Though present in both men and women, testosterone is the signature male hormone and present in significantly higher proportions in men. A natural decrease in testosterone production happens as you age, but for many men, this has little effect on their lives. For others, however, changes can be drastic and not at all welcome.
The signs and symptoms of low testosterone are sometimes overlooked, attributed to other causes or ignored due to the condition itself. Here are 10 of the most common signs of low testosterone. These can occur on their own or in combination. Make an appointment with any of the five locations of Men’s T Clinic® if you suspect low testosterone may be affecting you.
This is a condition that many ignore, since in some cases you won’t feel the absence of your libido, even though it’s gone. Testosterone is a key factor in the sex drives of men and women, so when its level falls off the radar, so may your desire to have sex.
It’s not clear if low testosterone (low T) contributes to weight gain, or if weight gain contributes to low testosterone. However, fat cells play a role in converting testosterone to estrogen, the dominant female sex hormone. No matter what the relationship, healthy eating, exercise, and the resulting weight loss are all testosterone-positive.
While testosterone doesn’t affect the function or strength of your muscles, it’s a necessary part of building muscle mass. If you find you’re losing muscle volume, it may be due to lower levels of testosterone affecting new tissue growth as well as existing muscle maintenance.
Are you tired all the time? It might not just be getting older or mounting stress at work. Perhaps you find it hard to get yourself motivated to exercise, or you don’t feel rested after a full night’s sleep. While there are many potential causes of fatigue, add low T to the list, particularly if you have other symptoms.
Though most connected with older women as a side effect of estrogen loss, loss of bone mass in men results from low testosterone levels. The results are the same. Bones may fracture or compress more easily because of an increasingly porous structure.
Hormones are the body’s messaging system, sending signals to various systems in the body with instructions of when and how to operate. Testosterone carries the signals necessary to start the process leading to an erection. Other health issues may also make erections difficult, but you should investigate low testosterone if you also have other symptoms from this list.
Low testosterone causes a reduction in the amount of semen your body manufactures. When this occurs, the amount of semen released during orgasm may be less than the amount to which you’re accustomed. Again, in combination with other signs, low semen volume may indicate low testosterone production.
While there are also hereditary factors that influence hair loss, low testosterone also contributes, and it’s a likely candidate if you’re losing body and facial hair as well.
Low testosterone levels are associated with both insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea. Healthy amounts of sleep ward off conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease, so every interruption in the process needs investigation.
Over half of men in a study on the effects of low testosterone also showed signs of depression, and depressed men often find that testosterone replacement therapy can sometimes be more effective than antidepressants.
If you have any or all of these symptoms of low testosterone, a simple blood test can establish your T levels. Combined with your medical history, your blood test can suggest why your testosterone levels are low. The underlying cause of low testosterone determines your treatment options.