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Healthy Living | Signs and Causes of Low Testosterone


SignsandCausesofLowTestosterone

There are more than 13-million men in the U.S. that are affected by low testosterone levels. Even worse, 90% of those affected go untreated, over 70% report erectile dysfunction issues and 60% have a low sex drive.

Testosterone is a steroid hormone that helps regulate sperm development, boosts energy and maintains muscle mass. Both men and women have it, but men produce about ten times more of it than women. Low testosterone is sometimes known as androgen (male sex hormones) deficiency syndrome, and testosterone is the main sex hormone for men. There are testosterone supplements you can buy to increase your levels naturally.

Low-T as Men Age

Testosterone levels decline naturally as men age. Women experience the same thing with estrogen, the female hormone. This decline in testosterone and the symptoms it causes have sometimes been referred to as “male menopause.” The gradual decline in testosterone due to aging can cause you to have a decreased sex drive and less frequent erections, and sometimes men can completely lose interest in sex altogether.

Low testosterone can also affect your energy level, muscle strength and mood. Since low testosterone can also be due to injury, disease, certain types of cancers and drugs, it’s vital for men of all ages to know the symptoms and warning signs of low testosterone.

Low-T Symptoms

If you have symptoms, or even signs of low testosterone, you can be diagnosed with the condition. They can include erectile dysfunction, sleep problems, loss of muscle mass, decreased testicle or penis size, increased breast size and tenderness, reduced strength and endurance levels, decreased sex drive, emotional problems (irritability, depression, concentration difficulty and sadness), decrease in the amount of body hair and reduced energy level.

If your physician suspects that your testosterone level is low, a blood test can measure your testosterone level, and should your levels be inadequate, your doctor can prescribe testosterone replacement therapy, which can relieve many of the signs and symptoms of low testosterone. Testosterone replacement therapy involves taking additional testosterone as a supplement to increase levels. Taking testosterone without a diagnosis of low testosterone just to increase your strength, athletic performance, energy or sex drive, or to try to prevent aging can be dangerous to your health.

If you suspect you might have low testosterone, ask your primary care physician for a battery of tests. If your levels are too low for good health, your doctor and you can decide on a plan of action. A diagnosis of low testosterone includes taking a complete medical history and having a physical exam as well as laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis. Your physician will want to make sure your low testosterone is not caused by medications you are taking or by a disease or condition that needs to be treated. If you decide that you should try medication to treat low testosterone, remember that a healthy lifestyle including a healthy weight, exercise, eating right, limited alcohol and not smoking are natural and extremely vital strategies for managing and even increasing your testosterone levels.

davidnovakDavid Novak is a international syndicated newspaper columnist, appearing in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV around the world. His byline has appeared in GQ, National Geographic, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, USA Today, among others, and he has appeared on The Today Show, the CBS Morning Show and Paul Harvey Radio. David is a specialist at consumer technology, health and fitness, and he also owns a PR firm and a consulting company where he and his staff focus on these industries. He is a regular contributing editor for Healthline. For more information, visit http://www.healthline.com/.

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