Testosterone is a sex hormone that is commonly associated with men, however females have trace amounts. Males with low testosterone may experience erectile dysfunction, and both males and females may experience decreased bone mass and sex drive.
The hormone performs a variety of critical tasks, including:
- the formation of bones and muscles
- voice deepening, hair growth, and other appearance-related characteristics
- the creation of sperm
As a person ages, testosterone production slows, and many elderly persons experience symptoms of low testosterone.
Low testosterone is defined by the American Urological Association as fewer than 300 nanograms (ng) of the hormone per deciliter (dl) of blood. According to the foundation, around 2 out of every 100 men have low testosterone.
Symptoms of low testosterone
The following are the most common symptoms of low testosterone:
Reduced muscle mass
Testosterone is involved in the formation of muscle mass, and low levels of the hormone can result in considerable muscle mass loss.
According to a 2016 research, while decreased testosterone promotes muscle mass loss, muscular function and strength do not suffer.
Reduced bone mass
Testosterone aids in the formation of bone tissue and the maintenance of bone volume. Low testosterone levels might cause a decrease in this volume, making the bones more prone to fractures.
Reduced sex drive
Low testosterone levels are frequently associated with a decrease in sex drive.
A male’s sex drive naturally declines with age, but when the cause is low testosterone, he will notice a considerable fall in sex desire.
A decrease in energy levels
Low testosterone levels might result in decreased energy and weariness.
Even after enough rest, a person may become fatigued or lose interest in exercise or activity.
An increase in body fat
A decrease in testosterone might result in an increase in body fat.
In some situations, patients with a hormone shortage develop gynecomastia, which causes breast augmentation.
Many people lose their hair naturally as they age, and age-related hair loss can affect anyone.
An prior study from 2012 discovered that testosterone implants aided hair regrowth in certain women receiving treatment for sex hormone insufficiency symptoms.
Symptoms of low testosterone in males
Men may experience specific symptoms of low testosterone levels.
Problems with erections
Erections can be difficult to develop or maintain when testosterone levels are low. Low testosterone, on the other hand, is not always a primary cause of erectile dysfunction. People with high testosterone levels may struggle to achieve erections, while those with low testosterone levels may find it easier.
Testosterone causes the penile tissues to create nitric oxide, which initiates a chain of events that leads to an erection. A man may be unable to get an erection if his hormone levels are too low.
Erectile dysfunction can also be caused by the following factors:
- thyroid-related issues
- high cholesterol
- stress or anxiety
- alcohol consumption
- high blood pressure
Testosterone replacement therapy has been shown in studies to improve erectile function in men with mild erectile dysfunction.
Reduction in testicle size
A man who has low testosterone may observe a decrease in the size of his testicles that is not caused by cold weather.
The scrotum may feel softer than usual as well.
Reduction in the amount of semen
The majority of male ejaculate is composed of sperm. This fluid aids sperm movement toward the egg.
Testosterone stimulates the generation of sperm, and low sperm levels can suggest a drop in testosterone. It can potentially cause fertility problems.
People with low testosterone may have difficulty falling or staying asleep.
Men with sleep apnea frequently have low testosterone levels. This potentially fatal illness causes a person to cease breathing for a short period of time, which might interrupt sleep.
Changes in mood or mood swings
Some data suggests that men with low testosterone levels are more prone to irritation, irritability, and depression.
According to one 2017 study, testosterone replacement therapy dramatically improved depression symptoms and general quality of life in men with low testosterone levels.
Symptoms of low testosterone in females
Females may also have low testosterone symptoms such as the ones listed below.
While many individuals link hot flashes with fluctuating estrogen levels after menopause, this symptom can also be caused by low testosterone levels.
Irregular menstrual cycles
A hormonal imbalance caused by low testosterone levels might result in menstrual periods that are shorter or longer than the average of 28 days.
Dryness of the vaginal canal is typical during and after menopause, but it can occur at any age. Low estrogen is the most common cause, but low testosterone can also be a factor.
Testosterone aids the body in the production of healthy red blood cells (RBCs). Low testosterone levels may result in anemia, a blood condition caused by a decrease in RBCs. The predominant symptom is exhaustion.
An older 2006 study discovered that women over the age of 65 with low testosterone levels had decreased hemoglobin levels, putting them at a higher risk for anemia.
Causes of low testosterone levels
Beyond the age of 30 and after menopause, testosterone production normally begins to decline. Younger folks, on the other hand, may have low testosterone levels.
Hypogonadism, a disorder in which the testicles generate little or no testosterone, can occur at any age in men.
Hypogonadism can be caused by the following conditions:
- testicular infection or damage
- Cancer therapies such as chemotherapy or radiation
- pituitary gland illness or other hormonal imbalances
- Corticosteroids and opiate pain relievers are examples of drugs.
- Klinefelter syndrome is an example of a hereditary disorder.
- Abuse of alcohol and drugs
Low testosterone levels in females can be caused by situations such as:
- Insufficiency of the adrenal glands
- ovaries surgically removed
- taking estrogen treatment orally
Does Titanium Dioxide lower Testosterone levels
This study was conducted to examine the effects of titanium dioxide on testosterone levels in male rats. The study found that titanium dioxide did not lower testosterone levels in male rats.
When to contact a doctor
Low testosterone may not usually cause symptoms, and some people only discover they have it after a normal physical exam with blood tests.
Anyone experiencing one or more of the above symptoms, on the other hand, should seek medical assistance.
A doctor will frequently undertake a physical examination and analyze the patient’s symptoms to identify low testosterone. The doctor may also order tests to look for additional symptoms.
A bone density test, for example, can reveal decreased bone mass as a result of low testosterone.
Testosterone replacement therapy is the most commonly used treatment (TRT).
TRT is normally prescribed by a doctor only if the patient has many symptoms of low testosterone and blood test results that show a deficiency.
TRT can be administered in a variety of ways, including:
- skin patches
- tablets that dissolve in the mouth
- surgically implanted pellets that release the hormone
Most patients may observe symptom alleviation within 4-6 weeks of beginning TRT.
Natural ways to boost testosterone levels
Weight loss and exercise can frequently naturally enhance testosterone levels.
While modifications in lifestyle and food may not be sufficient to elevate levels substantially, they can frequently help.
It is crucial to remember that men normally lose testosterone as they age, and that the potential advantages of lifestyle changes diminish over time. Exercise, for example, is often more effective in younger people.
Saturated fat diets can lower testosterone levels, but zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidant vitamins can boost testosterone production. Eating a well-balanced diet high in nutrient-dense whole foods and low in saturated fats may assist to increase testosterone levels.