Hormones, folks, play a large role in how you feel and how well your body works. If your circulatory system was a big highway, your hormones would be among some of the most important traffic on it!
That being said, for men, one important hormone is testosterone. If you don’t have enough–a condition known as low testosterone (“low T”)–you will feel it!
What causes low T?
When a man reaches around the age of 30, his testosterone levels start to decline. However, low T can also be caused by medical issues, including some forms of cancer and pituitary tumors. Being obese or having diabetes also increases the risk of developing low T.
Low T symptoms
Having low levels of testosterone can cause a lot of symptoms and even carry long-term effects. These can develop over time or suddenly become noticeable because they are interfering with daily life. They include:
• Mood changes, including depression, irritability, mood swings, nervousness and anxiety
• Physical changes, such as an increase in body fat and loss of muscle mass
• Low libido and erectile dysfunction
• Sleep issues
• Diminished cognitive abilities
Some of these effects can make each other worse. Fatigue, for example, can impact mood and libido.
On top of the more obvious low T symptoms, there can also be long-term effects that are not as obvious but still have consequences for your health overall. Having low testosterone levels can lead to bone density loss, for example, as noted by MedScape, and men with low T are often at risk for osteoporosis (https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/846022). Since this hormone helps your body make red blood cells, low T can also result in anemia. In younger men, low T may lead to fertility issues because testosterone is necessary for sperm production.
It’s important to keep in mind that men can suffer from low T at any age since some health conditions cause or contribute to it. There’s no need to suffer in silence! If you think you may be experiencing low levels of testosterone, talk to your doctor to get to the bottom of it. They can test your hormone levels to confirm that it is causing your symptoms and provide you with options for treatment. And, if it isn’t low T, your doctor will help you discover what is going on and what can be done so you feel more like yourself again.