We all know how important a role testosterone plays in men’s health and development.
Put it this way – testosterone is the sex hormone that is responsible for the development of physical, reproductive, and sexual traits that are associated with being a man.
Functions of Testosterone in Men:
- Sperm production
- Penile and testicular development
- Sex drive and libido
- Muscle mass and bone development
- Fat metabolism
- Hair growth, deepening voice, and other factors related to a man’s appearance
It goes without saying that testosterone is integral to a man’s physical and sexual health, and the effects of low testosterone can be devastating. Add the fact that testosterone production declines as men age, and you are looking at a real problem that will happen faster than you know it.
Testosterone deficiency is common fodder for jokes, but it is definitely not a laughing matter. Recent research shows that men with low testosterone are at risk of developing serious medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
This is why we came up with this guide about everything you need to know about low testosterone levels in men – so you can take the appropriate steps to address it.
While normal or healthy levels of testosterone for men vary widely depending on certain factors such as thyroid function, among others, the American Urological Association defines a testosterone level of at least 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) as the norm. The Food and Drug Administration also supports the same levels as the normal range.
Men with testosterone levels below the recommendation made by the AUA are diagnosed to have low T-levels.
Testosterone levels gain increase during puberty, and peak during adolescence and early adulthood.
The bad news? It all goes downhill from there.
Once you hit 30, testosterone levels in men gradually decrease at a rate of roughly 1% annually. This is perfectly normal – it’s just a side effect of aging.
One thing most men who suffer from low testosterone levels must determine is if their low T-levels are due to normal aging, or if there is something more sinister lying underneath it.
See, it’s entirely possible for the body to produce very little testosterone – and it’s a condition known as hypogonadism. Hypogonadism stems from an underlying problem with the testicles, which constantly produce testosterone, or with the pituitary gland, which sends signals to the testicles as far as how much testosterone should be produced.
Signs and Symptoms
A whole slew of signs and symptoms can arise if male testosterone production starts declining below the recommended levels.
Moreover, it can be hard to discern symptoms of low T, as they tend to be subtle.
Common signs and symptoms low testosterone:
- Low Libido
Testosterone is the primary driver of a man’s libido and sex drive. Low T makes you less interested in having sex altogether. Men with low testosterone completely lack the drive to have sex.
- Erectile Issues
The presence of nitric oxide triggers erections in men. However, testosterone is required for your body to be able to release nitric oxide – and the lack of testosterone will ensure that your stiffy is non-existent or impossible, or not stiff enough for vigorous, pleasurable intercourse.
- Low Sperm Production
Testosterone is central to the production of ejaculate – including sperm. The prostrate, testicles, and seminal vesicles require a good supply of testosterone to create voluminous amounts of ejaculate, and men with declining T will notice a substantial decline in ejaculate volume and thickness.
- Loss of Genital Sensations
One of the most common complaints that men with low T bring up is the lack of feeling in the genital area. While they may not be totally numb, the sensations that would normally be elicited by touching the sensitive parts of the male genitals don’t work. These sensations are what make intercourse enjoyable, which men with low T lack.
- Low Energy
Apart from exhaustion and fatigue, men with low testosterone lack energy, drive, and motivation, preferring the comfort of their couches than to act.
While feeling exhausted at the end of a busy day is normal, men with low testosterone feel totally exhausted – more often than they should be.
- Mood Imbalances
Men with low testosterone suffer from mood imbalances, including being more despondent or pessimistic than normal.
- Fits of Irritability
Low testosterone can make you bitchier and fussier – without you even knowing it. That’s due to the mood imbalances the lack of testosterone does to you.
- Decreased Muscle Mass
Men do not instantly become milquetoasts when they have low testosterone, but there is definitely a feeling of weakness as well as not being as strong or not performing as well as they used to. Worse, some men experience a substantial shrinkage in their muscles. If that’s not bad enough, their performance at the gym just isn’t the same, making weight training a frustrating, time-wasting endeavor.
