Testosterone is a hormone known for its crucial role in the development and maintenance of male reproductive organs and characteristics. The female body also produces Testosterone, although very low compared to males. In females, Testosterone impacts their reproductive (including menstrual) health, physiological health, cosmetic health (appearance, voice density, etc), and overall physical health.
What Is Low Testosterone?
Low Testosterone, aka Low T or male Hypogonadism or Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome, is a condition where the body doesn’t produce sufficient Testosterone. A human being who is male by birth has testicles (two) as a part of their reproductive organs. Low T or male Hypogonadism is when testicles aren’t able to produce enough Testosterone hormones.
The condition of low levels of Testosterone hormones is associated with males, whereas females tend to suffer from high Testosterone levels more commonly.
Testosterone levels vary from person to person, but it is common for males to experience low Testosterone as they age. Not all men suffer from Low Testosterone, and many of them can maintain normal levels throughout their lives.
Some younger males can also experience Low Testosterone levels, but there are therapies and medications to treat the same.
- Normal Testosterone Levels in Males: 00 to 1000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) or 10 to 35 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L)
- Low Testosterone Levels in Males: Less than 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL)
- Normal Testosterone Levels in Females: 15 to 70 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) or 0.5 to 2.4 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L)
Causes Of Low Testosterone Levels
Factors that result in low Testosterone levels in males include:
- In males, Testosterone levels naturally decline after the age of 30.
- In some men, testicles don’t produce enough testosterone, a condition referred to as Hypogonadism. It can be a result of a problem either with the testicles, pituitary, or hypothalamus.
- Obesity and abdominal fat may result in low testosterone levels.
- Type 2 Diabetes can lead to low Testosterone levels.
- Chronic medical conditions, including HIV/ AIDS, liver or kidney disease, and similar, can impact the production of Testosterone hormones.
- Testicle injury or even trauma can impact Testosterone production.
- Radiation treatment or Chemotherapy can result in permanently low Testosterone levels.
- Medications like Corticosteroids and opioids can impact the production of Testosterone hormones.
- Certain infections and Genetic conditions can also suppress Testosterone production.
Symptoms Of Low Testosterone Levels
The following symptoms are an indication of Low Testosterone Levels and a sign of immediate medical help:
- Low sex drive or loss of Libido.
- Difficulty in achieving or maintaining an erection, even for a short while.
- Lack of energy and feeling of constant exhaustion.
- Irritability, sadness, mood swings, difficulty in concentrating, depression, etc.
- Loss of muscle mass/ strength or difficulty in maintaining the same.
- Increase body fat, especially around the stomach area.
- Hot flashes.
- Decreased bone density and increased risk of bone fracture.
- Sleep disturbance or insomnia.
Related Topic: Best Vitamins To Help Boost Testosterone: A Complete Guide
Treatments For Low Testosterone Levels
The treatment for low Testosterone can only be started after proper medical diagnosis. A PCP, Endocrinologist, or Urologist may ask for your medical history and conduct certain,
- Blood Tests include Total Testosterone Levels, Luteinizing hormone (LH), Blood Prolactin Level, Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), and Estradiol Hormone Test.
- Bone Density Test
- Caryotype (Chromosome Test)
After diagnosis, the treatment for Low Testosterone Levels may include:
- Lifestyle Changes include regular exercise, weight loss and weight management, and getting adequate hours of sleep.
- Nutritional Supplments.
- Medications in the form of gel, pill (Bucul), patch, injection (intramuscular) or implant.
- Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT).
The Bottom Line
Upon experiencing a combination of the symptoms mentioned above, talk to your healthcare provider. Depending upon the cause of low Testosterone levels, your medical history, and overall health, the healthcare expert will advise you on an appropriate treatment. With proper treatment and regular health checkups, low Testosterone is often manageable.