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- Quiz: The Symptoms of Low Testosterone
- What are the symptoms of low testosterone?
- News and Events
- Should Men be Tested for Low T?
- What You Need to Know About Low T
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- Think You Have Low T? Take Our “Low T Quiz” To Find Out
Quiz: The Symptoms of Low Testosterone
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Falling asleep after dinner? Is your work performance worsening? Enjoying life a little less? Unable to play sports like you used to? Feeling grumpy? Getting weaker and not stronger? Feeling less energetic? Erections failing and sex drive tanking? What hard working adult doesn’t have these symptoms at one time or another?
This is the list of symptoms that we ask of men to decide whether they may have low testosterone and whether they might benefit from treatment. Most are also simply part of normal aging and have nothing to do with low testosterone levels. So, what’s the truth about the symptoms of low testosterone
True or False: Low testosterone is the most common cause of low sex drive.
Answer: False. Stresses of daily life, illness and drugs are far more common causes of low libido
True or False: Men with low testosterone can develop “hot flashes” similar to women during menopause.
Answer: True. Men and women are different in many ways but not this one.
True or False: Increasing testosterone levels has been shown to increase longevity.
Answer: False. There is no evidence that adding more testosterone to normal levels increases lifespan.
True or False: Men with low testosterone levels don’t live as long as men with normal testosterone levels:
Answer: True. The best long-term data suggests that men with low T levels have a 88% higher mortality rate when compared to men with normal T levels.
True or False: The most common reason for hair loss is low testosterone levels.
Answer: False. Male pattern baldness is largely genetically determined.
True or False: Testosterone increases the ability to gain muscle mass.
Answer: True. Testosterone is an anabolic hormone: the more you take, the greater the ability to gain muscle and strength.
True or False: The higher your testosterone, the higher your sex drive and the better are your erections.
Answer: False. Above a certain “tipping” point, raising T levels does not increase either libido or erections.
True or False: Low testosterone is a common cause of erectile dysfunction
Answer: False. Less than 5% of ED is due to low testosterone. Cardiovascular risk is by far the biggest risk factor for ED.
True or False: Testosterone supplements are fertility-enhancing.
Answer: False. T is a very effective contraceptive and is being studied precisely for this purpose.
True or False: Testosterone increases energy and vitality.
Answer: Possibly. Among men > 65 years old, testosterone replacement didn’t alter vitality, but improved mood and depressive symptoms.
As you can see, while testosterone has some health benefits, it’s not the Holy Grail of all that it’s cracked up to be. Feel free to contact us if you want to know more about whether it’s right for you.
What are the symptoms of low testosterone?
Below are common signs and symptoms of low testosterone in males. Females may also experience some of the following.
1. Problems with erections
Share on PinterestLow testosterone may cause fatigue and mood changes.
Low testosterone can make it difficult to get or maintain erections.
Testosterone stimulates the penile tissues to produce nitric oxide, which starts several reactions that result in an erection.
If levels of the hormone are too low, a man may not be able to get an erection.
The following are other factors that can cause erectile dysfunction:
- thyroid-related issues
- high cholesterol
- stress or anxiety
- alcohol consumption
- high blood pressure
2. Hair loss
Many men experience hair loss as a natural part of aging, and age-related hair loss can also affect women.
Authors of a study from 2012 found that testosterone implants supported the regrowth of hair in some women who were receiving treatment for symptoms of sex hormone deficiency.
3. Reduced bone mass
Testosterone helps to produce bone tissue and maintain bone volume.
Low testosterone can lead to a reduction in this volume, which can make the bones more susceptible to fractures.
4. Reduction in testicle size
A male with low testosterone may notice a reduction in the size of their testicles that is not related to cold temperatures.
The scrotum may also feel softer than usual.
5. Reduction in the amount of semen
Semen is the fluid that makes up the majority of male ejaculate. This type of fluid helps the sperm move toward the egg.
Testosterone helps stimulate the production of semen, and reduced levels of semen can indicate a reduction in testosterone. It can also lead to trouble with fertility.
6. Difficulty sleeping
Men with low testosterone may find it difficult to fall or stay asleep.
Many males with low testosterone also have sleep apnea. This potentially severe disorder causes a person to temporarily stop breathing, which can disrupt sleep.
7. Lowered sex drive
Men with low testosterone often experience a reduction in sex drive.
A diminishing sex drive occurs naturally with age, but when the cause is low testosterone, a man will notice a significant decrease in the desire for sex.
8. Reduced muscle mass
Testosterone plays a role in the development of muscle mass, and reduced levels of the hormone can result in a significant loss of muscle mass.
However, as low testosterone causes a decrease in mass, the function and strength of the muscles do not diminish, according to the findings of a 2016 review.
9. Hot flashes
While many people associate hot flashes with estrogen levels that fluctuate during menopause, low levels of testosterone may also cause this symptom.
10. A decrease in energy levels
Low testosterone can lead to reduced levels of energy and fatigue.
A person may feel tired, even after adequate rest, or they may develop a diminished interest in exercise or movement.
11. An increase in body fat
A reduction in testosterone can lead to an increase in body fat.
In some cases, men with a deficiency of the hormone develop gynecomastia, which causes an enlargement of the breasts.
