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Low Testosterone Symptoms

Updated on November 23, 2021
Written by
Kelly Jamrozy
2 sources cited
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Low Testosterone Symptoms For Men

Testosterone is a hormone most commonly linked with men. Women have testosterone, too, typically in smaller amounts.

When testosterone levels in men are low, it affects their health and well-being. Symptoms of low testosterone vary. Typically, it includes feeling less-than-your-best.

Low Testosterone Symptoms 1
Testosterone male sex hormone (androgen) molecule. Skeletal formula.

Testosterone is present at birth, but it increases during puberty. It’s the hormone most often related to sex drive. For men, it plays an important role in sperm production.

In addition, testosterone plays a role in:

  • Fat storage
  • Muscle mass
  • Red blood cell production
  • Bone density
  • Mood

Men with low testosterone have a condition known as low-T. Low-T produces a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Decreased energy
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Moodiness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Less body hair
  • Thin bones

Testosterone levels gradually decrease with age. It’s not natural or normal to not feel your best because of low-T.

If you suspect your testosterone levels are low, speak to your doctor. Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can help. However, not everyone is the same. Your treatment will depend on the cause of the issue.

There are other health conditions that cause a decrease in testosterone. These include:

  • Testicle injury
  • Kidney disease
  • AIDS
  • Alcoholism
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Undergoing chemotherapy and radiation

Women experience low testosterone, too. Symptoms of insufficient testosterone levels in women include:

  • Reduced bone strength
  • Low libido
  • Poor concentration
  • Depression

Other causes of low-T in women are:

  • Removal of the ovaries
  • Diseases of the adrenal, hypothalamus, and pituitary glands

How Can Testosterone Affect Your Health?

Testosterone plays an important role in health. It is most commonly linked with:

  • Sex drive
  • Fat storage
  • Muscle mass
  • Red blood cell production
  • Bone density
  • Mental health

Too much or too little testosterone affects both physical and mental health.

Men and women with sufficient testosterone levels feel healthy. As testosterone levels decrease, they’ll feel weaker and less vibrant. This is even when it's due to normal reduction with age.

Low testosterone plays a role in a man’s:

  • Sexual health
  • Sexual development
  • Fertility

It is possible to supplement testosterone levels when needed. Speak to your doctor if you believe low-T is affecting your well-being.

Making healthy dietary and lifestyle choices can help you feel better. These might not boost testosterone levels, but they help you feel your best overall.

Feeling less than your best affects all aspects of your life. Testosterone triggers a variety of side effects. These side effects often lead to worsened feelings.

For example, if your testosterone is low, you’ll experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Decreased energy
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Low self-esteem

Low testosterone becomes a cycle of feeling unbalanced and unhealthy.

Testosterone therapy helps alleviate the problem. However, it’s important to understand the cause of the issue. You should also consider the side effects of testosterone therapy.

What are the Causes of Low T?

The most common cause of low testosterone is age. The older men get, the less testosterone their body produces.

Men of any age can have conditions that impact testosterone levels. The two most common include:

Primary Male Hypogonadism

This is caused by an underactive testes. It manufactures insufficient levels of testosterone. This affects growth and overall health. It is usually hereditary. However, it might occur due to illness or injury.

Hereditary conditions that affect testosterone production include:

  • Undescended testicles: testicles remain in the abdomen after birth.
  • Klinefelter’s syndrome: men with three sex chromosomes (XXY).
  • Hemochromatosis: elevated iron in the blood. This causes pituitary damage or testicular failure.

Damage to the testicles linked to low testosterone include:

  • Physical injury
  • Mumps
  • Orchitis
  • Cancer treatment

Secondary Male Hypogonadism

This is due to injury to the hypothalamus or pituitary gland. These are the parts of the brain responsible for testosterone production.

Diseases that trigger secondary hypogonadism include:

  • Pituitary disorders linked to drug use, kidney health, and tumors
  • Kallmann syndrome, which is connected to hypothalamus function
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Histiocytosis
  • HIV/AIDS

Additionally, these factors play a role in testosterone production:

  • Aging
  • Obesity
  • Medication
  • Stress

A combination of several factors causes low testosterone. Someone could have a condition and age exacerbates the problem.

You and your doctor can discuss issues linked to low testosterone production. Then, you both determine the best course of action. Testosterone therapy is the most common form of treatment for low-T.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

In many cases, lifestyle changes are enough. These can resolve issues with low testosterone.

However, if this isn’t the case, testosterone therapy is an option. TRT is most often given to adolescent males with hypogonadism. This triggers normal development. It ensures there is enough testosterone needed for growth and well-being.

Despite the effectiveness of TRT, it does trigger side effects, including:

  • Enlarged prostate
  • Acne
  • Sleep apnea
  • Breast enlargement
  • Testicle shrinkage
  • Decreased sperm count
  • Increased red blood cells

Work with a doctor experienced with hormone issues. It reduces the risk of side effects. Most side effects are eliminated when TRT is carefully regulated.

There are conflicting studies about TRT. Some claim it increases a man’s risk of prostate cancer and cardiac issues. Research is still ongoing on this matter.

Testosterone Supplementation

Testosterone supplementation is given to men with low-T. It is also used to treat hypogonadism. However, not enough data show that supplements are as effective as TRT.

Aging men with decreasing testosterone levels supplement to improve:

  • Physical health
  • Cognitive function
  • Mood issues
Everlywell- Testosterone Test

EverlyWell - Testosterone Test

EverlyWell’s Testosterone Test will tell you if your testosterone levels are abnormal. It will then give you some steps you can take to get them back into balance.

Unfortunately, studies show supplements may cause severe side effects. One found that men over 65 increased their risk of heart health problems. This is when using supplemental testosterone gel.

In a separate study, men under 65 doubled their risk of heart problems. This is when using testosterone supplements.

Risks increase when someone uses testosterone supplements to deal with aging. This is as opposed to using it to treat hypogonadism.

Other side effects of testosterone supplementation include:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Enlarged breasts
  • Acne
  • Testicular shrinkage

Speak to your doctor if you’re concerned about your testosterone levels. You can:

  • Discuss your signs and symptoms of low testosterone
  • Undergo testing
  • Process your personal data to determine the best approach
  • Check your testosterone level

In some cases, testosterone replacement therapy is the answer. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. It all depends on the signs and symptoms you’re experiencing. You and your doctor can discuss your options.

Resources

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  1. “Testosterone Therapy: Potential Benefits and Risks as You Age.” Mayo Clinic, 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/sexual-health/in-depth/testosterone-therapy/art-20045728.
  2. Harvard Health Publishing. “Testosterone — What It Does and Doesn’t Do - Harvard Health.” Harvard Health, Harvard Health, 29 Aug. 2019, www.health.harvard.edu/drugs-and-medications/testosterone--what-it-does-and-doesnt-do.
Kelly Jamrozy
Content Contributor
Kelly has experience working with clients in a variety of industries, including legal, medical, marketing, and travel. Her goal is to share important information that people can use to make decisions about their health and the health of their loved ones. From choosing the best treatment programs to improving dental and vision health to finding the best method for helping anyone who is struggling with health issues, she hopes to share what she learns through informative content.
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