Testosterone is the male sex hormone. It plays a crucial role in male sexual development and fertility. Testosterone levels tend to peak at age 20 and gradually decrease over time, but some men have naturally low testosterone levels. This condition may be referred to as Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome or Low-T. If you have Low-T, treatments are available, and our expert team at One Life Health and Performance in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, can help.
What Is Low Testosterone?
Medically speaking, Low-T is diagnosed when the levels of testosterone in a man’s body are below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). A healthy amount of testosterone should be between 300 and 1,000 ng/dL. It’s natural for levels to drop in old age, with around 30% of men over 70 having Low-T, but healthy man should have a normal amount of testosterone, and if you don’t have enough, you may find yourself struggling from a wide range of symptoms.
Testosterone is directly linked to sexual functions like maintaining erections and producing sperm, so a deficiency of this hormone can lead to some life-changing side effects. This guide will take a look at some of the most common signs associated with testosterone deficiency to make it easier for you to identify if you are suffering from Low-T.
A Lack of Libido
Testosterone and libido are directly connected. If a man’s testosterone levels are particularly low, he may therefore have a lack of interest in sex. People with Low-T often find that they aren’t interested in sexual activity or only rare show signs of interest.
This can lead to possible relationship problems and associated stresses for the individual concerned. Some couples may have arguments, for example, regarding one partner’s apparent lack of interest in sexual activity. It’s important to note that low sex drive can also be linked to other factors like stress and age, but it could be a sign of Low-T, so it’s not something to ignore.
One of the most common signs of a testosterone deficiency is erectile dysfunction or difficulty. Testosterone plays a key role in a man’s sex drive or libido. It also helps in the process of achieving and maintaining erections by stimulating certain receptors in the brain. This leads to the production of a molecule called nitric oxide, which is a key ingredient for the chemical reactions involved in the process of having an erection.
Men with Low-T may therefore find it difficult to get erections prior to sexual activity or maintaining erections for any length of time. However, it’s important to note that testosterone isn’t the only factor when it comes to erections. Erectile dysfunction can have many causes, including high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Low-T could therefore be one explanation for why a man might struggle to have erections, but it might not be the only possible cause.
Low Amounts of Semen
Testosterone is linked to the production of both sperm and semen. Semen is the milk-colored liquid that is released during sexual activity, and it helps in the transportation of sperm. Men with low levels of testosterone may find that they have low amounts of semen in general or might notice a sudden decrease in the amount of semen released at the moment of ejaculation.
There are many possible reasons why a man may lose his hair or go bald. This is a natural part of the aging process for many men, and it may not necessarily have any underlying cause. However, it can be associated with testosterone deficiencies.
This is because testosterone plays a part in the production of hair. With low levels of testosterone, it can be difficult for the body to grow new hair strands, leading to a gradual loss of hair on the head. It’s also possible that men with Low-T begin to lose hair around the body and face, too.
Lack of Facial and Bodily Hair
As explained above, testosterone is closely connected to hair growth. This applies not just to the hair on a man’s head, but also around his body. It’s thanks to testosterone that hair begins to grow in various bodily areas like the pubic region and armpits during puberty in males. Testosterone also promotes the growth of facial hair. A man who has very little facial or bodily hair might have low levels of testosterone. However, this could also be a simple genetic trait.
Tiredness and Fatigue
A low level of testosterone may also lead to a man feeling more tired and fatigued in general. They might find that they feel lacking in energy, even if they just woke up from a long rest and even if they tend to sleep well each night. These men may find that they get worn out easily and feel the need to rest often, and they may find it hard to exercise or engage in any kind of physical activity.
Like other side effects of Low-T, this one can have various additional consequences for a man’s personal or professional life. In his personal life, he might find it hard to control his weight due to a lack of energy for exercise. In his professional life, certain jobs involving manual labor or physical exertions might be too difficult to engage with.
