Testosterone is a sex hormone produced by the human body. It’s commonly associated with males, though females have small amounts. Testosterone levels in males increase during puberty and start to decrease after age 30. Testosterone affects a man’s appearance and sexual development. It stimulates sperm production as well as man’s sex drive. In addition, it helps build muscle and bone mass.
Every year, for men over 30 years of age, the levels of testosterone slowly dips at a rate of around one percent per year. This decrease is natural due to aging. However, some signs indicate a decrease in testosterone more than it should. In fact, low testosterone, below 300 nanograms per decilitre, can be diagnosed.
Here Are Signs of Low Testosterone in Men:
Low testosterone can make it difficult to achieve and maintain an erection. Testosterone stimulates the penile tissues to produce nitric oxide, a molecule that triggers chemical reactions necessary for an erection to occur. When the level of testosterone is too low, a man may have difficulty achieving an erection before sex or having a spontaneous erection.
Other factors such as smoking, thyroid-related issues, high cholesterol level, stress, anxiety, diabetes, high blood pressure and alcohol consumption can cause erectile dysfunction.
Low Semen Production
Testosterone plays a role in the production of semen, a fluid that makes up the majority of male ejaculate. This fluid aids in the motility of sperm toward the egg. Testosterone stimulates the production of semen and a low level of semen indicates a reduction in testosterone. This low level of semen is noticed during ejaculation and it also results in infertility issues.</p>
Reduced Muscle Mass
Testosterone plays a role in the development of muscle mass. Studies have shown that reduced levels of this hormone can cause a significant loss of muscle mass though not necessarily with strength or function.
Hair loss due to aging is a common problem for both males and females. Testosterone aids various body functions in men, including hair production and as a result low levels of testosterone may lead to body and facial hair loss.
One study found that testosterone implants supported the re-growth of hair in some men who were receiving treatment for symptoms of sex hormone deficiency.
Both low testosterone levels and cognitive functions, particularly memory, decline with age. Consequently, doctors have theorized that lower testosterone levels could contribute to affected memory. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that some studies have linked testosterone supplementation with improved memory in men with low levels. However, more conclusive studies are necessary to compare testosterone levels from those who take testosterone supplements or a placebo.
Smaller Testicle Size
Since the body requires testosterone to develop the penis and testicles, low levels could contribute to the disproportionately smaller penis or testicles compared to a man with normal testosterone levels. There are however, other causes of smaller than normal testicles so it should not be assumed it is as a result of testosterone levels.
Low Blood Counts
Doctors have linked low testosterone with an increased risk for anaemia, as stated in a research article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. When the researchers administered testosterone gel to anaemic men who also had low testosterone, there was an increase in blood counts compared to men who used a placebo gel. Anaemia can cause symptoms like problem concentrating, dizziness, leg cramping, problem sleeping, and an abnormally rapid heart rate.
Natural Ways to Boost Testosterone Levels
While lifestyle and diet alone may not raise levels sufficiently, exercise and weight loss can often increase testosterone levels somewhat. Remember, men typically lose testosterone as they age, and the potential benefits of lifestyle changes also decrease over time. For example, exercise often shows more significant results in younger people although it can also help in older people.
Low testosterone doesn’t always present signs and some people only learn about it after a routine physical examination with bloodwork. Anyone who experiences any of the above signs should seek medical attention. To diagnose low testosterone, a doctor performs a physical evaluation and reviews the person’s symptoms.
Unlike women, who experience a rapid drop in hormone levels at menopause, men experience a more gradual drop in testosterone levels over time. According to the American Urology Association report, low testosterone affects around 2 out of every 100 men. Low testosterone in most cases is treatable so being on the lookout for the signs and receiving early diagnosis and treatment can prevent advanced issues.
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