Testosterone, the main male sex hormone, is responsible for several important functions in a man’s body. It is the hormone that regulates the development of the male sex organs, a man’s sex drive or libido, sperm production, appearance of masculine features including facial and pubic hair, deepening of a man’s voice during puberty, muscle mass, fat distribution, bone mass, and even in maintaining a normal and stable mood. In short, it is very important.
The hormone testosterone is produced in the testicles. It peaks during men’s adolescence and early adulthood stages. With age, testosterone levels in men gradually decline. Typically, this happens at 1% a year rate by the age 30 or 40. And this is why it’s normal for older men to have low-T or low testosterone levels. To diagnose low testosterone hormone levels, your doctor will likely order a blood test and take a blood sample from you to determine this.
Sometimes, low-T happens not only to older men. In some cases, younger people could also have low testosterone levels. If not due to aging, men experiencing low testosterone may have a condition known as hypogonadism. Hypogonadism is a condition wherein very little to no testosterone is produced by the testicles. Hypogonadism happens due to any of the following reasons:
- chemotherapy / radiation therapy in cancer patients
- testicular infection or injury
- medications like corticosteroids / opiate pain relief
- alcohol / drug abuse
- pituitary gland disease and other hormone disorders
- genetic condition known as Klinefelter syndrome
Signs of Low Testosterone in a Man
Low testosterone in men manifests in several physical changes. These include the following symptoms:
Low testosterone levels often lead to an increase in body fat. Without healthy diet and regular exercise, most men would gain more weight leading to overweight and obesity.
2. Reduced testicle size
Not having enough testosterone could lead to a reduction in the size of men’s testicles. The scrotum could also be affected and may feel softer than normal.
3. Lesser amount of semen
A man’s semen helps the sperm to move closer towards fertilizing an egg. Since the testosterone hormone is mainly responsible for producing semen, low levels of it could also mean reduced semen levels. Consequently, this may lead to infertility.
4. Erection problems
One of the main manifestations of low testosterone in men is having reduced quality of erections. Erection problems may not always be due to low testosterone, but it could play a role in it.
5. Difficulty sleeping
Low testosterone may lead men to have trouble with sleep. Researchers have noticed that when testosterone levels in men decline, the stress hormone (cortisol) rises. Cortisol hormone can cause difficulty sleeping or lead to shorter sleep in men.
6. Hair loss
Age-related hair loss in men is common, but low testosterone levels could lead to the hastening of men’s hair loss. This also affects beard growth and growth of pubic hair, on top of the loss of hair on a man’s scalp.
7. Reduced lean muscle mass
One of the key functions of testosterone is the development of muscle mass. With low levels of the male sex hormone, this leads to a loss of lean muscle mass as well. Nevertheless, despite the reduction in mass, this does not affect the strength or the function of the muscles.
8. Low bone density
Testosterone helps in maintaining bone volume and produces bone tissue. With insufficient testosterone levels, this reduces the volume too, leading the bones to become more vulnerable to fractures.
9. Low sex drive
As testosterone’s main function is to regulate libido or sex drive, not enough amounts of it can also lead to a reduced appetite for sex.
Low testosterone not only manifests through several physical body changes, but also mental and emotional changes such as:
1. Fatigue/ constantly feeling tired
According to the American Urological Associaton, fatigue or constantly feeling tired is one of the symptoms of low testosterone.
2. Changes in mood, affecting focus and memory
Testosterone also plays a huge role in men’s moods and not having enough of it could lead to mood swings, affecting their focus and memory. With low-T, men could exhibit irritability, symptoms of depression, and overall low mood.
The following symptoms appear to be common signs of low testosterone levels in men, but could also appear and be caused by other factors in many cases. These factors may result in very similar symptoms with low-T:
- side effects from medication use
- diabetes condition
- thyroid problems
- obstructive sleep apnea
Does Low Testosterone Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
As the main male sex hormone that is responsible for healthy sexual functioning in men, not having enough testosterone could show up as occasional erection problems, difficulty maintaining erection, and in many cases, leads to a full blown condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence.
A condition characterized by the difficulty of achieving and maintaining erection, ED affects millions of men worldwide. Testosterone plays a huge role in a man’s sexual health. Therefore, low-T can lead to impotence or erectile dysfunction in many cases.
Although a common condition in men, erectile dysfunction is not caused by low testosterone at all times. It may be a symptom of other underlying health factors such as diabetes or hypertension in some cases. If low testosterone is the main culprit behind erectile dysfunction, which is the case for many older men, addressing the testosterone problem could reverse erectile dysfunction.
There are natural ways to address testosterone level deficiency. Regular exercise is one of the most effective natural methods for addressing low testosterone levels. Physical activity, especially resistance training (weightlifting) and high intensity interval training, are both very effective at not only addressing lifestyle-related health problems, but can boost testosterone naturally.
Other natural ways to address low-T levels include eating a healthy diet with enough protein, carbohydrates, and fat contents. Managing one’s lifestyle and stress levels may also be helpful in addressing testosterone problems. And getting the right amount of important nutrients, including Vitamin D from natural sunlight or through supplementation, are also effective in increasing testosterone levels and improving erectile function, as pointed out by a particular study.
Testosterone is the main sex hormone in men that is behind several important bodily functions. Testosterone levels help men to stay strong, healthy, and maintain optimal sexual health. As men age, testosterone levels gradually decline, and this can manifest both physically and emotionally, including the likelihood of erectile dysfunction.
For most men, erectile dysfunction is a problem they choose to live with and not address. But treating the condition at the onset will benefit you and your health in many ways. Erectile dysfunction could be an underlying symptom of a more serious health concern or be caused by low testosterone levels. But in many cases, it can be treated and even be reversed. No man has to live with ED forever.
Responding to the growing need for men to seek guidance and safe treatment for their sensitive health concerns like erectile dysfunction, Thrones Health was created. Thrones Health is a US-based telemedicine company dedicated to treating men’s issues like ED, premature ejaculation, and hair loss, among others. This is your sign to look after your health without much inconvenience. With telemedicine services right at the tip of your fingertips, you will have access to safe and discreet treatment anytime.