The human body functions, as it should, thanks to a plethora of key hormones. In women, this hormone count is much higher, and in men, a little lower. Nevertheless, the common denominator is that both men and women need certain hormones in order to function at an optimum.
Men actually have five key hormones that regulate their sexual and overall health: testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone, prolactin, and oestradiol (the male version of estrogen). But most experts would agree that testosterone plays the biggest role.
Here are the signs of low testosterone and how it can impact male health.
The Role of Testosterone
So, what is it about testosterone that makes it such a key player in regulating male health? It is a primary sex hormone, known as an androgen. Both men and women have this primary sex hormone, however, men produce it in far greater amounts.
Produced in the testes, testosterone plays a major role in producing healthy sperm. Not only this, but it also helps to regulate a man’s sex drive, levels of muscle mass, bone density, fat distribution, and the production of red blood cells, among many others.
While testosterone levels between men can vary greatly, healthy or standard levels of this hormone measure between 300 and 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (or 10 and 35 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L). Levels of testosterone can also fluctuate throughout the day, with levels peaking in the morning for most men.
The Signs of Low Testosterone: What It Looks/Feels Like
As men age, levels of testosterone tend to decrease, just like a woman’s ovarian reserve. Although this natural decrease in testosterone is normal, it can decrease far too rapidly in some men, resulting in unusually low testosterone.
What constitutes low testosterone levels though? Anything that measures below the standard, which is between 300 and 1,000 nanograms per deciliter, along with certain symptoms of low testosterone.
Let’s take a closer look at what those signs could be:
1. Low Sex Drive
This is probably one of the most common and difficult symptoms of low testosterone for men. A low sex drive, or libido, means that you lose interest in sexual activity of any kind. For men, it means not really thinking about sex at all — of half as much as they usually do.
While it’s natural to notice a decline in your libido in and around your 60s, it’s not ”normal” to notice a massive decline in libido in younger men. Androgen hormones, like testosterone, play a big role in stimulating the prostate gland, and seminal vesicles. Both of which are responsible for producing semen.
This means that low testosterone levels can also impact the amount of semen a man produces and its healthy sperm count.
2. Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Another very common and distressing symptom of low testosterone is erectile dysfunction (ED). In fact, most men struggling with hormone insufficiency would agree this is the toughest symptom to deal with.
In short, ED can have a huge impact on your sexual function as a man. And combined with a low sex drive, having low testosterone can have a dire impact on your sex life in general.
Testosterone triggers the release of nitric oxide, an important molecule that helps to develop and maintain an erection. If your testosterone levels are low, your body will not receive this signal, resulting in instances of erectile dysfunction.
3. Low Sperm Count and Infertility Issues
As mentioned earlier, low levels of testosterone can have an impact on the amount of semen a man produces, as well as the healthy sperm count within that semen.
The hormones dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and testosterone stimulate the seminal vesicles and prostate to produce semen. When the body is insufficient in these hormones, the body does not receive the right signals.
This can often lead to instances of infertility in men, due to a low sperm count within their semen.
4. Hair Loss
Not only does testosterone play an important role in regulating sex hormones and sexual function, but it even regulates bodily functions such as hair growth.
Another major symptom of low levels of testosterone includes hair loss — on the head, face and body. If you begin to notice that your hair is thinning, or it doesn’t grow like it used to across your body, you could have low testosterone.
6. Decreased Muscle Mass
When most people think of the hormone testosterone they probably associate it with bodybuilding and muscular gains. Everyone knows that testosterone is the key hormone to building and maintaining muscle mass in both men and women.
Basically, testosterone helps to maintain anabolic processes in the human body, and this includes building and maintaining muscle mass. Low testosterone levels can have a severe impact on maintaining or building physical strength, over time.
7. Increased/Displaced Body Fat
The harsh reality about low testosterone is that it causes the body to lose its muscle mass, and increase its levels of body fat. In other words, what was once muscle could turn into displaced areas of fat across the body.
Another catch-22 is that higher levels of body fat also impact the natural production of testosterone. In essence, it’s a vicious cycle — as your testosterone levels drop, your body fat percentage increases, only decreasing your levels of testosterone.
For some men, it’s also common to develop gynecomastia, an increase in breast tissue as well as swelling and tenderness in the nipples.
8. Decreased Bone Mass
There are several important hormones responsible for maintaining our bone mass as we age, but none are as important as testosterone. Just like muscle mass, bone mass maintenance and growth depends on healthy levels of this hormone.
A telltale sign of decreased bone mass is an increase in injury, especially during exercise, or a likelihood of developing fractures.
Get Your Testosterone Levels Where They Need to Be
If you have any of the above signs of low testosterone, this is the nudge you need to visit our team at Tampa Testosterone. We offer some of the best-rated testosterone treatment options in Tampa, including hormone replacement therapy that delivers true results.
Our medical specialists will ensure that your particular therapy caters to your exact needs. Book your free consultation with us today and get your levels where they need to be!