Low Testosterone: Surprising Signs You Didn't Know About
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Testosterone is a vital hormone for men, and sometimes, low levels go unnoticed. Here are surprising signs that will help you spot a low T.
Testosterone is a hormone that is produced in a man’s testicles. It stimulates his sperm production; controls his libido; and during puberty, it determines the growth of his penis, the deepening of his voice, and builds muscles and bones. Just as in women, where oestrogen levels go down with age, in men too, testosterone levels begin to decline with age, starting at 30. A decrease in sexual desires may accompany this decline, but men often mistakenly assume that a total lack of sexual appetite or erectile dysfunction is only because of age-related testosterone decline. The truth is, these symptoms could be due to several other reasons, such as thyroid issues, diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, depression etc. So, while the correct diagnosis is very important, what’s more important is to know a low T when you see one. Before we begin, know that a normal range of testosterone is between 300-800 nanogram per deciliter, though the upper limit varies.
- Difficulty in achieving an erection – Testosterone does not control erections entirely, but it stimulates receptors in the brain to release nitric oxide, which is a precursor to triggering an erection. So a low testosterone could be the reason behind erection troubles, though it’s notable here that there could be several other reasons behind it, and it’s best to get yourself checked out.
- Semen volume – Testosterone plays a major role in semen production in the simple way that the more testosterone a man has, the higher the volume of semen. So if your ejaculations are getting drier, low T could be a reason why.
- Hair loss – Men with low testosterone have reported balding, and loss of facial and body hair.
- Loss of muscle – Recall reading how testosterone controls muscle development and maintenance? This is exactly why, as age progresses, and in case of a low testosterone level, men will experience a decrease in strength and muscle mass.
- Decrease in bone mass – Like women lose bone mass during menopause due to low oestrogen, men also lose bone mass and develop osteoporosis – especially men who’ve had low levels of the hormone for years.
- Mood lows – Again, as with a woman during menopause, a man with declining testosterone experiences drastic mood changes, depression, irritability, lack of focus etc.