Signs and Symptoms of Low Testosterone
As it becomes more socially acceptable to talk about topics such as low sperm count and erectile dysfunction, conversations about low T are more commonplace than they used to be. Part of the phenomenon is due to the advertising and marketing of medications, and the other part is that men are aging more, leading to increases in low T diagnoses. If you’re experiencing symptoms like the ones below, have a talk with your doctor about low testosterone, what you can do to help facilitate testosterone production, and other options you may have for correcting low T.
Why Does Testosterone Decline?
Testosterone is the hormone that puts hair on a man’s body, and drops his voice when he’s going through puberty. During adulthood, testosterone is responsible for a man’s sex drive and keeps his muscles and bones strong. As men age past 30, they begin to notice a decrease in testosterone, often marked by a drop in sex drive and interest. The misconception is that a man’s age is responsible for the tapering off of his interest in sex. Men in their 20′s have been known to experience low T levels, and even a gradual decrease over time can lead to a total loss of interest in sex. In those cases, there may be other health issues besides aging, and low T is often the culprit.
Having signs or symptoms of low T? Call Dr. Jeffrey Buch and set up an appointment today – (972) 430-4554
Any good doctor would want to rule out other explanations for low energy levels, low sex drive and other symptoms to make sure they aren’t attributed to bigger health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary diseases. Thanks to the comfortable conversations we can now have about testosterone and erectile dysfunction, those similar symptoms can now be separated from other health issues, and even help thwart bigger health risks associated with heart diseases and diabetes. A simple blood test will help a doctor determine your testosterone levels.
What Range of T is Too Low?
A man’s testosterone should normally range between 300 nanograms per deciliter to 1,200 ng/dL. Lower than normal ranges indicate a number of conditions, including:
- Testicular injury or cancer
- Chronic liver or kidney disease
- Hormonal disorders
These aren’t the only reasons for a low T level, nor is low testosterone the only cause for issues like these. Low T doesn’t always mean that you’ll experience symptoms, but more often than not, testosterone levels far under 300 ng/dL offer more explanations for symptoms.
Even if you don’t exhibit any symptoms of low T, you should still seek treatment, as a silent killer of low testosterone levels is directly related to weaker muscles and drops in bone density.
Low Testosterone – What to Look Out For
Low sex drive or zero interest in sex is usually an apparent tick-off. Furthermore, if you’re having difficulty getting and maintaining an erection (especially if you’re below the age of 60), that’s another good reason to go see a doctor and ask some questions. Here are some other symptoms that you might be able to attribute to low T levels:
- Low amounts of semen–as testosterone plays a big role in the production of semen, if your ejaculate load is lighter than usual, you might have low T. Men with high testosterone produce more semen.
- Lack of energy, fatigue–if you find yourself tired all the time, even though you get a full night’s rest most of the week, or you find it hard to exercise when it used to be a part of your routine, your testosterone level might be low.
- Low muscle mass–another role of testosterone is in building up muscle tissue and strength. If your arms, legs or chest are feeling weaker than you’re used to, or you’re finding your normal weight training exercises to be more difficult than you remember, low T might be the culprit.
- Body fat increase–studies have shown that genes that control body fat percentage also circulate testosterone levels. When T is low, body fat tend to increase though there are no hard reasons as to why.
- Mood swings–testosterone is the driving force behind many physical processes in men’s bodies, but it also boosts their mental capacity and helps regulates their moods. Men with low t levels are likely to experience mood swings, irritability, depression or a lack of focus.
- Decrease in bone mass–osteoporosis is often misconstrued as a disease that only women can get, but since testosterone helps produce bone fiber, men with low T are at risk for bone fractures, especially of the hip, feet, wrists and ribs.
Treatment for Low T
Testosterone declining as you age is normal, but consider treatment if you are experiencing symptoms of low T and you are under the age of 60. For example, if you are a young man trying to conceive with your spouse, but have been noticing a decrease in your overall energy and semen production, testosterone injections might be a good option for you. Regular injections can help stimulate sperm motility and production. If fertility isn’t an issue, other options become readily available, such as a T patch or a daily gel to be applied on the skin.
These low t treatments are applied frequently and are the best way to keep a man’s testosterone steady and symptoms of low t at bay. You could also ask your doctor about a new implantable treatment where testosterone-releasing pellets are implanted under the skin of the buttocks. These pellets release daily doses of T over three to four months. Now these treatments have some side effects including heightened blood cell count, accelerated prostate growth, and increased breast tissue. Men with breast cancer or prostate cancer should not undergo testosterone treatment. For results that are catered to you and your specific testosterone levels, see your doctor and ask many questions if you’re thinking about treatment for low testosterone.