue
Lack of sleep, rigorous activities and stress are reasons why you could be suffering from fatigue; however, if you suffer from extreme fatigue even after doing nothing, not stressing over anything and after getting enough sleep, it could be due to low testosterone.
Feeling extremely tired during the day and having zero energy to do things for an extended period are signs of low testosterone or it could also be something else. Before making a conclusion, watch out for other low T symptoms or better yet see your doctor today.
3. Reduced Muscle Mass and Strength
It is a common notion that men will lose muscle mass and strength as they age. This is true. These physical changes will take place gradually but if you have low testosterone these may occur in a shorter period, and changes will be noticeable even in guys at a younger age. What’s more, lifting weights and other muscle exercises may not be enough to revert the changes.
Testosterone is a male hormone hugely responsible for the growth of muscles in men and without enough testosterone, you may not gain, or you may lose your bulky muscles. In addition, without well-developed muscles, you may not have the physical strength to lift objects or perform heavy tasks. You may also experience joint pain when you lose muscle mass.
If not due to low testosterone, you could easily gain or rebuild muscle mass and strength through other means even when your body is aging. Human growth hormone supplements, such as GenF20 Plus and many other brands, are increasingly becoming more popular in reversing changes brought by aging.
Before using any supplement, ask your doctor first to avoid any adverse or allergy reactions.
4. Increase in Body Fat
If losing muscles are not bad enough, low testosterone may cause you to gain more body fat. Low testosterone adversely affects how your body stores fat. And fat is able to produce estrogen, a female hormone, which may also increase the storage of fat in the chest and belly areas in men. When you look at it closely, low T and increase storage of fat creates a vicious cycle.
Loss of muscle mass and gain of body fat are the most common low testosterone symptoms in men over 40. Man boobs and beer belly, anyone?
5. Osteoporosis or Bone Loss
Women suffer from osteoporosis or bone loss mainly due to a nutrient deficiency that leads to the depletion of mineral storage in the bones. Men, on the other hand, suffer from osteoporosis mostly due to low testosterone.
Testosterone is necessary for the development of bones and the growth of new bones. Without sufficient testosterone, your bones may not be able to remodel, which lead to osteoporosis or bone loss. When you have osteoporosis, your bones become weak and brittle and prone to fractures and other injuries.
6. Decreased Cognitive Skills
For a man who is at the top of the game at work, low testosterone can have a huge impact as it affects your cognitive ability, such as concentrating and retaining information. From having a brain fog during brainstorming to forgetting where you put your pen and to finding it difficult to recall the name of a colleague, low testosterone can make you less productive and less efficient at almost everything.
Before you drain your brain out into thinking what could be wrong with you, check your testosterone levels because it could be the culprit. Declining cognitive skills and extreme fatigue are common low testosterone symptoms in men over 50. If you still aren’t sure, watch out for other low T symptoms mentioned in here.
One of the most common low testosterone symptoms in men is depression.
The relationship between depression and low testosterone is quite confusing. Depression is common in men with low testosterone, and low testosterone is common in depressed men, so it is hard to pinpoint if low T is the cause or effect of depression and vice versa.
What made it even more confusing is that low T and depression, as separate health problems, have similar symptoms, such as forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, irritability and low sex drive. However, if you lost muscle mass, gained more fat, and suffer from osteoporosis, it could be low T and not the other way around.
8. Disrupted Sleep Patterns
Men with low testosterone often suffer from changes in their sleeping patterns. Difficulty sleeping may worsen if you sleep during the day when feeling fatigued. Moreover, testosterone production peaks during deep sleep by the body. If you don’t get enough sleep, testosterone production decreases, which could then cause more sleeplessness. So it’s a cycle that never ends.
Not only will low T affect your sleeping patterns, but it can also worsen sleep apnea or constant awakening during sleep after your body has to catch up with the lack of oxygen circulating due to breathing problems. Sleep apnea disrupts sleep and impedes restoration that takes place during sleep. This could affect hormone production.
9. Low Libido
The relationship between libido and low testosterone may not be fully understood, but there is no denying that low libido is common in men with low T.
In some men, libido normally declines with aging. Moreover, libido varies from men to men, and other factors may negatively impact libido, such as suffering from chronic illnesses. However, if changes in your libido happen drastically, in a yesterday it’s there and today it’s gone manner, it could be due to low testosterone. When it comes to low T, low libido may affect men as young as 40.
Low testosterone symptoms in men under 40 manifest through decreased sexual activity due to low libido and erection problems. Low libido can be devastating to you and your partner. Do not hesitate to seek help.
10. Less Intense or Absence of Orgasms
You may still want sex even when you have low testosterone, but problems may occur in the intensity of your orgasm. Insufficient testosterone levels may lead to a poorer response to sexual stimuli, which may result in less intense orgasms. Depression due to low T is also another factor that can affect your sexual response and it could make it difficult for you to achieve orgasm or even desire to perform a sexual act.
Less intense or the absence of orgasm may affect how you enjoy sex and may lead to dissatisfaction. Be observant of other symptoms that could indicate low T.
11. Facial and Body Hair Loss
Loss of hair due to low T is a bit complex. Testosterone in the body is either free or protein-bound. Free testosterone mainly comprises the total amount of testosterone in the body. Hair loss in men characterized by male pattern baldness and loss of body and facial hair is due to increased dihydrotestosterone. It is a derivative hormone of testosterone, which causes the hair follicles to shrink resulting in loss of hair and inhibited hair regrowth.
