Low testosterone levels may have had a role in the "black dog" of sadness rearing its ugly head at some point in your life. Low testosterone, which you may discover at home with a Testosterone Test, can have a variety of consequences.
Continue reading to find out more about testosterone in males, as well as the causes and symptoms of "low T."
What is testosterone, and how does it work?
Testosterone is the key hormone responsible for muscle growth, fat burning, libido, and even mood and energy levels.
In men, the testicles are the primary source of testosterone production, but in women, the ovaries are in charge of testosterone production. In women, however, testosterone levels are typically lower than in men.
In general, males begin to produce more testosterone around adolescence, with testosterone levels steadily falling starting around the age of 30. Both men and women might experience a variety of symptoms as their natural testosterone levels begin to decline.
Low testosterone symptoms and signs in males
Low testosterone levels in males can cause a variety of symptoms that might compromise a man's health and well-being. Many men who have low testosterone endure sleep difficulties and sleeplessness, as well as emotional changes such as sadness and issues with their sexual performance and desires. Some males can have changes in fertility, decreased strength, and weight gain in addition to these symptoms.
Loss of energy, as well as greater difficulty growing muscle and burning fat, can wreak havoc on athletic performance. Having more body fat and less muscle can raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses that are dependent on a healthy metabolism.
Low testosterone in men can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including:
- Motivational decline
- libido is a term used to describe a person's sexual desire
- Gaining weight
- Sleep disturbances and/or exhaustion
In men, low testosterone might have unfavourable health implications. Low testosterone can cause the following symptoms:
- Osteoporosis is a disease that affects the bones (where your bones become very brittle)
- Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition that affects men (ED)
- Muscle mass is lost.
Having more fat and less muscle can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems.
It's worth noting that as men become older, their testosterone levels drop. Starting at the age of 30, testosterone levels drop by roughly 1% every year on average. Because this is a natural part of the ageing process, some elderly men experience abnormally low testosterone levels.
There are tests that can tell if a man's hormone levels are lower than they should be for his age. If your testosterone levels are low, you can discuss your findings with your doctor and work out a strategy for a better lifestyle and/or medicine to help you raise your testosterone levels.
Low testosterone in men can be caused by a variety of factors
What causes a drop in testosterone levels? Low T levels can be caused by both direct and indirect reasons in both young and older men, as it turns out:
A direct cause is testicular failure, which can be caused by genetic and metabolic problems, as well as autoimmune diseases and testicular trauma.
Excessive activity, starvation, synthetic steroid misuse, and hormonal abnormalities in the pituitary gland are all indirect reasons for low testosterone.
What is testosterone replacement therapy, and how effective is it?
TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) can help males with low testosterone symptoms. TRT is frequently recommended by doctors to treat male hypogonadism, a condition in which the body does not produce enough testosterone (often due to testicular failure). In the end, this illness might cause low testosterone symptoms in men.
In hypogonadal males, testosterone therapy can improve muscle strength and erectile function, as well as increase energy and protect against bone loss.
Testosterone can be given through skin patches, gels applied to the skin, injections, and implants, among other methods.
Is there a link between testosterone replacement therapy and prostate cancer?
Many scientists assumed that higher levels of total testosterone were linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer in previous decades. (Total testosterone refers to the quantity of testosterone in your system that is unbound or "free," as well as testosterone that is bound to other molecules.)
Low testosterone levels were thought to protect against prostate disorders, therefore increasing testosterone to normal levels — via testosterone therapy – could increase the risk of prostate cancer.
So, is prostate cancer a possible side effect of TRT?
According to today's researchers, this is unlikely. While early research (first published in 1941) suggested a link between high T levels and prostate cancer, much more recent research – using far more rigorous
methodologies – has conclusively demonstrated that testosterone therapy is associated with "little if any risk" of prostate cancer.
Symptoms and signs of a high testosterone level in males
High testosterone levels can cause a slew of distressing symptoms and health problems in men. Excess testosterone can cause aggressive and irritable behaviour, acne and greasy skin, worsening sleep apnea (if you already have it), and increased muscle mass. You may have a lower sperm count (due to decreased sperm production) and shrunken testicles if you have too much testosterone in your blood.
High testosterone levels can lead to a variety of problems
Testicular or adrenal tumours can cause an excess of testosterone in men. Even if these tumours are benign – meaning they aren't malignant or cancerous – they can still raise testosterone levels to dangerous levels, just like steroid usage and misuse.
And what happens if you don't take care of your excessive testosterone levels? Elevated testosterone will elevate your "bad" cholesterol levels, which can lead to cardiac problems, such as a heart attack, cardiovascular disease, or stroke. If your testosterone levels are high, you're more likely to develop sleep apnea and infertility.
Some guys are genetically predisposed to producing high quantities of testosterone. According to studies, people who fall into this category are more likely to develop blood clots, heart disease, and a number of other cardiovascular problems. Because of the seriousness of this problem, it is critical that men with high testosterone levels be evaluated and informed about their risks.
Because both excessive and low amounts of male testosterone can be harmful to your health, it's vital to keep your male sex hormones in a safe range. But how can you determine whether you have a testosterone deficit or excess?