When it comes to health and wellness, hormonal balance is just as important for men as it is for women, with an estimated 20% of men over 60 suffering from an imbalance. Testosterone, the male sex hormone, peaks around age 20, then starts to slowly decline with age. But unlike estrogen in women, where the hormone levels drop drastically in a brief period of time, the levels of testosterone drop slowly over many years.
This slow decrease leads to the gradual onset of testosterone deficiency and the symptoms that accompany it. Because they develop over time, the signs of low testosterone, sometimes referred to as low T, often go unnoticed -- until they become problematic.
Here at Ovation Wellness in Madison, Mississippi, we understand the importance of homeostasis and balance within the body, and we’re trained to recognize testosterone deficiencies. To help you maintain the best health possible, we’re sharing five signs that your testosterone levels are low and what you can do about it.
Testosterone plays a significant role in sexual desire and functioning, so it’s no surprise that when the hormone level drops, sexual side effects occur. When men suffer from low T, they may notice a significant drop in libido, more so than what’s expected with age.
Beyond the sex drive, testosterone deficiency impacts a man’s ability to achieve and maintain an erection and when combined with other health issues, may lead to erectile dysfunction. It also affects the production of semen, and there may be a volume reduction of the semen that’s ejaculated.
Testosterone aids in muscle building, and when the hormone levels are low you may lose muscle mass, even if it seems like your strength remains. Low T causes muscles to atrophy, where the cells degenerate and waste away, and the condition impacts the heart muscle as well.
Body fat has a tendency to increase when testosterone levels are low. As the amount of body fat increases, so does your risk of developing diabetes. And as the imbalance between testosterone and estrogen becomes worse, some men develop gynecomastia, where fat accumulates around the breast tissue.
Testosterone is necessary to produce and strengthen your bones. When the hormone levels fall, the bones lose mass and become porous, making them weak and more likely to break.
When bone loss becomes extreme, you may develop osteoporosis, which impacts nearly two million American men. The number one cause of the condition in men is low T.
Although balding is a normal part of the aging process and highly determined by genetics, some hair loss is related to your testosterone levels. Because of its role in hair production, testosterone can cause hair to fall out when the hormone levels become too low.
Hair loss due to low T does occur on the head, but unlike traditional balding, it occurs elsewhere as well. Testosterone deficiency causes the same effect on all of your hair, whether it’s on your head, chin, or thighs.
Low testosterone impacts your emotions as much as it does your body. Men with testosterone deficiency often experience changes in their mood, such as depression and irritability. You may also notice a lack of focus and difficulty concentrating.
Testosterone imbalance can also deplete your energy levels and lead to fatigue. You may feel like you’re tired no matter how long or how well you sleep.
Are you showing signs of testosterone deficiency? There are things you can do to increase your levels. Start by improving your diet, eliminating processed foods and replacing them with fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats, and getting regular physical activity. Increasing your intake of vitamin D3 may raise the level of testosterone in the body, as can reducing your stress levels.
If these interventions don’t improve your symptoms, come in and talk to one of our providers about testosterone deficiency and what you can do about it. You can call our office at 601-202-1340 today.