Testosterone does more than increase libido or sustain erections. This important androgen (considered a “male” hormone, though women produce testosterone too) is also responsible for healthy semen/sperm development, increased muscle and bone bass, hair growth and fat distribution – and testosterone also helps to regulate various physiological processes.
While it’s natural for testosterone levels to decrease with age, some men experience low testosterone (Low T) levels while quite young or at a higher rate than normal. In either case, Low T can cause a range of undesirable side-effects.
Healthy diet and lifestyle choices, along with regular exercise, are one way to support healthy male hormone balance. In the meantime, the following 7 symptoms are signs to consider hormone testing. If testosterone levels are lagging, s/he can discuss supplementation and/or treatment options with you.
Multiple factors contribute to libido – including age, activity level and the ebb and flow of relationships. However, we all have a certain innate baseline. If you’re libido seems notably less than it used to – without any normal triggers - stress, lack of sleep, major life transitions, etc., - decreased testosterone is a potential factor.
The ability to get and keep an erection depends on many things, and low testosterone is one of them. If you’re having problems with erections, do visit your physician or a specialist. While prescription drugs for ED can help, they don’t solve the problem. We prefer to treat erection issues at their core, if we can – and only move to supplemental treatments if/when needed.
Semen is required to help sperm to swim efficiently and effectively. Testosterone is required to produce semen, so low/er semen volume is a sign of lower-testosterone levels. Even if you don’t plan to have any more children, low T can affect you in other ways so it’s still important to touch base with your physician for hormone testing.
Since testosterone supports both hair growth and muscle volume, any decrease in these areas may signal waning testosterone levels.
Unfortunately, as low T decreases muscle mass, it increases fat mass and makes it more difficult for you to lose weight – even if you’ve been proactive about diet and exercise. Increased weight gain, without any abnormal increases in calories or a decline in your exercise routine, is worth looking into.
While it may feel like you’re tired, lagging or irritable for no reason, there’s almost an underlying cause – even if it’s not obvious to you.
Since testosterone builds bone mass, decreased testosterone results in weaker bones. If you fractured a bone in an accident that seemed more worthy of spraining or bruising than breaking – speak with a doctor about your concerns.
Do one or more of these 7 signs of low T ring true for you? Schedule a consult with the urology department at Palouse Specialty Physicians and we’ll get to the bottom of it for you.
Published on December 7, 2017