An enzyme in your body converts free testosterone into dihydrotestosterone; therefore, the more dihydrotestosterone there are, the less free testosterone is in your body. On the contrary, excessive hair growth is one of high testosterone symptoms men should be aware of.
12. Shrinking of Testicle Size
Men are not only bothered by their penis size, but shrinking testicles are also a huge masculine problem. The gonads or testicles are mainly responsible for the production of testosterone in the body. In general, testicles that are able to produce sufficient testosterone are bigger because more testosterone means increased production of sperm and Leydig cell activity that contribute to the size of the testes.
If your testicles appear shrunken, and your sperm volume is low, it may be due to low T.
13. Breast Enlargement
As mentioned earlier in this article, enlargement of the breast or gynecomastia or also known as man boobs or moobs in the slang world can result from low testosterone, or more likely, a hormonal imbalance after testosterone levels drop.
Estrogen is a female hormone present in men’s bodies. When testosterone levels drop significantly, estrogen may overwhelm their number. Excessive estrogen in men may cause the breast tissue to grow as it does in women.
14. Hot Flashes and Profuse Sweating
You may think that only women in their menopausal years suffer from hot flashes and profuse sweating, but you’re wrong. Men with significantly low testosterone may suffer from hot flashes or the sudden rush of heat in the head and the trunks that last for a few minutes followed by a rush of coldness and sweating.
The Journal of Supportive Oncology has stated that men who undergo prostate removal due to prostate cancer might suffer from hot flashes similar to hot flashes in menopausal women.
15. Low Sperm Count
Low testosterone may cause decreased volume of seminal fluid and low sperm count. Seminal fluid refers to the mixture of semen and sperm released during ejaculation while sperm count refers to the number of sperm in the seminal fluid.
Testosterone is responsible for sperm production, and a significantly low testosterone levels may result in decreased production of sperm, which in turn may affect a man’s reproductive ability.
16. Mood Swings
Behaving like a menopausal woman lately? Experts aren’t sure as to how testosterone affects moods in men although it is clear that the secretion of hormones has a role in a person’s mental health. Additionally, other symptoms of low testosterone, such as low libido, fatigue, sleeplessness and fat gain may make you more sensitive, emotional or irritable.
Overall, the symptoms of low testosterone can hugely impact your life. The changes, both physical and psychological, may affect your self-esteem and personal relationships, which in turn may affect your quality of life.
These are symptoms of low testosterone levels men should be wary of. If you suffer from these symptoms and if they are making your life miserable, you should seek help from a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis and to get proper treatment. As bad as low testosterone may sound, there are a lot of treatment options available to help you cope with it.
Low Testosterone: What Are the Reasons Behind It?
Testosterone is a male hormone mainly produced by the testicles and partly by the adrenal glands. As men age, their testosterone production declines slowly, starting as early as the age 30.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, a diagnosis of low testosterone is only appropriate when a man’s testosterone levels fall below the normal range of 300- 1000 ng/dL.
Hypogonadism is the main cause of low testosterone in men. It occurs when your sex glands, the gonads or testicles, produce an insufficient amount of hormone than what is necessary.
Hypogonadism could be primary or secondary. Primary hypogonadism occurs when your gonads or testicles are receiving the right signals from the brain, particularly the pituitary glands and hypothalamus, to release testosterone yet your gonads are not able to produce testosterone. In simpler words, the problem arises from the testicles.
Primary hypogonadism may occur due to the following:
Secondary hypogonadism, on the other hand, occurs when there is a problem in the hypothalamus or pituitary glands. These endocrine glands control the production of hormones including, testosterone, by sending a signal to your gonads and other hormone-producing glands.
Secondary hypogonadism may be due to the following:
- Klinefelter Syndrome
- Undescended testicles
- Mumps Orchitis
- Injury to the testicles
- Cancer treatment
Treatment for low testosterone may depend on its cause. If due to a secondary cause, addressing it first is necessary. If the gonads or testicles are not producing enough testosterone, low testosterone treatment men may undergo include:
Healthy Lifestyle Changes: You can increase your T levels by:
- Medical illness
- Inflammatory diseases
- Kallmann Syndrome
- Pituitary disorders
- Certain medications
Testosterone Replacement Therapy: There are many types of T replacement methods nowadays for you to choose from, including:
- Exercising regularly.
- Eating a well-balanced diet.
- Quitting substance abuse.
- Getting enough sleep.
Men’s testosterone replacement therapy, when used to treat hypogonadism, rarely causes serious or adverse effects; however, using it to treat delayed puberty in boys or adolescents may cause abnormal growth of the bones, resulting in stunted growth. For men with age-related low T, it may cause the following issues:
- Intramuscular injections
- Testosterone patches
- Topical testosterone gels
- Buccal-system testosterone tablets
- Testosterone pellets
If you want to know more about the effects of testosterone replacement in older men, check this. If you suspect you suffer from low T based on the low testosterone symptoms in men mentioned above, see your doctor, so you can get tested and receive an accurate diagnosis. You can then discuss the treatment that is best for you.
Erectile dysfunction may indicate low testosterone in men, but there are other signs you should watch for, so talk to your doctor to get tested and find the root of the problem before it worsens. You can feel better once you know what you are dealing with and how to treat it properly. In the meantime, focus on changing any bad habits you have and improving your overall health. You may be surprised at how much better you’ll feel in just a few weeks.
- Worsening of existing prostate cancer
- Gynecomastia or enlarged breasts
- Increased risk of deep vein thrombosis
- Increased risk of heart attack
- Increased risk of stroke
- Low sperm production
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia
- Worsened sleep apnea
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