Testosterone is a hormone that determines ‘masculine’ traits such as vocal depth, bodily hair, and sperm production along with bone and muscle mass development. While testosterone drops naturally with age, levels below 300 ng/dL magnify the risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease in men and are considered as a medical condition known as Low Testosterone. Here are a few warning signs that you might be low on testosterone:
1-Reduced Sex Drive:
One of the primary symptoms, and perhaps the greatest point of concern, men with low testosterone levels often experience a drastic drop in the desire to have sex. While low libido is an eventual outcome of increasing age and varies between men, the desire is generally absent in case of low T.
2-Low Semen Volume:
An ample supply of testosterone is required to fulfill the normal 1.5-5 cm3 manufacturing quota of semen, the fluid responsible for transporting sperm to the vagina. Men with low T may observe a low amount of the liquid upon ejaculating during intercourse, which can make pregnancy difficult due to the reduced amount of sperm.
In some men, the testicles may feel physically numb, or touching the genitals during intercourse may not elicit the same pleasurable reaction. Either way, low T may be to blame as its genital nerve damage repairing abilities due to physical injury, diabetes, chemotherapy, etc. is compromised at reduced levels. Moreover, some men may also observe a shrinkage and softening of their scrotum (the ball-like testicle covering).
Aside from genetics, low T may also be responsible for premature balding, and loss of bodily and facial hair. Conversely, testosterone implants may promote hair regrowth in women with estrogen (testosterone’s female counterpart) deficiency. Moreover, low T also causes skin dryness and may worsen already-present skin conditions like psoriasis.
A low testosterone tank often correlates with easily depleted energy reserves, resulting in abnormal, day-long fatigue and lethargy despite adequate sleep. This reduced energy also affects positive motivation in some men.
6-Muscle Mass Loss:
Persistent or frequent muscle aches, joint pain, a visible shrinkage of arm, leg, and/or chest muscle, and newly-acquired difficulty in rebuilding muscle mass through weight-lifting may indicate a case of low T, considering the hormone’s pivotal role in building muscle mass. However, it does not affect strength. Contrarily, the conversion of testosterone to estrogen by the fat cells in obese men can cause weight gain in the abdomen or breast area (gynecomastia).
7-Decreased Bone Mass:
Primarily occurring in menopausal and peri-menopausal women, bone loss and density reduction due to osteoporosis can also affect older men with low T and increase the risk of fractures. Another menopausal symptom that can occur in men with low T are sudden, intermittent hot flushes (feelings of feverish heat).
Constant feelings of depression, despite the absence of a clinical diagnosis of the condition, and increased irritability may also be due to the direct influence of low T on the brain’s mood-controlling sector. Difficulty concentrating, a persistent ‘brain fog’, and memory issues may also indicate low T.
Recently acquired insomnia or regularly waking up at night, a common sign of obstructive sleep apnea, can also be the result of low testosterone levels. These sleep issues are further magnified in obese men due to the gradual fat cell-induced conversion of testosterone to estrogen.
These symptoms aren’t exclusive to low T and may be indicative of other medical conditions. Therefore, if you observe any of the above-stated signs, consult with your doctor to identify the root cause and treat it accordingly.
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