Hair loss, a weak body, tiredness, a poor sexual life and poor emotional health are the usual complaints of older men. This is the reason these symptoms are often associated with normal signs of the aging process. They tend to overlook underlying causes, such as low testosterone.
Testosterone is a sex hormone the body naturally produces in the adrenal gland and testicles. It regulates several body functions, particularly sexual functions and influences physical changes to give you masculine attributes.
Testosterone levels normally decline as men age. It may start as early as the age of 30 until at a certain age where T levels are significantly low that it starts to manifest symptoms. This is a stage where an aging man is in andropause or the counterpart of women’s menopause.
1. Low Sex Drive
Stress, psychological disorders, emotional conflicts with your partner and some physical illnesses can send your sexual desire down the drain.
Men are aware of these reasons, but most times they tend to overlook testosterone deficiency as the cause.
Testosterone levels drop gradually as you age, but the pace and the age of the drop may vary. This is why some men will experience a decline of sexual desire as early as their 30’s while some may suffer from it later in life. Women have testosterone in their bodies too, and they can also suffer from low libido when their testosterone is low.
If you have suddenly lost your interest in having sex with the absence of other physical and mental conditions, low testosterone could be the culprit.
2. Difficulty Achieving Erections
Though a lot of other components are involved in getting a solid erection, low testosterone levels can make it difficult for you to achieve one.
Testosterone triggers the release of nitric oxide, a chemical that promotes better blood flow needed for hard, long-lasting erections.Once your testosterone is low, it may be hard for you to achieve and maintain an erection.
Moreover, men with low T who are able to get an erection often complain about the lack of sensation in the penis during sexual activities. Some even complain of numbness in the area. This makes their sexual experience much less pleasurable.
3. Fatigue And A Lack Of Energy
If you are experiencing extreme fatigue and sluggishness, even after getting enough rest and sleep, then you may be suffering from testosterone deficiency.
This is because testosterone also has a part in the production of red blood cells. When there are not enough red blood cells to distribute oxygen throughout the body, you’ll feel tired and sluggish all day.
Men with low T experiencing extreme fatigue are likely to become overweight or even obese since they find no energy for exercise to burn extra calories. The excessive weight gain makes you prone to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
4. Loss Of Muscle Mass
Low testosterone will make you lose your bulky muscles and turn them into fat.
This is because testosterone stimulates the release of growth hormones and the protein synthesis necessary for muscle tissue development.
Once testosterone significantly plummets, estrogen levels will take over, making it difficult for you to burn fats and easy for you to store them. You can’t even regain your muscle mass with workout routines, if it’s due to low T.
What’s more embarrassing, you could develop man breasts due to the rising level of estrogen that stimulates muscle tissue growth in the breasts.
5. Decrease In Bone Mass
Many people think osteoporosis can only develop in women.
Men will experience bone loss, too, due to low testosterone, because the hormone helps in maintaining bone density.
Once you become testosterone deficient, you are likely to suffer from fractures, particularly in the hips.
If you notice you’re becoming a bit shorter than your actual height, you are not imagining things. Your height normally shrinks when your bones do.
6. Low Semen Volume
Testosterone does not directly affect seminal volume. Low seminal volume occurs with low testosterone, because the testes produce them at the same time.
Therefore, if your testes are producing a lesser amount of testosterone, your semen volume will also below. Low seminal volume can make it difficult to conceive.
In other cases, men with low T report shrinkage of the testes which may be linked to the irregular production of semen.
7. Hair Loss
During puberty, when testosterone is at its peak level, physical changes start to take place including hair growth on the face, body and the genital areas. Once your testosterone is low, you’ll be a victim of balding that you can’t really solve with hair growth sprays and creams.
8. Mood Changes
Similar to women who will experience mood swings and irritability during their menopausal years, men will experience it, too.
According to studies, results show that men with low testosterone suffer from sadness, depression, irritability and a lack of focus and concentration. This can also get in the way of having a healthy sex life. When you are not in the mood, you hardly think about sex.
Another low testosterone condition called hypogonadism can occur in men at any age, even in infants due to problems in the testes or pituitary gland. Men with T levels do not have fluctuating hormones, unlike healthy men with andropause. Their T levels are naturally low, since the two main creators are not functioning normally.
They also suffer similar symptoms as that of age-related low testosterone. In infants and young children with hypogonadism, manly developments such as body hair, low-pitched voice and muscle growth may be absent.
The physical and psychological changes brought on by low testosterone will not only take a toll on your sex life.
It can affect your overall quality of life, as everything is not as it used to be anymore.
Fortunately, treatment for low T is available. Hormonal replacement therapy and a healthy lifestyle are effective in restoring what’s lost.
The only way to diagnose testosterone deficiency is through blood testing. If you are suddenly experiencing the above subtle symptoms, don’t shrug them off and believe they are normal parts of aging. Set an appointment with your doctor.