Updated: Jun 9
What is testosterone?
Though present in both men and women, testosterone is the signature male hormone. Testosterone is a part of a hormone class known as androgens, which is produced by the testicles after stimulation of the pituitary gland, which is in the base of the brain. Testosterone is commonly associated with sex drive, but it also affects bone mass, body fat, and even red blood cell production.
A natural decrease in testosterone production happens as you age, but for many men, this has little effect on their lives. For others, these changes can be drastic.
The signs and symptoms of low testosterone are sometimes overlooked, attributed to other causes such as stress, depression, inactivity, etc. Here are 5 of the most common signs of low testosterone and can occur on their own or in combination.
Decreased Sex Drive
Many ignore this symptom, but testosterone is a key factor in the sex drives of men and women, so when levels drop, so may your desire to have sex.
Are you tired all the time? It might not just be related to mounting stress at work or advancing age. The science is unclear if there is a direct correlation between low testosterone and energy levels, but it can be attributed to a lack of sleep quality and slower metabolism rates in males with low testosterone levels.
The science is not clear if low testosterone contributes to weight gain, or if weight gain contributes to low testosterone. However, fat cells play a role in converting testosterone to estrogen, the dominant female sex hormone. So, it’s also important to follow a healthy diet, incorporate an exercise regimen that results in weight loss to help promote a natural increase of testosterone.
Loss of muscle
Testosterone itself does not affect the function or strength of muscles, but it’s a necessary part of building muscle mass. If you find you’re losing muscle volume, it may be due to lower levels of testosterone affecting new tissue growth as well as muscle maintenance.
Hormones are the body’s messaging system. Testosterone carries the signals necessary to obtain an erection. There are other health issues that may lead to erectile dysfunction, but testosterone levels should be investigated.
If you have any or all these symptoms of low testosterone, a simple blood test can establish your testosterone levels. Combined with your medical history, your blood test results can suggest the cause of low testosterone levels. The underlying cause of low testosterone will determine your treatment options.
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