One of the biggest concerns for aging men is low levels of testosterone, a condition associated with a number of less-than-appealing symptoms.
“Testosterone is a hormone. It’s what puts hair on a man’s chest. It’s the force behind his sex drive,” says Matt McMillan at WebMD.
He sums it up quite succinctly. Testosterone is the male androgen, or sex hormone, responsible for the deepening of the voice and the development of facial hair and the testes during puberty. Testosterone is also responsible for the development and upkeep of musculature in an adult male.
A man’s normal testosterone range is 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). Upper limits of production are 1,000 to 1,200 ng/dL.
After age 30, testosterone levels begin to dip, and the most common symptom associated with lowered levels of testosterone is decreased sex drive. This is why many men mistakenly associate a lowered sex drive with advanced age. But low testosterone doesn’t just affect older men – sometimes men under the age of 30 are equally susceptible.
According to Mayo Clinic, men with low testosterone are more likely to experience depression, irritability, or a lack of focus, among many other symptoms. Here are 8 of the most common, tell-tale signs of low testosterone.
How Do You Know If You Have Low Testosterone
1. LOW SEX DRIVE
Since testosterone is the male sex hormone and is responsible for maintaining a man’s sex drive, low levels of testosterone can lower libido and make it difficult to achieve an orgasm. In addition, low levels of t can make it hard to maintain an erection (testosterone is normally responsible for telling the brain to produce nitric oxide, which helps trigger an erection).
2. LOW LEVELS OF SEMEN
Testosterone is also directly responsible for the production and development of sperm. Consequently, a noticeably lower volume of semen during ejaculation may point to low testosterone.
3. HAIR LOSS
Testosterone is in part responsible for the overproduction of a man’s body hair as compared to a woman’s. A lack of testosterone may lead to hair loss – not just on the head – but across the entire body.
4. LOSS OF MUSCLE
In the same way that men with low testosterone may lose hair, they may also begin to see decreased muscle mass. The muscle groups most affected by low testosterone include the arms, legs, and chest.
5. WEIGHT GAIN
A corollary of losing muscle mass is gaining fat (if the same diet and weight is maintained). While there is no direct evidence that weight gain is caused by low testosterone, some research has shown that the genes that direct body fat percentage may also be responsible for testosterone levels.
6. DECREASE IN BONE MASS
Low levels of testosterone decrease both muscle mass and bone density. Decreased bone mass is also a naturally-occurring symptom of old age. That’s why older men with low testosterone are especially susceptible to bone fractures, especially in the hip, feet, ribs, and wrists.
7. LACK OF ENERGY
While not a prime cause of fatigue and lowered energy, low levels of testosterone may additively play a part in decreased in energy levels. Other conditions that might contribute to fatigue include obesity, vitamin deficiency, and a lack of exercise.
8. MOOD SWINGS
Low testosterone has sometimes been called the “male menopause” because it it is so common in older men. And, like women experience menopause, men who have low testosterone may experience mood swings caused by hormonal imbalances.
In Conclusion : Dr. Joseph Olivieri Says:
None of these symptoms alone are warning signs, but several observed simultaneously can be indicative of low testosterone. If you feel that you may be suffering from low levels of testosterone, it’s best to set up an appointment to visit your doctor and see whether your testosterone falls into the normal range of 300 ng/dL.
Dr. Joseph Olivieri is a testosterone specialists and has over 4 decades of experience as a physician and commonly performs testosterone tests for Ageonics Medical. He has served as a Staff Virology Physician at NYU Medical Center and was the HIV Medical Director at the Greenwich House.
For a free medical consultation or to schedule a testosterone test with Dr. Olivieri, please call us at 212-510-7020 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.