What Are the Symptoms of Low t?
Symptoms of Low t will eventually affect us all. Testosterone levels decrease as we get older, causing sometimes subtle symptoms. There are many options for Low t treatment in Denver if the symptoms of “Low-t” are affecting you.
Testosterone is a hormone produced by the testicles and affects our appearance, sexual development, sperm production, and sex drive. This important hormone also helps build muscle and bone mass.
Because testosterone levels decrease with age. According to the American Urological Association, about 40 percent of males ages 45 and older have low testosterone.
Testosterone plays a crucial role in sex drive, also known as libido. Some people may experience a decline in sex drive as they age, but those with low testosterone will likely experience a more drastic drop.
Testosterone aids in achieving and maintaining an erection. It tells the brain to produce nitric oxide, which helps trigger a series of chemical reactions necessary for an erection to occur.
When testosterone levels are too low, you may have trouble getting an erection before sex or having spontaneous erections, such as during sleep.
However, research is inconclusive on whether testosterone replacement therapy can treat erectile dysfunction. In a 2016 review of studies examining the benefit of testosterone in men with erection problems, nearly half showed no changes with testosterone treatment.
Other health conditions can often cause erectile difficulties, including:
- Thyroid problems
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Alcohol consumption
In women, hot flashes can be a sign of low testosterone. Hot flashes can feel like a sudden rush of warmth throughout the body. You may also experience heavy sweating, reddening of the skin, and night sweats.
Testosterone plays a role in several body functions, including hair production. Balding is a natural part of growing older for many men, and while it can be hereditary, those with low testosterone may also lose body and facial hair.
Men in Denver with low testosterone (Low t) may report extreme fatigue and a loss of energy. You may have low testosterone if you always feel tired even though you’re getting plenty of sleep or if you find it harder to get excited about exercising.
Men with low testosterone may notice a loss of muscle mass because testosterone is so important in building muscle. A study performed in 2016 found that testosterone can increase muscle mass but may not necessarily increase strength or function.
Low testosterone levels can cause increased body fat or gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue). Gynecomastia can occur when there is an imbalance of testosterone and estrogen in the body.
Osteoporosis is a condition most often associated with women, but males with low testosterone can also experience bone loss. Testosterone helps produce and strengthen bone, so males with low testosterone, especially older men, may have lower bone volume and be at greater risk of broken bones.
Testosterone and Mental Function
Men with low testosterone levels can experience both mood changes and decreased mental capacity (brain fog).
Because both testosterone levels and cognitive functions like memory decline with age, doctors have theorized that lower testosterone levels contribute to memory loss.
Research has shown that supplementing testosterone levels is linked with improving memory in older men with low testosterone levels.
However, a 2017 study on testosterone supplementation did not find memory improvements in 493 men with low testosterone levels who took testosterone or a placebo.
Doctors have linked low testosterone with an increased risk for anemia, according to a 2017 study. When the researchers administered testosterone gel to anemic men with low testosterone, they saw improved blood counts compared to men who used a placebo.
Some symptoms of anemia include:
- difficulty concentrating
- leg cramping
- difficulty sleeping
- rapid heart rate
Having low testosterone may also increase your risk of developing other health conditions, including:
- heart disease
Testosterone levels are typically 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). Low testosterone is when testosterone levels fall below 300 ng/dL. A blood test called a serum testosterone test can determine your testosterone level.
Tests to diagnose low testosterone and its causes include:
- serum testosterone
- luteinizing hormone
- blood prolactin level
Low t Treatment in Denver for Low Testosterone.
If you have low testosterone symptoms that bother you, you can talk with a doctor to determine if testosterone replacement therapy is right for you. Testosterone replacement therapy comes in a variety of forms, including:
- oral medications
- skin gel
- pellets placed under your skin
Testosterone replacement therapy is a lifelong treatment. If you stop treatment, your testosterone levels will also drop.
Side effects of testosterone replacement therapy can include:
- enlarged prostate
- shrinking testicles
- decreased sperm count
- high red blood cell count
- fluid retention
- swollen feet or ankles
Benefits of Biote Testosterone Therapy
Low t treatment in Denver may not be suitable for you if you:
- have an untreated heart condition
- have breast or prostate cancer
- have sleep apnea
- have elevated red blood cell counts
- plan to have children
Males experience a gradual decrease in testosterone as they get older. The older you are, the more likely you’ll have low testosterone levels.
A variety of factors can cause low testosterone. Males with testosterone levels below 300 ng/dL may experience some symptoms. A doctor can check your testosterone level with a simple blood test.
