Testosterone is the primary male reproductive hormone and is vital in the development of muscular strength, a deeper voice, facial hair, and body structure during puberty. Testosterone is also essential in the production of sperm. As we age, testosterone maintains its significance in the maintenance of energy levels, mood, bone strength, libido, erectile function, muscle mass, and strength.
As men age, they will eventually enter andropause, also known as late-onset hypogonadism or age-related low testosterone. Regardless of age, testosterone levels have been shown to decrease significantly every decade after 30.
According to AUA (The American Urology Association), low testosterone is defined as total serum testosterone less than 300 ng/dL in two consecutive tests. As with many lab tests, the signs and symptoms may present in levels higher than this lab value. Let’s dive into what these symptoms are so you can recognize them and discuss them with a health care professional.
Symptoms of the low testosterone:
There are several symptoms of low levels of testosterone in men. Amongst these, some have a direct relationship with the low testosterone levels, while some are secondary symptoms or non-specific symptoms.
Non-specific symptoms of low testosterone levels:
We can define non-specific symptoms as symptoms that are secondary to low testosterone, but not directly caused by low testosterone levels.
The most common non-specific symptoms of low testosterone among men are:
- Poor concentration or focus
- Lower levels of energy, physical strength, and endurance
- Decreased short term memory
- Difficulty with communication or finding words to communicate
- Poor work performance
If a man is suffering from any of these symptoms, it does not mean that his testosterone levels are low. However, if you feel more than one or two of these symptoms, please schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss.
According to the AUA (The American Urological Association), the following should be considered in evaluating low testosterone levels:
- Chronic use of corticosteroids
- Dysfunction of the pituitary gland
- Loss of bone density
- Testicular radiation or history of chemotherapy
- Unexplained anemia
- Chronic use of narcotics
Specific symptoms of the low Testosterone:
Specific symptoms have a direct link or relation to the problem. In the case of low testosterone, the most common specific symptoms are:
- A reduction in sex drive(libido)
- Depressed mood
- A reduction in erectile function
- Decrease in body hair
- Decreased beard growth
- Weight gain or obesity
- Constant feelings of fatigue
- Decrease in confidence, motivation, or assertiveness
- A reduction in the LBM (lean body mass) of the body
There are several specific causes of low testosterone in men, including:
- Atypical development or formation of the genital organs (ambiguous genitalia)
- Noonan syndrome
- Klinefelter syndrome (a chromosomal disorder)
- Any damage or physical trauma to the testicles
- Testicles removal due to any disease or the cancer
- Radiation therapy or the chemotherapy
- Hormonal deficiency due to the dysfunction of the pituitary gland
Most of the time, a decrease in the production of testosterone occurs due to:
- Metabolic disorder
- Use of medications as corticosteroids and psychotropics
We can diagnose low testosterone with a simple blood test in office and get you back on the path to your optimal health and wellness. If you have further questions on the signs and symptoms of low testosterone please contact us to schedule your initial consultation.
Dr. Greg Jones NMD