Testosterone is a sex hormone produced naturally in the human body. In men, this hormone is mainly produced by the testicles. Testosterone affects a man's appearance, sexual development, and the health of most body systems. It stimulates sperm production and affects sex drive, and helps to build lean muscle mass and bones. Testosterone production typically decreases with age; levels drop by 1 to 1.5% per year after age 30. Low testosterone, or low T, is diagnosed when levels fall below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). A normal range is typically 300 to 1,000 ng/dL, according to the Food and Drug Administration, although this range can vary depending upon the laboratory. A blood test called a serum testosterone test is used to determine your level of circulating testosterone. A range of symptoms can occur as testosterone production falls. Signs of low T can be subtle. Here are 10 common signs of low T in men:
1. Low sex drive - Testosterone plays a key role in libido. Some men experience a slow decline in sex drive as they age, regardless of testosterone levels. However, those with low T tend to have a more drastic drop in their desire for sex.
2. Erectile dysfunction - Testosterone not only helps with sex drive, it also aids in helping men achieve and maintain an erection. It doesn't directly cause one, but it does help stimulate receptors in the brain to produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a molecule involved in triggering a series of chemical reactions necessary for an erection to occur. When testosterone levels are too low, a man may have difficulty achieving an erection prior to sex or having spontaneous erections (for example, during sleep).
3. Low semen volume - Testosterone is important in semen production, the milky fluid that aids in sperm motility. Low T can lead to a noticeable decrease in the semen volume with ejaculation.
4. Hair loss - Testosterone is important in hair production, and those suffering from low T may experience hair loss, including scalp, facial hair, and other body areas.
5. Decreased muscle mass - Low T can lead to a loss in lean muscle mass. This does not necessarily correlate with muscle strength however.
6. Increased body fat - Men suffering from decreased testosterone may develop more body fat, including gynecomastia, or enlargement of the breast tissue. This is believed to be due to an imbalance between testosterone and estrogen.
7. Fatigue - Men with low testosterone often report fatigue and decreased energy levels. This can occur even with adequate sleep. Low T can present as feeling tired most of the time or even difficulty getting motivated for physical exercise.
8. Decreased bone mass - Low T can contribute to osteoporosis, or the thinning of bone mass. This is because testosterone aids in bone production and bone strengthening. Men with low T can present with bone fractures due to this issue.
9. Memory issues - Testosterone is important for normal cognitive function, particularly memory. As testosterone levels decline, so does men's memory function.
10. Irritable mood - Mood changes are common in men with low T, including such things as depression, irritability, or a lack of focus.
All of these symptoms may be improved with hormone replacement therapy. Call today to discuss - 720-408-5220.