If you have low testosterone and the symptoms bother you, testosterone replacement therapy is a standard treatment.
Testosterone is a hormone that both men and women make naturally. It’s essential for male sexual health and overall well-being.
As you get older, it is normal for testosterone levels to drop. Low testosterone levels (called “low T” for short) affect between 2% and 6% of all men. Low T symptoms can include erectile dysfunction, low fertility, and osteoporosis. Not all men get symptoms, however.
The good news is that low-T treatment in Denver is usually pretty straightforward. Here’s what you need to know about the causes of low T, early symptoms, and treatment options.
What Does Testosterone Do in the Male Body?
Testosterone is a sex hormone. It is involved in many aspects of male health, including:
- Puberty and male sexual development
- Sex drive
- Bone strength
- Muscle growth
- Red blood cell production
- Energy and mood
Having low T can affect all these functions.
What Causes Low Testosterone?
There are many causes of low testosterone. The most common cause is normal aging. Testosterone levels drop a little bit each year as you get older.
There are less common “Primary” and “Secondary” causes of low testosterone levels. Let’s take a look at these below.
Primary Causes of Low Testosterone
Primary causes of low testosterone refer to problems in the testicles themselves. Since testicles make testosterone, any conditions that affect how they work can affect how much testosterone you make. Causes of primary low testosterone include:
- Infections (e.g., mumps)
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Undescended testicles
- Testicular torsion
- Chemotherapy treatment
- Radiation treatment
- Autoimmune diseases
- Liver cirrhosis and liver failure
- Physical injuries to the testicles, like from a car accident or sports injury
Secondary Causes of Low Testosterone
The secondary causes of low testosterone occur when your testicles work normally, but other health problems stop you from making testosterone. Aging is an example of a secondary cause of low testosterone. Some other examples of secondary causes are:
- Brain tumors or other problems in the pituitary gland (a gland in the brain that regulates many hormones)
- Hormone-blocking treatment (used for prostate cancer, among other conditions)
- Long-term use of opioid pain medications
Many men don’t seek Low t treatment in Denver because the symptoms from age-related low testosterone happen so gradually. But some people have symptoms — especially if a medical condition or treatment suddenly brings on Low t. Or if they’ve never had “normal” testosterone levels.
Common Symptoms of Low T in Men
1. Hair Loss
Hair loss on the face or body is a visible sign of Low t. Testosterone helps maintain facial and body hair. If hair suddenly thins or seems to disappear, it could be a clue that your testosterone levels may be low.
2. Low Sex Drive
Testosterone creates a healthy sex drive in both men and women. If you notice your libido starting to slip and there’s no obvious explanation (like stress, traumatic events, or lack of sleep), you may need to seek Low t treatment in Denver. A hormone specialist can help narrow down the cause and determine whether Low t might be behind your symptoms.
3. Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a classic low testosterone symptom and typically occurs with low sex drive. If your sex drive is depressed, having and maintaining an erection can become difficult. While most ED cases are due to other health problems, low testosterone can affect your sexual performance.
Low testosterone can cause infertility, as well. That’s because testosterone is one of the main hormones needed to create sperm. Low t levels mean low sperm levels. And some men with low T produce no sperm at all.
Infertility is something you would need a healthcare provider to confirm. But if you and your partner have trouble conceiving, you may want to check your testosterone levels.
When your testosterone levels are adequate, some of the testosterone is transformed into estrogen to protect your bones. But your body doesn’t do this when you have low testosterone levels. Poor conversion of this vital hormone makes your bones weaker and more likely to break.
Low bone mineral density and osteoporosis from Low t are most concerning in men over 65, but any man should be aware of this risk.
6. Decreased Muscle Mass
Testosterone is the most important hormone for muscle growth. When you have low testosterone levels, your existing muscle mass will start to shrink. Your healthcare provider will typically look for this if they are concerned you may have Low t. A loss of muscle mass is a very common reason for men to seek Low t treatment in Denver.
7. Mood Swings and Irritability
Feeling depressed or more emotional can be an issue for men with low testosterone levels. A healthy level of testosterone helps keep your mood in check.
Because many other health issues can cause mood swings, it may be challenging to know whether Low t is causing it. It’s best to talk to your healthcare provider if you have any sudden mood changes that you cannot explain.
