What is Low T?
Low testosterone, also referred to as hypogonadism, is a medical condition that most commonly affects men.
A man’s body doesn’t produce sufficient amounts of the hormone testosterone. Some men are born with this medical condition, while others experience the effects of low testosterone later on in life.
Though it may not seem as low testosterone is a serious topic, approximately 15 million men in the United States suffer from this hormone imbalance.
What is Testosterone?
To understand the concept of low testosterone, you should first know why the hormone can cause such havoc. Testosterone is responsible for the growth of male sex organs. It also plays a few other roles in the body, such as:
- Development of hair (especially facial hair)
- Establishing a healthy libido
- Developing and retaining muscle mass and metabolism
- Regulating moods
- Maintaining energy levels
- Establishing bone density
What Causes Low Testosterone?
It is very normal for men to start producing less testosterone as they age. In fact, after a man reaches the age of 30, he produces one percent less testosterone each year. That can add up! A couple of other reasons for a decreased production of the hormone is due to:
- A disrupted signal from the brain
- A defect in the testes
- Diagnosis of hypogonadism
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Treatment for cancer (such as chemotherapy or radiation)
- Some medications
- Injury or infection that effected the testes
- Abnormal function of the pituitary gland
What Are the Symptoms?
Low testosterone can cause some major changes in the male body. If any of the following symptoms apply to you, speak to a doctor immediately.
- Decreasing Libido
- Weak Erections
- Weight Gain
- Loss of Body Hair
- Poor Sleeping Patterns
- Declining Muscle Mass
There are a few, more subtle, symptoms of low T: lack of concentration and finding it difficult to remember things. If you have one or more of these symptoms, don’t procrastinate about seeing a doctor. Low testosterone levels have been linked to potential cardiovascular issues, infertility, and diabetes.
Is There a Cure?
While there is no exact cure-all, there are a few options for treatment of low testosterone. One of the more popular treatments is hormone replacement therapy. These treatments are usually ongoing, but necessary.
Low testosterone is common among older men, and is a condition that should not be ignored! A normal amount of testosterone should be above 300 ng/dL, and anything under that is considered too low. Prolonged side effects associated with low T can be extremely harmful to your body. It is not worth the risk to let symptoms go untreated!