Low testosterone, also called hypogonadism and low-T, affects all men as they get older because their hormone production naturally declines over the years. But that’s not the only cause of a testosterone deficiency.
Hypogonadism develops for numerous reasons, from problems with your pituitary gland or testicles, to inflammatory conditions, medications, obesity, chemotherapy, and Type 2 diabetes.
Here at Male Fertility Doc: Eric K. Seaman, MD, we specialize in helping men with low testosterone regain their energy and sex drive, often by prescribing male hormone replacement therapy. When your testosterone is restored to normal levels, your symptoms are reversed, and potential health complications are prevented.
If you experience any of the following five signs of low testosterone, call our office in Millburn, New Jersey, to schedule a thorough evaluation.
Low sex drive
Testosterone is the key hormone responsible for stimulating your sex drive. Unfortunately, that means one of the top signs of low testosterone is a serious decline in your sex drive.
All men are different when it comes to sex drive. Some have a naturally high sex drive and want sex frequently, while others are content to have sex less often. Many men also experience a slight decline in their desire for sex as they get older.
Despite individual and age-related differences, all men experience a decline in their sex drive if they develop a testosterone deficiency. You’ll notice a definite difference compared with your normal sex drive.
Testosterone is involved in many aspects of getting and keeping an erection that’s firm enough to have sex. From stimulating nitric oxide production, which is essential for an erection, to timing your erection in response to sexual desire, testosterone regulates numerous physiological changes needed to have an erection.
When your testosterone is low, you’re at risk for developing erectile dysfunction. Many men find they can’t have an erection in response to sexual stimulation or that they have fewer spontaneous erections.
Decrease in muscle mass and strength
Testosterone triggers the growth of muscle mass at puberty, and then it continues to stimulate protein synthesis and maintain your muscle mass and strength throughout adulthood. Without testosterone, muscles begin to waste away.
Low testosterone is also associated with less physical activity. Regardless of your age and overall health, men who lose muscle mass due to hypogonadism are less active, and their performance starts to slide.
One of the hallmarks of low testosterone is chronic fatigue. This isn’t the type of tiredness that goes away with a nap. Chronic fatigue from hypogonadism leaves you feeling exhausted and drains your motivation to get active. Men with low testosterone often feel severe fatigue despite getting enough sleep.
Reduced growth of beard and body hair
Testosterone promotes body hair growth in men. As a result, one common symptom of low testosterone is a loss of body hair. You may notice thinning of your armpit or pubic hair. Many men find the change is most noticeable in their beard because they don’t have to shave as often.
A testosterone deficiency affects numerous systems in your body, increasing your risk of osteoporosis, infertility, and anemia. Low testosterone also promotes fat storage, which typically accumulates on your belly. Gaining weight then makes the problem worse by further lowering testosterone.
If you notice any symptoms of low testosterone or you have any questions, call the Male Fertility Doc: Eric K. Seaman, MD, or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.