Low testosterone symptoms vary, depending on the cause and also at the age which it occurs.
Some of the low testosterone symptoms include; lack of secondary sexual characteristics such as facial hair and a deeper voice.
Low testosterone also known as low T affects affect millions of men. Testosterone is an important hormone in the human body, which starts to decline each year after the age of 30.
Older men who have low T have increasingly sought for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). TRT helps in addressing low testosterone symptoms like low libido, poor muscle mass, and low energy.
Young men, teens also suffer from low T, but It is more common in older men.
What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone in the human body. It helps in putting hair on a man’s chest, and also a driving force behind a man’s sex drive.
During the time of puberty, testosterone helps in building a man’s muscles, boosts the size of his penis and testes and, deepens his voice. During adulthood, it also helps in keeping a man’s bones and muscles strong. And also maintains his interest in sex.
Low Testosterone Causes
A man’s normal total testosterone range is about 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). The upper limit can be about 800ng/dL.
Low levels of testosterone are as a result of hypogonadism. If hypogonadism occurs in puberty, normal growth can be disturbed. And this can lead to problems with muscle development, deepening of the voice, and a risk of undeveloped genitals, overly long limbs, and also enlarged breasts.
This is when a lower-than-normal or an average score is found on a blood test. It can also be caused by lots of conditions, including:
- An Injury to the testicles, Hormonal disorders
- Type 2 diabetes, Aging.
- Testicular cancer or the treatment for testicular cancer
- Infections, HIV/AIDS, Obesity
- Chronic liver or kidney disease
- Some drugs
- In some cases, it can be unknown.
- Underactive testes. This is when the testes do not manufacture sufficient levels of testosterone for proper growth and health. This under activity can also be caused by some inherited trait. And can also be caused by an accident or illness.
Some of the inherited conditions also include:
- Undescended testicles. This is where the testicles fail to descend from the abdomen before the birth of the child.
- Klinefelter’s syndrome. This is a condition where a man is born with three sex chromosomes: X, X, and Y.
- Hemochromatosis. This is when there is too much iron in the blood. Which causes testicular failure or a damage in the pituitary gland.
- Cancer treatment. The chemotherapy and radiation can also cause damage to the testes.
- Mumps or orchitis. This can injure the testes.
- Physical injury to the testicles
Low T can also be caused by secondary Hypogonadism. Secondary hypogonadism is caused when there is damage to the pituitary gland or hypothalamus. This are parts of the brain which controls the production of the hormone.
Some of the inherited conditions or disease conditions that can also cause it include:
- Pituitary This can also be caused by drugs, kidney failure, or small tumors
- Kallmann syndrome. This is a condition that is connected to an abnormal hypothalamus function.
- Inflammatory diseases. This includes tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, and histiocytosis.
- Medications: such as Opioid pain drugs and steroids.
Low Testosterone Symptoms
Identifying the low testosterone causes is an important key in low Testosterone symptoms. And also following up with proper treatment can have a significant change in the quality of life.
A deficiency in testosterone can cause a breakdown in body function, which is often subtle, as a man advances in age.
The deteriorations caused by low T can also manifest in some unrelated illnesses like depression, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, back pain, which can even go unnoticed.
Some of the low testosterone symptoms (low T) which includes physical symptoms, emotional symptoms, and mental symptoms also include:
- Fatigue, Back pain and Erectile dysfunction.
- Increased body fat and Reduction in muscle mass and strength.
- Reduction in bone mass density, Increased risk for fracture and Risk for heart attack.
- Reduced sperm count and Development of male breast (Gynecomastia).
- High level of cholesterol especially in the LDL/HDL ratio, Difficulty in concentration (Brain fog).
- Decreased libido and Slow hair growth.
- Depression, Anxiety, Lack of motivation and Irritability.
Low Testosterone Treatment
It is important that you make some lifestyle changes if you are experiencing some low testosterone symptoms. Some of these lifestyle changes you can also make to ease some of the symptoms include:
- Increasing your activity levels
- Maintain a healthy diet and eating healthy foods
- Avoiding some glucocorticoid medications such as prednisone and also opioid pain drugs.
- Lose some weight
The best treatment for low T is in identifying the cause. Sometimes, testosterone replacement is the best option. While other times, weight loss is advised.
Low T in men is sometimes being treated medically, using low T supplements.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
This therapy is also used for the treatment of low T. Testosterone Replacement Therapy can be very important in helping teenage males with hypogonadism to have a normal masculine development.
Some of the testosterone therapy side effects include the following:
- An enlarged prostate
- sleep apnea
- Breast enlargement
- Shrinkage of the testicle
- Increased red blood cell count
- A decrease in sperm count
Testosterone can be delivered to the body in a lot of ways:
- Injections, which is given into the muscle, and can be given every few weeks, either by your doctor or nurse or by self-injection.
- Insertion of testosterone pellets under the skin of the buttocks, where the testosterone is released for three to four months. This is a newer form of treatment.
- Patches or gels containing testosterone can be applied topically to the skin daily.
- Using a tablet-shaped patch known as a buccal system, which can be applied in the mouth where the upper gum meets the inside of the lip. The patch should be changed every 12 hours.
Risks associated with Testosterone Therapy
Testosterone therapy is also used to raise the levels of testosterone in men who have age-related low testosterone. Some of the risk associated with it ialso ncludes:
- An accelerated growth of any existing prostate cancer
- Acne and other skin problems
- Low production of sperm
- Enlarged breasts
- An increased risk for deep vein thrombosis
- An increased risk of heart attack
Contraindications to use of testosterone therapy
You should not use the testosterone therapy if you have the following:
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease