A hormone produced by the testicles is known to be Testosterone. Testosterone affects your appearance & overall sexual development, stimulates sperm formation and sex drive, and at the same time helps build muscle & bone mass. Testosterone production reduces with growing age. About 40 percent of men aged 45 & above are suffering from low testosterone. Let’s know the signs when one can know that he is suffering from low testosterone.
Low sex drive
Testosterone plays a major role in the sex drive and this is also called libido. Few men may witness a decline in their sex drive as they get old with age but those with low testosterone will experience a major drastic drop.
Difficulty gaining and maintaining an erection
Testosterone aids in gaining and maintaining a penile erection. It tells the brain receptors to produce nitric oxide, which is a molecule that helps trigger the chemical reaction series that is needed for an erection to happen. When the testosterone levels are very low, you may face difficulty gaining an erection before starting with sexual intercourse or having erections very spontaneously like at the time of sleep. Research however is inconclusive on whether the replacement of testosterone therapy can treat erectile dysfunction with great success. In a review of studies that looked at the testosterone benefit in men with erection issues, nearly half of them showed no improvement with the treatment of testosterone.
Another kind of health situation can cause erectile difficulties more often. These include:
- thyroid diseases
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- Smoking & alcohol use.
Witnessing hot flashes can be a sign of low testosterone level. This can feel like a sudden warmth sensation. You may also witness sweating, reddening of the skin, and night sweats.
Loss of hair
Testosterone plays a vital role in many body functions, involving hair production. Balding is a natural way of growing old for a lot of men and while it can be hereditary, those with low testosterone may surely lose body & facial hair also.
Men with low testosterone may report fatigue & low energy. If you’re consistently tired despite getting good enough sleep you may have low testosterone or if you find it harder to get motivated to workout.
Decreased muscle mass
Men with low testosterone may witness a reduction in muscle mass, as testosterone contributes to muscle building. A source found that testosterone affects the mass of muscle but not strength or function.
Enhanced body fat
Men with low testosterone may witness some growth in body fat or form gynecomastia, which is enlarged tissue of breast. Gynecomastia can happen when there is a testosterone imbalance and estrogen present in the body.
Decreased bone mass
Osteoporosis is a situation people often link with females, but men suffering from low testosterone can also witness some bone loss. Testosterone helps form and strengthen bone, so men with low testosterone, may have a lower volume of bone and thus be more susceptible to bone fractures.
Men with low testosterone can have some mood changes. Since testosterone can influence many of the body’s physical processes, it at the same time can also influence mood & mental capacity.
Both testosterone levels & cognitive functions, especially memory, decline with age. Leading to this, doctors have said that lower levels of testosterone could contribute to affected memory.
According to research, the supplementation of testosterone is linked with improved memory in old men with low testosterone though the effect may be less or small. A source on testosterone supplementation however did not find improvements in memory in many of the men with low levels of testosterone.
Smaller testicle & size of penile
The body needs testosterone to form the penile and testicles, so the low testosterone levels could give to a disproportionately smaller penile or testicles. Some other conditions and circumstances can give a smaller penile & testicles.
- undescended testicles
- prostate surgery
- Peyronie’s disease
- growing age
Low blood counts
Low testosterone has been linked with an increased risk for anemia by doctors. When the researchers examined testosterone gel with anemic men who are suffering from low testosterone, they saw some improved counts of blood compared to men who used a placebo.
Some symptoms of anemia involve:
- difficulty in concentrating
- leg cramping
- difficulty in sleeping
- the rapid rate of heart
Causes of low testosterone
Testosterone levels go down naturally as men get older, but other situations or circumstances may also cause a low level of testosterone. These may involve:
- testicle injuries
- cancer treatments
- alcohol consumption disorder
- kidney disorder
- cirrhosis of the liver
- autoimmune disease
- infection and obesity
- metabolic syndrome
- using some of the medications
Many men experience a decrease in testosterone as they get old with growing age. The older you get, the more you’ll have a low testosterone level. Plenty of factors can cause you low testosterone. Men with testosterone below levels of 300 ng/dL may witness few symptoms. A doctor can then check your level of testosterone with a blood test. If you are suffering from low testosterone and the symptoms bother you, testosterone replacement therapy is then a common treatment. The therapy of testosterone replacement is lifelong. If you stop this treatment, your testosterone levels will also drop for sure.
Side effects of testosterone replacement therapy involve:
- enlarged prostate & shrinking testicles
- sperm count reduction
- high red blood cell count
- fluid retention
- swollen feet or the ankles
Testosterone replacement therapy may not be right if:
- you have an untreated heart condition
- have breast cancer or prostate cancer
- have a sleep apnea
- have elevated counts of red blood cell
- plan to have kids