How Do you Know You Have a Low Testosterone Level?
Before we delve into the symptoms of low testosterone levels, it is prudent that we first understand what it is. Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. It gives persons their male characteristics. For Instance, men have more body energy and stamina than women because they have more testosterone. Young men’s bodies produce testosterone continuously, to keep them at high levels. That explains why young men are energetic and lively.
The normal testosterone levels for any man should range between a low of 300 nanograms per deciliter and a high of 800 ng/dl. The results from different labs differ but the deviation is insignificant. If your testosterone count is below the lower limit, you are described as having low testosterone levels. Research indicates that testosterone levels are at a peak at 30 years of age. Past 30, the natural production of testosterone in the body starts to decline, and so do the levels of testosterone. If the condition is unmitigated, it deteriorates until the body can no longer produce any testosterone.
Low testosterone levels are detrimental to many functions of the body. One will immediately start experiencing various symptoms. It can also lead to serious health complications.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone Levels
- erectile dysfunction
- decreased libido or sexual activity
- rapid hair loss
- reduced muscle mass
- increased body fat
- enlarged breasts
- Whole Body Fatigue
- Decreased Bone Mass
- Mood Imbalance
1) Low Libido and Sex Drive:
This is one of the most common symptoms. It occurs in almost every man, as they progress in age. As remarked earlier, testosterone is the primary sex hormone. Your sexual health is always the first one to take a beating when your testosterone levels start slumping. You experience low libido and reduced sex drive.
2) Erectile Dysfunction:
As your testosterone levels continue to decline, it becomes increasingly difficult to develop an erection. In the event that you can still develop one, you will quickly realize you cannot maintain it for long. Many men will run to sex boosters when they realize they have such a challenge. Sex boosters address the symptoms, but not the cause. Through closely related stronger erections do not necessarily mean increased testosterone level.
Infertility stems from the low sex drive and erectile dysfunction. Low testosterone levels also reduce the sperm count and semen volume. You may not realize this through your own observation, but the end result is infertility.
4) Rapid Hair Loss:
Testosterone is responsible for hair growth on men bodies. Hair loss is mostly a genetically predisposed aspect to aging men. However, low testosterone levels will hasten the process or cause hair loss on persons not genetically predisposed to it.
5) Reduced Muscle Mass:
Low testosterone levels reduce your ability to develop lean muscles. Your muscle also gets worn out. Testosterone is a crucial part of the muscle-building process. The functions and strength and not necessarily affected, but the toned muscles tend to disappear.
6) Increased Body Fat:
Testosterone promotes the metabolism process in male bodies. Low levels of the hormone mean that fats are being absorbed into the body are not burned. These fats end up getting deposited in the blood vessels and other parts of the body. This condition can lead to more complications.
7) Enlarged Breasts:
The male body produces a female hormone called estrogen, to neutralize testosterone levels, so that they don’t go above the upper limit. The estrogen levels in males are limited though. Low testosterone levels mean more estrogen agents are left free in the body. The result is development of body characteristics associated with female bodies, the most common being enlarged breasts.
8) Whole Body Fatigue:
Metabolism builds and provides energy for the body. Low testosterone leads to reduced metabolism. Your body, therefore, lacks energy, and you end up feeling fatigued in the whole body.
9) Decreased Bone Mass:
Testosterone is known to have the ability to build and strengthen bone structures. You will notice that men have stronger and firmer bones than women. Low testosterone levels lead to lower bone volumes and their bones become susceptible to fractures.
10) Mood Imbalances:
We have already established that testosterone and estrogen hormones are produced concurrently so that there is a hormonal balance in the body. Hormones are largely responsible for your moods. For instance, low testosterone leads to the promotion of a hormone called cortisol, which causes stress. Hormone imbalance quickly escalates into mood imbalances.
