What is low testosterone or Low-T?
Low testosterone is a condition in which the body either underproduces or doesn’t produce testosterone at all. It’s estimated that men can expect a natural decline in testosterone after the age of 30, but what exactly causes testosterone levels to dip? Is there anything men can do to boost testosterone and avoid Low-T symptoms? Today, we’ll go over everything men need to know about low testosterone, including its effects on sex drive and other major bodily functions.
Testosterone is a hormone present in the bodies of men and women. In men, testosterone is primarily responsible for maintaining and developing sexual and reproductive function including sperm production and sexual drive. It also assists in developing muscle and bone mass, and maintaining necessary levels of red blood cells. The testosterone hormone in men is produced in the testes.
What happens when a man’s testosterone is low?
When a man’s testosterone is low there are many symptoms that can manifest in the body. Low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, reduced lean muscle or bone mass, decreased semen volume, fatigue, hair loss, and increased body fat are all potential physical symptoms. Men can also experience depression, irritability, a lack of focus, and memory loss.
What effects do Low-T have on sexual function?
Many men seem to notice low testosterone because of a drop in sexual desire or libido. While a decreased sex drive may happen gradually over time, men with low testosterone experience a severe drop that can significantly impact sexual relationships.
Low-T can also cause erectile dysfunction by not providing the necessary stimuli to the brain that aids in achieving erections. Testosterone is not the only chemical reaction that needs to occur in the body to have an erection, however, it is important. If a man is experiencing lowered libido or signs of ED, it doesn’t necessarily mean he has Low-T.
What is the main cause of low testosterone?
Testosterone levels tend to decrease with age. Physicians can screen for proper testosterone production with a simple blood test called the serum testosterone test. According to the Food and Drug Administration, a normal testosterone range is between 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). If a man tests below this range, he will likely be diagnosed with Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome. After the age of 30, men can expect a natural decrease in the hormone at a rate of one percent.
It’s important to visit your physician if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned because many other diseases and disorders can have similar effects on the body. Diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and depression can also cause many of the symptoms noted above.
How to treat low testosterone in men?
There are a few Low-T treatment options, including medication administered through topical ointments, injections and transplants. These types of treatment must be closely monitored because too much of the hormone can cause prostate growth, elevated red blood cell count, and breast enlargement.
While there is no way to completely prevent low testosterone, men should be conscious about maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly, along with reducing excessive alcohol or drug consumption.
How common is low testosterone?
Since there are other underlying conditions for a potential low testosterone diagnosis, there is varied data on just how many men experience Low-T. Some studies suggest that roughly 2 out 100 men are officially diagnosed with Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome. While low testosterone does become more common as a man ages, he should not have to deal with many of the symptoms. Seek an official diagnosis and if the levels are not significantly below the normal testosterone range, a change in lifestyle or an erectile dysfunction device can be helpful to combat some of the symptoms associated with low testosterone.
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