What are the signs of low testosterone?
Low sex drive, not having erections like you had few months ago? Not having interest in sex or feeling tired always? These could be signs that are telling you that you are low on testosterone, an important male hormone. Know the symptoms of that you will see when your body is producing low levels of testosterone.
Testosterone is one of the very important hormones produced by a man’s body. Testosterone is produced by the testicles after receiving signals from the brain. In a man, testosterone is responsible for:
- His appearance and sexual development
- Growth of muscles and bone mass
- Production of sperms
- Libido or Sex drive.
By now, you could have guess some problems what low levels of testosterone may cause in men. However, there is a lot than that meets the eye. Let’s see what the signs are that men can see when they have low T levels in their body.
- Low libido or sex drive. Decline in sex drive with age is common but if the loss of interest in sex or low libido or low sex drive happens in much earlier age, that should be a cause of concern. Family life or if you are with a live-in partner, sex plays a very important role in keeping you stick together. When the sexual intimacy is lost in a couple, they can feel apart from their partner mentally even though they are close physically.
- Problems with erection. This is obvious, isn’t it? When you don’t have interest in sex, you won’t have erections. Low levels of testosterone causes weak/soft erections to no erections at all. (Let us not get into the details of brain producing nitric oxide etc). This can result in erectile dysfunction at an younger age. Your sexologist may suggest some supplements to boost your testosterone levels or you may have to go for Hormone Replacement Therapy. However, there are limited studies that HRT will help in treating erectile dysfunction.
- Low semen production. Testosterone plays a major role in production of semen. Men with low testosterone will be able to produce only very little amount of semen.
- Decrease in energy levels, feeling tired most of the time are very common symptoms when T is low in a man. You may not feel energized even after a full good night sleep if your T levels are low.
- Loss of muscle mass. A man may see loss of muscle when his testosterone levels dip. Also, body fat may build up making the person obese and look disproportionate.
- Low bone mass. Good levels of testosterone help in strengthening of bones. In case of low T levels, the bone volume or mass decreases making them prone to breaking easily.
- Changes in mood. Decreased focus/concentration, forgetfulness, depression, irritability are commonly seen mood changes in men suffering from low testosterone levels.
- Issues with memory and cognitive functions. Memory and cognitive functions decrease with age. However, for men with low testosterone levels, they see impaired memory and cognitive functions.
- Shrunken testicles – Low testosterone levels can cause smaller than average testicles. Low levels of testosterone, especially during puberty period will hamper the full growth of testicles.
- Low blood count – Low blood count or anemia is directly linked to low testosterone levels by a study done by Journal of the American Medical Association. Symptoms of anemia include problems concentrating, laziness, leg cramps, sleeping problems etc.
What are the normal levels of testosterone in a man with age?
Values mentioned in the following table are in nanograms per deci-liter (ng/dl).