Low testosterone is a diagnosis that is becoming increasingly common. This rising diagnosis may be the result of an aging population, decreased stigma, or more precise testing.
Testosterone is a hormone important to men. It is what puts hair on a man’s chest (and face). It’s the force behind your man’s sex drive and the swagger in his step. Testosterone is produced mainly in the testes. This hormone is linked to male pattern fat distribution, bone density, and red blood cell production. And it is necessary for healthy male development and sexual function.
During puberty, testosterone is the cause of change in the male body. The deepening voice and the development of bodily hair are all thanks to testosterone. Testosterone continues to play a vital role long past the teenage years. You could say this hormone practically makes the man—from his libido to his mood to the way he looks at you. In adulthood, a man’s sex drive is fueled by testosterone. It’s what makes and keeps his muscles strong.
When a man’s testosterone levels are low, trouble signs can begin to show in his emotional and physical health. There are low testosterone jokes aplenty, but it really is no laughing matter. Low testosterone can be the cause of bigger medical problems. These include diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart disease.
Low Testosterone Symptoms
- Disturbed sleep. Changes in sleep quality and sleep patterns are a part of life. But for men who suffer from low levels of testosterone, insomnia can be a symptom of deficiency.
- Low hair volume. Balding may be hereditary or just a natural part of aging. But also, men with low testosterone may experience an all-around loss of hair.
- Physical changes. Loss of muscle mass and an increase in body fat may be signs of testosterone deficiency. Shrinkage in arm and leg muscles may even be noticeable. It may be difficult to rebuild lost muscle mass. Some men complain of gynaecomastia, also known as man boobs.
- Low sex drive.Testosterone’s part in libido is huge. A decline in sex drive is natural as you age. (It should be noted that not all men will experience this lessening of sexual desire.) But when low testosterone is the cause, the drop will be more drastic and notable.
- Erectile dysfunction. The healthy male body releases a tiny molecule called nitric oxide. This action triggers erections. Alas, testosterone is what in needed to trigger this release. When testosterone levels are at a low, erections can be few and far between or not quite sufficient for sexual intercourse (source: PhalloGauge). Men can get help by getting erectile dysfunction treatment as well as other forms of treatment if they navigate here.
- Low semen volume. Testosterone plays an invaluable role in the production of semen. The more testosterone a man has, the more semen he will make.
- Decrease in bone mass. Osteoporosis is common in women, but it often affects men with low testosterone. This is because testosterone aids in the production and fortifying of the bones. Men with this condition are more susceptible to bone breaks and fractures as they age.
- Emotional changes. It may not be full on clinical depression, but low testosterone affects the mood. Men with low testosterone are often not as optimistic as they used to be. Or they’re just generally grouchy or blue.
- Decreased energy and fatigue. Your man may feel rather tired at the end of a long day at work. But extreme fatigue and feeling depleted is not the norm and could be a sign of testosterone deficiency.
A slow decrease of testosterone over time is natural. This is part of the natural aging process. While you may experience any of the symptoms to a degree, you need to not be inconvenienced by them. Andropause is a term used by doctors to describe age-related testosterone deficiency and hormone changes in men. If your partner has been losing steam of late, around the home or in the bedroom, it’s worth talking to your practitioner about it.