(There are specific symptoms for low testosterone levels, some of which may even go unnoticed.)
If you have some vague symptoms and a general feeling of malaise and not feeling up to the mark, these can be easily attributed to stress, work pressures and other problems. You may not even imagine that you are having low testosterone symptoms. After all, there are innumerable reasons that a person may be feeling down.
Low testosterone symptoms
- Loss of libido
- Erectile dysfunction or impotence
- Hair loss
- Frequent urination
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Decrease in muscle mass
- Lack of energy and interest in doing anything
- High blood pressure
- Loss of height
All these symptoms may not be present in everybody having low testosterone levels. And some men may have no symptoms whatsoever, particularly if their levels are borderline or marginally low. The symptoms may be mistaken for signs of other problems as well. For instance if a person is having ED, he may put it down to stress or blame his partner – he would not think that he is having low testosterone symptoms.
Why testosterone is important in the body
Testosterone has an important role to play in the body and is not just responsible for sexual problems. Testosterone levels help in increasing brain and memory power; men with low levels of testosterone are found to be at increased risk of Alzheimer’s. This hormone keeps the heart in good health and studies have found that low testosterone levels over long periods of time put men at increased risk of cardiovascular problems and even cancer.
At a younger age, lack of testosterone or low testosterone levels in the body can lead to hypogonadism or stunted sexual growth, infertility, loss of height and worse. At times, these problems may be permanent.
When and why do testosterone levels fall?
If you are a normal healthy male, you will probably be aware of the fact that teens and early twenties are the time of raging hormones – that is also when testosterone levels are at their peak. Twenties is when physical fitness is good, when memory is strong and most men are still studying and learning.
Just as women suffer from menopause due to age men, too, have low testosterone levels at different times. It often happens that testosterone levels decline by 1.5 percent every year after the age of thirty in as many as 40-50 percent of men. This results in a significant decline in testosterone levels by the time the man is 50. On the flip side, there are men in different parts of the world who have been reported to have children well into their 60s, 70s, 80s and even 90s.
So testosterone levels in healthy males may vary depending on a variety of reasons. At times illness can result in reduced testosterone levels. Other causes include inflammation, testicular cancer, radiotherapy or chemotherapy or diseases of the hypothalamus or pituitary glands. And then there is the natural ageing process which takes its toll in many men.
If you have low testosterone symptoms
When you have symptoms which point to a particular problem, it makes sense to go the doctor to figure out the causes and get a diagnosis. In cases of low libido and other general complaints, however, you may feel embarrassed to ask a doctor or may not know what kind of doctor to go to. While your family doctor, who is aware of your medical history is probably the best person to give you advice, and ask you to go to a specialist, if you really don’t want to go to him or her, you can either go directly to an endocrinologist who checks hormone levels in the body, or go to a pathology laboratory and get tested for testosterone levels. However, many labs may not test without a doctor’s prescription, so you may need to get one any way.
The blood test will reveal the levels of testosterone in the blood. If your levels read 241-847 ng/dl, this may appear to be in the normal, standard range. But a reading of below 400, though still normal, may actually cause you problems. Testosterone levels vary greatly depending on the time of day the blood is tested and also the lab where it is tested. If you do have low testosterone levels, or symptoms of the same, you may need to get more than one blood test done.
Is there any treatment for low testosterone symptoms?
If the person has been medically diagnosed with low testosterone symptoms and other diseases have been ruled out, there is hormone replacement therapy which can help. Testosterone can be given in the form of pill, injections, gels, patches and gum tablets. As any of these can have serious side effects, they should only be taken under medical guidance and for the prescribed period.
At the same time, if you actually have low testosterone symptoms, you do need help and will find that taking testosterone replacement therapy makes you feel much better and stronger and your risk of getting many diseases also goes down.
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