The human body naturally produces the hormone testosterone within. It is primarily produced in the testicles among men. By nature, this is a male hormone that affects the appearance and development of males in all aspects including sexual development and physical features. Testosterone also stimulates the production of sperm and the sex drive in men. It also facilitates a proper building of bone and muscle mass.
As people age, the production of hormones tends to decrease. This means as men get older, testosterone levels drop. The American Urological Association reports that 2 in every 10 men have low testosterone. This rate specifically refers to males 60 years and older. In the 70 to 80-year old category, the rate is higher, with 2 out of every 10 men having low testosterone levels.
Experts consider low testosterone start at 300 nanograms per deciliter and then lower. USFDA shares that normal levels fall between 300 to 1,000 ng/dL. As testosterone levels decrease at a fast and irregular rate, men can experience accompanying symptoms that tell of the condition. You can also take a serum testosterone test to get an official diagnosis. This is a kind of blood test that identifies the level of testosterone that circulates within your body.
Can you recognize whether you have low T levels? The signs may be subtle but indeed you can recognize if you have an abnormal or low level of testosterone. What are the symptoms that present with low testosterone levels among men? Here are some:
Loss of hair.
Testosterone stimulates the production of hair in the male body. While genetic predisposition causes some men to go bald as they get older, those with low testosterone levels may notice a significant loss of hair in other parts of their body, including the loss of facial hair.
Changes in the sex drive.
A low testosterone level may lead to a low sex drive. It is natural for men to experience a slow decline in libido as they get older. However, sudden and large drops in T levels may also display drastic drops in the desire for sex.
With low testosterone comes easy fatigue. It is testosterone that enhances energy levels and a decrease will normally cause a person to get tired quickly. No amount of sleep and energy drinks like caffeine can fully correct this condition if the cause is low testosterone. Efforts to increase T levels is the most effective way of countering extreme fatigue due to low testosterone.
As testosterone influences the sex drive, it also affects male erection. While testosterone is not totally responsible for erection, it influences the speed by which erection takes place as well as the duration by which erection is maintained because it is responsible for the production of nitric oxide in the brain. And it is nitric oxide that facilitates the occurrence of erection in men. When testosterone levels are low, a man may find it difficult to get an erection during foreplay and have difficulties maintaining an erection as well as having multiple ones during lovemaking or as a normal male body occurrence.
Now while we say that testosterone levels affect male erection, it is not the only reason for erectile dysfunction. Health conditions come into play and these may also cause sexual problems among men. Illnesses like diabetes, thyroid conditions, hypertension, depression, and high cholesterol, and even high stress levels may also cause erectile dysfunctions. Vices like alcohol or nicotine addiction may also be the culprits in some cases.
Decrease in seminal fluid.
Testosterone helps produce semen in the male body. This is the whitish fluid that carries the male sperm during sex. It is common for males with low testosterone to notice a decrease in the amount of semen that presents during ejaculation. If untreated, this can pose infertility problems among couples who want to get pregnant.
Increased body fat.
Low testosterone may lead to an increase in body fat and even obesity among men. With low testosterone, energy levels and calorie burn run low and men may start cutting back on activities like exercise and other physical activities. This gets complicated when men lessen physical exertion but keep the same eating habits, sometimes even eating more than they did before. When this happens, belly fat and man boobs may develop.
Loss of muscle mass
A loss of testosterone often leads to loss of muscle mass. With low energy and decrease in physical movements, muscle mass decreases while fat increases. Sometimes strength and body functions may also decline. It is important to maintain motivation to stay physically active as one gets older and to consult health professionals when you start to experience any of these symptoms of low testosterone so you can promptly and proactively manage the condition.
Low testosterone can cause changes in your mood and mindset. Research indicates that men with low testosterone are prone to irritability, loss of focus, and a decrease in mental capacity. If you have suspicions, it is important to have your T levels checked because if you are not careful, depression and loss of motivation may kick in and affect your quality of life.