Causes of Low Testosterone
We have identified age as the most contributing factor in testosterone decline. Apart from the age factor, there are other factors that cause of low testosterone such as;
- Injury on the Testicles
- Testicular Cancer
- Treatment of testicular cancer
- Hormonal disorder
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Chronic Liver Disease
- Kidney Disease
The testicles are the “factory” where testosterone is produced. Any sort of interference with them has a direct effect on the levels of testosterone. Testicle injury, cancer, and the treatment that accompany such issues will take a toll on testosterone levels in the body.
The HIV virus, if unmitigated leads to Aids. Through the process, it kills virtually all the body’s defense mechanisms, against infections. Under such conditions, it is virtually impossible for the body to produce any testosterone. HIV is a controllable condition though. One should not let it get to the complications stages.
Type 2 Diabetes:
People with type 2 diabetes have a condition called insulin resistance. Insulin is a compound produced by the pancreas that regulates the levels of glucose in the blood, by converting it into energy. When you have insulin resistance, your body cells are not receptive to the insulin produced by your pancreases. The excess sugar in your blood hinders the production of testosterone.
Chronic Liver and Kidney Diseases:
The human liver has hormone production and balancing capabilities. The kidney detoxifies the blood. The blood carries all the necessary nutrients for the production of testosterone. Any sort of deformity on these two organs is bound to have a consequential effect on testosterone production.
Testosterone replacement therapy is a common run-to option for many men after they realize they have low testosterone levels. The therapy should only be administered to persons with extremely low testosterone levels. It has negative side effects. Don’t worry though. The side effects can be mitigated not to cause any harm.
How you know you have low testosterone level?
Testosterone decline does not sneak up on you. It develops gradually. If you are not keen enough you may not notice the changes it brings along at first. The changes are quite evident when the levels have slumped far below the lower limit though. As the levels decline, you will experience more fatigue than you usually do after a particular physical activity. It may be a job activity of a workout routine. You may also feel lethargic and out of breath, unable to do what you would normally do with ease.
You may also experience moods that don’t commonly experience. You may start being overly sensitive, or edgy and quick-tempered. All these are indications of testosterone levels that are on a downward spiral.
The effects of low testosterone are bothering, and detrimental to your overall wellbeing at times. The condition needs to be mitigated immediately it has been noticed. What are the ways of treating low testosterone levels?
Treatment Options for Low Testosterone
- Injections -The injections come in different forms. The most common are administered after every 14 days.
- Pellets – the pellets are put under your skin as implants, to release controlled amounts of testosterone.
- Mouth Tablets – Tablets are put on your gum or inner cheek twice in a day. The tablet releases testosterone directly into the bloodstream.
- Transdermal – this involves the introduction of synthetic testosterone hormones into the body through the skin. Skin patches are applied on the skin once every 24 hours, to release control amount of the hormone in the body.
- Gels – Topical gels are also common in the treatment of low testosterone. They also contain different amounts of synthetic testosterone. The gels are applied on the skin on the upper arms, shoulders or thighs. It is important that you cover the applied areas prevent testosterone exposure to other people you may interact with
These are medical means of treating low testosterone. Which are some of the natural ways to treat low testosterone? There several natural ways you can employ, but they may not be very effective if your case is serious. These are good to use even if you are not experiencing low testosterone levels. They will keep your testosterone levels high. It’s good to be safe than sorry right?
Natural Remedies to Low Testosterone
Lose Weight – We have already seen obesity as one of the causes of low testosterone. Work on losing weight and your natural testosterone production will pick up.
Consume Zinc – Zinc is the primary building block of testosterone. Ensure your dietary intake has a lot of this mineral nutrient. Foods rich in zinc include, milk, beans, fish and many others.
Get Enough Sleep – The body need to rejuvenate its systems. It does this when you get some sleep. Lack of sleep is a major enemy to testosterone agents.
Stay Active – It is important that you keep your body active to avoid slumping testosterone levels. Take strength and endurance exercises, and if possible engage in high-intensity exercises.
Eat Healthy – Let your diet be balanced. Avoid a lot of sugary and fatty diet. Your diet should be rich in vitamins, especially vitamin D, and mineral nutrients such as BCAAs ( branch chain amino acids).