12. Changes in mood or mood swings
Some evidence suggests that men with low levels of testosterone are likely to experience a lack of focus, irritability, and depression.
News and Events
Should Men be Tested for Low T?
Flip through a men’s magazine or the sports channels on TV and you’re likely to see an advertisement about “low T” and how it can be the culprit behind a number of health ailments. But the truth about low testosterone is more complex than the pharmaceutical ads make it seem, says David Paolone, MD, an urologist at UW Health’s Men’s Health Clinic.
While the proliferation of ads in recent years has inspired more men to check their testosterone levels than is probably necessary, low testosterone is relatively common. “All men as they get older have a drop in testosterone — that’s something we see across the board,” Paolone says.
Should You be Tested?
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Nearly 39 percent of men ages 45 years and older have low testosterone, also known as hypogonadism, which is generally defined as a level below 300 nanograms per deciliter. And the prevalence of low testosterone grows with age: estimates show that it affects 12 percent of men in their 50s, 19 percent in their 60s, 28 percent in their 70s, and 49 percent in their 80s, Paolone says.
What You Need to Know About Low T
Here’s what you need to know about this condition and when and how to treat it.
It can affect you in ways you wouldn’t expect. Testosterone levels can influence more than sex drive and sperm count. “Testosterone is very important for cellular functioning, so it’s not just sexual symptoms — it can affect your cognitive ability, energy level, strength, vitality, bone health. All of these things can be reduced if someone has low testosterone,” Paolone says.
At the same time, it can be easy to mistakenly attribute the condition’s vague symptoms — including weight gain, difficulty concentrating and fatigue — to low testosterone when they could be caused by another health problem, such as depression or sleep apnea, he says.
Testosterone levels don’t always make a difference. “Symptoms and biochemical test results don’t always correlate,” Paolone explains. “You could have low testosterone and feel fine. Most men don’t experience symptoms.” In fact, despite the higher rates of older men with low testosterone levels, only 12 percent of men ages 40-70 experience symptoms as a result of this condition.
Don’t test just to test. As awareness of “low T” has grown, Paolone has seen more patients eager to have their testosterone levels checked simply because they heard they should have it checked. “If you feel fine, you don’t have to go fishing for low testosterone,” he says. “We try to direct treatment only to men who are experiencing symptoms.”
It can be caused by other health issues. The relationship between low testosterone and weight can go both ways: low levels of testosterone can cause weight gain, and being overweight can also cause your testosterone levels to drop. Diabetes, HIV, kidney disease/renal insufficiency, and injuries to the testicles from chemotherapy or radiation can also lower testosterone levels.
It’s treatable. If you’re experiencing symptoms as a result of low testosterone, your doctor may recommend hormone replacement therapy. The supplement needs to go through the skin, but it can be given as an injection or applied as a gel or patch. Treatment is usually long-term. Gels and patches are applied daily, and shots can be given every two weeks or every few months, depending on the treatment.
Treatment doesn’t always work. “Many men whom we’ve given testosterone replacement therapy have seen their symptoms dramatically improve, but about one-third of men who see me don’t feel any better after the treatment,” Paolone says. “It’s a little frustrating for guys when they’re looking for a simple, straight-forward fix, and that’s why testosterone gets checked so frequently, but unfortunately, it’s more complicated than that.” If your symptoms don’t resolve after treatment, it could be a sign that another condition is to blame.
Treatment is safe for most men. Safety issues made the news last fall, when the FDA issued a new warning about the physical and mental health risks associated with the abuse of testosterone products. But a majority of scientific studies on testosterone replacement therapy haven’t found any increased risk of heart attacks or stroke with proper use, Paolone notes. “While it’s always important for any man to think about his risks for heart attack or stroke, and certainly men who are getting this treatment need to be monitored, testosterone replacement therapy is generally thought to be safe for men who need it,” he says.
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Date Published: 04/24/2018
News tag(s): wellness, mens health, david r paolone, urology
Think You Have Low T? Take Our “Low T Quiz” To Find Out
Low energy? Not feeling like sex? It could be low testosterone. Take the following quiz to see if you have any of the symptoms:
In the last three to seven years:
- Has a physician diagnosed you with low testosterone?
- Has your sex drive dropped?
- Have your erections decreased in frequency and quality?
- Have you lost noticeable amounts of strength or muscle mass?
- Have you gained more than ten pounds?
- Have you had difficulty maintaining a stable weight?
- Has your energy dropped?
- Have you found it necessary to shave less often?
- Do you feel less engaged, committed, and excited by your career, family, or hobbies?
- If you are trying to conceive, have you and your partner had a difficult time becoming pregnant, or have you been diagnosed with a low sperm count?
- Do you feel less sharp and focused?
- Has your mood gotten worse?
- Have you contracted diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol?
- Do you routinely sleep less than seven hours a night?
- Do you often feel stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed?
- Do you avoid exercise?
- Do you consume soy products (tofu, soymilk, protein powders containing soy) more than once a week?
- Do you drink out of plastic bottles containing BPA?
- Do you consume foods containing environmental toxins such as inorganic meats?
- Do you use self-care products that contain environmental toxins? (Look for unpronounceable chemical names, particularly in shampoo.)
- Do you avoid social situations, particularly those involving meeting new people?
- Do you eat a low-carb or low-fat diet?