- Increased Body Fat
It’s a double whammy. Not only do men with low testosterone experience a decline in muscle mass, but it is often accompanied by increased body fat. A side effect of which is gynecomastia, otherwise known as “manboobs”.
- Testicle Shrinkage
Low testosterone can cause shrinkage to your testicles and make them feel less firm than usual.
These are just some of the most common signs and symptoms that low testosterone can manifest itself.
That said, what are the causes of low testosterone in men apart from aging?
Younger men who suffer from low testosterone may attribute them to other illnesses such as lung disease, liver ailments, or type 2 diabetes, apart from problems with their pituitary gland.
There is also a link to genetics when it comes to low T – which includes genetic conditions such as Klinefelter syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and Kallmann syndrome, among others.
Furthermore, low testosterone can be the result of steroid use or trauma, which hinders the testes’ ability to produce the hormone itself.
Other causes of low testosterone for men below 50 involve tumors in the pituitary gland, men with severely curtailed immune systems by way of HIV or other analogous diseases, as well as those who have undergone chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
In a nutshell, here are the causes of low testosterone levels (e.g., below the normal range as defined by the AUA and the FDA):
- cancer of the ovaries or testes
- trauma or steroid use
- failure of the testicles
- hypogonadism, a condition where the sex glands produce little or no hormones
- early or delayed puberty
- pituitary gland tumors
- chronic illness, such as diabetes or kidney disease
- obesity and lack of exercise
- chemotherapy or radiation
- opioid use
- genetic conditions that appear at birth, such as Klinefelter syndrome
Now that we’ve discussed the causes of low testosterone levels, let’s examine the ways how it can be treated.
Low testosterone is treated with testosterone replacement therapy, which involves the application of gels, patches, or pellets that are applied to the skin that release testosterone gradually as it is left.
Testosterone replacement therapy methods:
- Skin gels or patches
- Intravenous injections
- Pellets or oral pills
While there have been studies supporting the claim that testosterone replacement therapy can improve sexual drive, erections, regulate mood, boost energy, body hair growth, bone density, and muscle mass, the results are mixed.
Men who underwent therapy involving testosterone skin gels over 65 years of age saw slight improvements in bone density, strength, and sexual performance, but with no noticeable impact on cognitive function and memory recall.
Furthermore, testosterone replacement therapy posed certain health risks in the form of cardiovascular health issues such as heart attack, stroke, and other related conditions.
While it is true that testosterone replacement therapy assists in reversing the effects of hypogonadism, it is yet unclear as to whether it benefits men over 65 who are in otherwise good health.
Some doctors opt for testosterone boosting supplements as well as a healthy diet and a regimen of exercise, which is an option for many men who otherwise would not be able to afford an expensive testosterone replacement treatment regimen.
One of the most remarkable supplements that doctors have recommended for men who suffer from low testosterone is Male UltraCore, which is an effective male performance enhancement supplement that features 100% all-natural, all-organic testosterone-boosting and sexual performance-enhancing ingredients that have been rigorously tested and clinically proven to raise your free testosterone levels. It’s a scientifically-backed supplement that was developed for years to be a complete solution to low T.
Paired with a healthy diet, regular use, and exercise, Male UltraCore has proven its capability as a testosterone-promoting supplement that you can opt to try instead of conventional and costly testosterone replacement therapy, which has a patchy record as far as effectiveness is concerned.
Addressing Low Testosterone
Regardless of what method you choose to address low testosterone levels, it is important to understand that the best method depends on your budget, preference, and tolerance and that you should consult your health professional prior to undergoing any sort of supplementation. This makes sure that you have no pre-existing medical conditions that could pose complications over the course of your chosen treatment.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that low testosterone is a condition that can pose debilitating risks to your physical, sexual, and mental health, and is something you should consider addressing with your doctor.
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