31 Oct Symptoms of Low Testosterone
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. It has a variety of responsibilities within the body, and if levels drop below normal, men can experience both physical and emotional effects. Testosterone is needed in the body to build bone and muscle mass, regulate fat distribution, and produce red blood cells. Men also need testosterone to have a healthy sex drive and to produce sperm.
How is Testosterone Measured?
Testosterone levels are measured by a blood test that can be completed by your doctor. The normal range of testosterone in the body is 300ng/dl to 1000ng/dl. Testosterone levels are considered low when blood levels fall below 300ng/dl.
What Causes Low Testosterone?
There are many causes for low testosterone levels in men. Some common causes include…
- Alcohol use
- Illicit drug use
- Heart disease
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
Reduced Muscle Mass: Testosterone is essential for developing and maintaining muscle mass. Reduced testosterone levels in the body can result in loss of muscle mass and decreased muscle strength.
Reduce Bone Mass: Testosterone is needed by the body to produce bone tissue and maintain bone volume. Low testosterone levels can result in reduced bone volume, leading to an increased risk of bone fractures.
Reduced Sex Drive and Erectile Dysfunction: Men with low testosterone often experience a decrease in their sex drive and issues achieving or maintaining an erection. This is because testosterone stimulates the tissue in the penis to produce a chemical responsible for erections. Other factors contributing to erectile dysfunction include smoking, thyroid problems, increased cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, certain medications, and alcohol consumption.
Reduced Energy: Low testosterone levels can cause many men to feel as if they have no energy and fatigue quickly. Many men with low testosterone feel tired even after adequate rest or require a nap in the middle of the day.
Increased Body Fat: Low testosterone levels can cause men to develop body fat in areas in which they do not usually carry weight. Some men can even develop an enlargement of breast tissue called gynecomastia when their testosterone levels are too low.
Hair Loss: Hair loss can be a natural part of aging for many men, but some men have reported an increased rate of hair loss when their testosterone levels are low.
Difficulty Sleeping: Men with low testosterone levels often report difficulty falling or staying asleep. Low testosterone levels in men have also been associated with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is when people stop breathing temporarily while asleep, which causes frequent nighttime wakings and daytime sleepiness.
Mood Changes: Lack of focus, irritability, and depression are all associated with low testosterone.