Guest writer:Tammy Mahan
The body produces the hormone testosterone; in men, the testicles are responsible for the majority of its production. The building of bone and muscle mass, sex drive and stimulation of sperm production are all dependent on testosterone. The production of testosterone decreases, as men start aging. When there is a drastic drop or the production stops altogether there are a number of complications and symptoms that can occur.
The signs of Low T are often mistaken as natural aging because they are so subtle. When your doctor determines that you have Low T they will discuss the treatment options with you to aid you in the decision of what is best for you.
A diagnosis of Low T is made when the level gets below 300 ng/dl. Signs of Low T include:
- Reduced sex drive – a man’s libido relies on testosterone and they may find achieving orgasm difficult. The lack of a sex drive will most likely be noticed by a man’s partner first.
- It can be difficult for a man to get an erection when testosterone levels drop or production stops altogether. While erections are not reliant on testosterone by itself, the receptors in the brain stimulate nitric oxide production. Erections are triggered by nitric oxide. A number of conditions such as atherosclerosis, diabetes and obesity, which result in erectile dysfunction, are linked to Low T.
- Low production of semen (the fluid responsible for sperm mobility)
- Hair loss – while going bald is a natural part of a male aging there can also be facial and body hair loss with Low T.
- Lack of energy & fatigue – there have been noticeable drops in energy levels and extreme fatigue experienced by men that suffer from Low T. These symptoms occurred with a lack of motivation even when adequate sleep and rest was had.
- Strength and muscle mass may be lost. The chest, legs and arms are the most affected areas.
- Body fat increases for no apparent reason.
Bone production and strengthening is aided by testosterone making those with Low T increasingly at risk with fractures in the bones. Fractures typically occur in the ribs, feet and wrists. The fractures occur as the muscles weaken because of osteoporosis.
Men with Low T can have changes in mood and behavior that are drastically noticeable to those around them. Men can become irritable, lose the ability to focus and concentration becomes difficult with Low T. Depression is more likely to occur in men with low levels of testosterone.
Testosterone drives the physical conditions in men’s bodies and its production is vital to their well-being.
Low T also causes a condition known as hypogonadism. When making a diagnosis there are various things that are combined to make the determination including blood tests, symptoms, signs and exams are done along with taking a full medical history. There are additional conditions that can result from low levels of testosterone, if you are experiencing any of these conditions speak with your physician.
* Tammy Mahan has worked in the healthcare field as a nurse for 20 years. She specializes in writing medical and health articles and often writes for Healthline.Com.