When to Know You're Low
Did you know that over 2 million men over the age of 40 suffer from low testosterone? This affects not only the quality of life for these men, but it can lead to significant medical problems as well. Low T is associated with osteoporosis, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and dementia, to name a few. And while testosterone levels do naturally decline with age, we are now seeing younger and younger men (and women) with symptoms of low testosterone. How do you know if you have low testosterone? Read below to find out!
1. Problems with erections
Low T can make it difficult to maintain or even achieve satisfactory erections. In order to do so, nitric oxide is required. Testosterone stimulates the production of nitric oxide, so if levels of T are too low, a man may not be able to get or maintain an erection.
2. Reduction in testicle size
Testosterone helps regulate sperm production and testicular volume. Low T can cause a reduction in testicular mass which can result in a softer scrotum and smaller testicles.
3. Difficulty sleeping
Low T can contribute to many sleep issues including difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and achieving REM sleep. There is also a correlation between sleep apnea and low T.
4. Lowered sex drive
Sex drive declines naturally as we age, but men with low T may notice a dramatic and unnatural drop in their desire for sex.
5. Reduction in the amount of semen
Semen is the fluid that makes up the majority of male ejaculate. This fluid helps the sperm move toward the egg. Testosterone helps stimulate the production of semen, and reduced levels of semen can indicate a reduction in testosterone. It can also lead to trouble with fertility.
6. Reduced muscle mass
Testosterone is a major contributor in the development of muscle mass in both men and women. As levels fall, muscle mass declines which can result in decreased exercise tolerance and athletic performance.
7. Reduced bone mass
Testosterone helps to produce and maintain bone tissue and strength. Low testosterone increases your risk for osteoporosis, or low bone mass, which raises the risk for bone fractures.
8. Hot flashes
Estrogen is the hormone typically associated with hot flashes, particularly in menopause. But other hormones can cause vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, including low T.
9. A decrease in energy levels
Fatigue is often the result of many imbalances, however low T is one of the more common causes of excessive tiredness, lack of motivation, and decreased desire to exercise.
10. An increase in body fat
Just as low T can cause decreased muscle mass, it can also contribute to increased fat mass, particularly visceral fat (fat around the middle) which can increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome.
11. Changes in mood or mood swings
Many studies indicate that men with low levels of testosterone are likely to experience a lack of focus, “brain fog”, irritability, anxiety, and depressed mood.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, see your doctor for a full evaluation, including testosterone levels. At Foundations Medical Center we take a comprehensive look at all aspects of your lifestyle to find the root cause of your hormone imbalance. We offer multiple options for bioidentical hormone replacement including pellets, injections or creams—whatever fits your needs best.