Loss of Bone Mass
Another of the many roles of testosterone is to help bones grow big and strong. Therefore, if a man has a low amount of testosterone, he may have lower levels of bone mass and strength. This is particularly common in older men, and the medical term for the thinning of bone mass is osteoporosis. Dealing with osteoporosis can be a challenge, as people with this condition are more likely to fracture and break their bones due to falls and accidents.
More Fat Around the Body
As well as possibly having weaker and thinner bones, men with low amounts of testosterone may also find that their bodies store and gain more fat over time. Reports show that men with Low-T often store fat around the chest. This condition is known as gynecomastia, and it refers to an enlarging of the tissue around the breast.
Low Levels of Muscle Mass
Testosterone also helps men build muscle. This is why young men often gain muscle around their bodies during puberty, and it’s why men may typically find it easier to gain muscle mass, when compared to women. Men with Low-T are still able to have strong muscles, but they may find it difficult to grow large muscles around the body, even with strenuous workouts, healthy diets, and plenty of physical activity.
It’s natural for memory to fade with age, and many people in the latter years of their life find it harder to remember certain things or may find that they forget things more easily than they once did. Research has shown that testosterone may have a part to play in memory too. One study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, revealed that men who were given testosterone supplements exhibited better memories.
It may be surmised, therefore, that low testosterone levels may affect a man’s memory negatively. They might find it harder to remember certain things, and once again, this can have knock-on effects in both their personal and professional lives. Memory troubles can also contribute to emotional and mental health difficulties like stress and depression too.
Males with Low-T have also been seen to experience sudden, random mood swings. This is explainable by the fact that testosterone can impact a person’s mood and mental state. Studies show that those with Low-T are more likely to experience bouts of depression and irritability. They might find themselves getting angry without much or any reason, or they might feel frustrated or annoyed at random, which can affect their relationships with others.
Lack of Focus
Men with Low-T also often find it hard to focus or concentration for long periods of time. They may be easily distracted or find it hard to stay motivated and focused on one particular task or topic. This can cause problems at work, as it can be harder for these individuals to remain concentrated on specific work tasks, and they might find it harder to hit deadlines.
Smaller Testicles or Penis
During puberty, a male’s penis and testicles grow. Testosterone is an important part of this process, and it is required for the development of male sexual organs. With low levels of testosterone, it may not be possible for the body to grow these organs at the same rate or to the same size as a man with normal or above-average levels of testosterone.
It is possible, therefore, that someone with Low-T will have a smaller than average penis and smaller testicles. It’s also possible that the testicles may decrease in size later in life due to a more sudden testosterone deficiency. Again, it’s important to note that there are other possible explanations of small testicles too, so it should not be assumed that this is linked to Low-T, but it is a possibility.
Insomnia or General Sleeping Difficulties
Doctors have reported that many men with Low-T can also find it quite hard to get to sleep. They may suffer from long-term insomnia, which can make it very difficult to get sufficient rest each night. This can cause additional problems, such as irritability, depression, stress, and a lack of energy in day to day life.
Men with Low-T can suffer from other sleeping difficulties too. Studies show that a lot of males with low amounts of testosterone suffer from sleep apnea. This is a sleep disorder that can cause a person to stop breathing briefly while they are sleeping. This can be a very serious disorder that may lead to heart and liver problems, so it’s something that should be addressed medically as soon as possible.
Boost Your Testosterone Levels with Hormone Optimization
Low testosterone can clearly be a very difficult thing to deal with. It can cause lots of challenges and problematic side effects for a man and may also have indirect consequences for those around him too. Fortunately, men with Low-T don’t simply have to suffer in silence and cope with the difficulties of this condition. There are various possibilities to replenish your body’s levels of testosterone and overcome the signs and symptoms listed above.
Hormone optimization methods, such as hormone replacement therapy, can help to restore balance to your hormonal levels. This can boost your physical, mental, and sexual health in various ways. To find out more, contact One Life Health and Performance in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.