8. Fatigue and Trouble Concentrating
Healthy levels of testosterone help you feel energized. However, one of the biggest complaints among men with low testosterone levels is that they feel tired and unfocused a lot of the time, no matter how much they sleep. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have fatigue that lasts for weeks and can’t be explained by stress or extreme activity.
9. Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are commonly associated with menopause, but men can have them, too. While rare in men, they can occur in men who have gone through chemotherapy and have almost no testosterone left in their bodies. While experts don’t know why this happens, you must share this information with your healthcare provider if you have hot flashes. They can help you pinpoint whether low T may be causing it.
Other Signs of Low t
There are a few other low testosterone signs outside the main symptoms we’ve discussed.
The type of Low t symptoms you experience may depend on when the Low t develops. For example, your testes and penis may not fully develop if you have low Testosterone levels before puberty. Low t before puberty may also lead to not having as deep a voice.
Some men with Low t may also start growing breast tissue, known as gynecomastia. It’s important to share any such symptom with your healthcare provider.
How to Tell if You Have Low Testosterone
By running a simple blood test, your healthcare provider can see if you have low testosterone levels. Testosterone in your blood should be between 300 ng/dL and 1,000 ng/dL. Testosterone levels can change as we age.
Your doctor will also do a physical exam to check your hair growth, muscle growth, and the size and appearance of your testicles. They may perform these blood tests and exams at your regular checkups if you have a health condition (like diabetes or HIV) that is more likely to cause low T.
Low t Treatment in Denver
Treating low testosterone is pretty simple. You simply replace what’s missing. But, not all men with low testosterone need treatment. If your testosterone levels are low but your symptoms aren’t a problem, then there’s no need for treatment.
Whether young or old, testosterone replacement therapy is available in many different forms. While receiving treatment, you will need regular blood work to monitor your testosterone levels and ensure they’re balanced.
Keep in mind that testosterone treatment options are also Schedule III controlled substances. In other words, they are medications with a low to moderate risk of dependence. Testosterone replacement therapy may also raise the risk of prostate cancer, heart attacks, and strokes in older men.
Six Options for Low t Treatment in Denver
- Testosterone Gel – Applied once daily to a specified area of your skin, which differs depending on the product prescribed.
- Testosterone Patches – Applied once daily on a clean, dry skin area (preferably not a bony area or on the back of your thighs). These patches can be worn while swimming or showering.
- Testosterone Injections – Given every 2 to 4 weeks by a healthcare provider or administered at home. You or a loved one will receive training on proper injection techniques.
- Testosterone Nasal gels – Applied three times a day inside your nostrils (make sure not to blow your nose for an hour after using it).
- Testosterone Pellets – Placed right below the skin of the gluteal area and can last up to 6 months in men.
Measuring your testosterone levels can be done with a simple blood test. Schedule your testosterone test here.
Can I Raise my Testosterone Levels Naturally?
There are a few ways to increase low testosterone levels naturally. Exercise is an effective way to raise testosterone levels. Research shows that men who exercise regularly have higher testosterone levels and function.
Healthy, well-balanced meals can also help increase testosterone levels. Diets high in fat are associated with lower testosterone levels. Also, taking a vitamin D supplement can raise your testosterone if you have low vitamin D levels. A study in men with excess weight showed that taking 83 micrograms of vitamin D for a year significantly increased testosterone levels.
Diindolylmethane (DIM) is found naturally in vegetables like broccoli, kale, and brussel sprouts. Diindolylmethane provides vital support for many tissues, including prostate cells. DIM also helps prevent testosterone from “aromatizing” and turning into estrogen. This is very important when attempting to increase your testosterone levels naturally.
Lastly, getting plenty of sleep is also very important. Research has shown that one week of poor sleep can lower testosterone levels by as much as 15%. By comparison, testosterone levels will decrease just 1% to 2% per year with age.
What Happens if Low Testosterone Levels Go Untreated?
The gradual decline of testosterone levels over time is responsible for many of the effects of aging that men experience.
Low testosterone levels found in either younger or older men with abnormally low testosterone levels can lead to some medical complications. Infertility is a serious problem for men with Low t.
Bone thinning (osteoporosis) and muscle weakness from decreased testosterone levels are becoming more common problems for older men. Thin bones are at higher risk of breaking. And broken bones and muscle weakness can make it more difficult to heal from your injury and take care of yourself.
What Can You Do About Low t?
Low testosterone (Low t) affects many men, some as young as 35. The good news is that Low t is easy to treat in most cases. Schedule a free consultation with a Biote doctor to learn more. You can also take our quick survey to see if you are experiencing issues related to low testosterone levels.