The issue of hormone imbalances in menopausal women is fairly well-known. What is not as well-known is that men can also experience a hormonal imbalance. All human beings of both sexes function better and are happier when hormones are in balance. For men, one of the more common possible hormonal issues is low testosterone.
What Does Testosterone Do?
This hormone does a lot in the male body. It is produced in the testicles and affects the appearance, muscle and bone mass, mood, sexual function, and even hair growth and loss.
What is Normal Testosterone Production?
For most men, testosterone will naturally drop as they age. Naturally lowered testosterone levels, however, are not the same thing as low testosterone. The American Urological Association has found that in men under 60 years of age, about two in 10 have low testosterone. For men over the age of 70, about three in 10 will have it. A man is considered to have low T any time levels of testosterone in the blood fall below 300 ng/dL.
What Are the Signs Of Low Testosterone?
Consider these symptoms, and if you think you have any of them it might be time to seek a doctor’s opinion and find out if you need testosterone replacement therapy.
- Your sex life has changed. Testosterone is one of the key hormones that drives libido in men. While many men do naturally experience a decline in sex drive with age, those suffering from low testosterone tend to experience a drastic drop in sexual desire. Testosterone is also important to erections, so erectile dysfunction can result if you have low T. Remember, however, that erectile dysfunction can have many complicated factors and low testosterone may not be the issue at all. A doctor can help you find out what the issue is if you are experiencing erectile dysfunction.
- Your hair is falling out. One of the many important functions of testosterone in men is hair production. There are currently 35 million American men experiencing hair loss and 40% of men will have noticeable hair loss by the time they turn 35. This can be a serious issue, and 47% of those who are losing their hair say they would spend their whole life savings to regain a full head of hair. While balding can be genetic, low testosterone can also be one cause of the hair loss men experience.
- You feel tired all the time. One of the reasons you’re feeling constant fatigue or dropping energy levels could be low testosterone. If you find that you’re getting plenty of sleep and yet constantly feeling tired, low testosterone could be the issue. If you find yourself unmotivated to exercise, consider seeing a doctor to have your testosterone levels tested.
- You aren’t putting on muscle. Everyone, both men and women, will find it harder to put on muscle as they get older. There are several reasons for this, including that our body does not metabolize protein as well as we age, meaning that we need more protein to sustain the same amount of muscle mass. However, low testosterone can cause men to lose muscle mass, so if you suddenly find yourself feeling very different at the gym, it might be time to see a doctor.
- You are constantly in a bad mood or can’t focus. For men, testosterone is tightly connected to mood. Men with low testosterone will often struggle more with depression or irritability, or they may find themselves unable to focus as they use to.
- You might be getting fatter. When men’s testosterone levels drop, they sometimes see an increase in fat tissue. This is most likely due to an imbalance between the estrogen and testosterone in the body. Low testosterone particularly causes the tissue in the breasts to develop, so if you notice this be sure to talk to a doctor.
Low testosterone can make life difficult for a man, but thankfully low testosterone treatment is available. Look for a clinic and doctors near you who can help you find out what’s going on in your body and how to get back to normal.