Testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone in the human body. Produced by the testicles, testosterone is the primary hormone in males responsible for a man’s sexual development, performance, as well as masculinity. This is also the hormone responsible for building healthy bone mass, muscle, and sperm production.
While testosterone is produced naturally in the testes, the amount produced declines as one gets older. According to studies conducted by the American Urological Association, 2 in every 10 men aged 60 years and above suffer from low testosterone levels. Testosterone production declines even farther when one hits his 70s and 80s. Testosterone levels below 300ng/dl (nanograms per deciliter is considered too low for a man. A healthy man should have testosterone levels between 300 and 1000 nanograms per deciliter. This is according to the Food and Drug Administration.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
Men will start experiencing various signs and symptoms once their testosterone levels fall too low. Here are 12 of these symptoms
1. Low Libido
Testosterone is the primary hormone responsible for sex drive. Men with low T levels will most probably start having a diminishing sex drive. Most of them won’t even have the urge to have sex at all.
2. Inability to Get an Erection
In addition to playing a huge role in a man’s sex drive, testosterone is equally important in facilitating an erection and maintaining one for long enough. It is however worth noting that, testosterone only stimulates brain receptors to produce nitric oxide, the compound responsible for making an erection possible.
Nitric oxide is the key ingredient responsible for making an erection to happen. This compound is however only triggered by certain levels of testosterone in the blood. Men suffering from low T levels will therefore not only struggle to get an erection but will even find it harder to get a strong one for long enough. Most of these men hardly get spontaneous erections.
Research shows that testosterone isn’t the only factor that facilitates an erection. It however plays a centerstage in how well you can have and maintain an erection to facilitate penetration. In the research, some of the men with erection difficulties showed no improvement even after getting testosterone treatment. Other factors such as health and stress may play a role in making an erection almost impossible or erectile dysfunction.
3. Low Volumes of Semen
Semen is the milky fluid produced to aid sperm motility. Testosterone is required to enable the testes to produce enough semen to facilitate sperm motility. If you start seeing a sharp decrease in semen in your ejaculate, chances are your testosterone levels are too low.
4. Hair Loss
Although balding may be part of the aging process in men, it is a clear sign of low testosterone levels in some men. Men with low T levels will start losing their facial and body hair at a noticeable rate. This is one of the reasons younger men whose bodies are capable of producing enough testosterone rarely experience hair loss.
Low T levels are known to cause a decrease in energy levels and extreme fatigue in men. Most of these men will wake up feeling tired despite sleeping well at night. While there may be other reasons for this, low T levels could be to blame.
6. Loss of Muscle Mass
As mentioned earlier, testosterone is required for the development of muscle mass in men. Low T levels, however, causes a decline in the growth of the same, or even worse, the muscles will start to wear off. While your strength might still be there, the muscle bulge will get weaker and weaker.
7. An Increase in Body Fat
The muscle mass loss is replaced by increased body fat. Most men with low T levels will have enlarged breast tissue, also known as gynecomastia. Doctors believe this is as a result of hormonal imbalance and increased estrogen levels in the body.
Women are known to have thinner bone mass when compared to men. Significantly low T levels may, however, lead to osteoporosis in men. The decreased bone mass means the man will have a higher risk of bone fractures. This condition is particularly prevalent in older men.
9. Mood Changes
Testosterone influences various functions and processes in the body. This includes the man’s mental capacity, memory, and mood. According to research, Low T levels may cause a man to lack focus, become easily irritated, and even face depression. This however changes when the testosterone levels increase.
10. Memory Capacity Decline
Although your cognitive functions may decline as you get older, doctors believe low T levels may contribute to the same. This is in addition to older men producing small amounts of testosterone. In a study published in the American Medical Association journal, supplementing testosterone in men suffering from low T levels can help improve their memory capacity. Although most men may react differently to the placebo, a small number of them could benefit significantly from these testosterone supplements.
11. Unreasonably Small Testicle Size
The man might start noticing his testicles, as well as the penis, shrinking in size after some time. Research also shows that men with low T levels might have disproportionately smaller testicles or penis when compared to men with normal T levels. One of the reasons for this is because testosterone is required for the development of testes and the penis.
You however should consider other reasons for small testicles before blaming it on low testosterone levels.
12. Low Blood Levels
According to a journal published by the American Medical Association, low T levels may increase the risk of anemia in men. Researchers administered testosterone gel to men suffering from anemia, who after some time started showing signs of an increase in blood count. The most common signs and symptoms of anemia include abnormally high heart rate, insomnia, leg cramping, dizziness, and lack of focus.
Men experience a gradual drop in testosterone levels over time. This is unlike women who have a sharp decline in hormone levels when they hit menopause. Older men are therefore more likely to have low T levels than younger ones. Nevertheless, the only way to determine your blood T levels would be by taking a blood test. The doctor should help you understand the benefits, as well as risks involved with taking testosterone medication.