Feel fatigued, irritable, depressed, devoid of energy? These symptoms could be a wakeup call! You may have a serious condition called low testosterone symptoms. Additional symptoms are reduced libido (sex drive), high blood pressure, hair loss, loss of strength and physical endurance, weight gain around the waist and sleep disorders. Be aware if you find yourself experience problems maintaining your concentration or performing routine physical tasks like climbing stairs. These are also symptoms of testosterone deficiency, as is a drowsy feeling after meals.
Low testosterone levels can almost affect every aspect of a man's health, so you should know more about this condition.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is a human, not exclusively male, hormone produced in the Leydig cells (these cells are present in men's testes and women's ovaries). Small amounts of testosterone are also produced by the adrenal gland near the kidneys. Although both men and women produce testosterone, the hormone is usually thought of as a 'male' hormone because of its much higher levels in men.
What causes testosterone deficiency?
Low testosterone levels usually result from a problem in the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, the regions of the brain which control hormone production. Certain behaviors and chemical reactions can contribute to lower tester one levels, particularly alcoholism, radiation poisoning, chronic illness, excessive iron in blood (hemochromatosis), certain inflammatory diseases (like arthritis) and autoimmune diseases (like AIDS).
Who is effected by low testosterone syndrome?
This condition can appear in men at any age. This is not just a problem of aging, but the condition most commonly appears in middle aged men as men over 40 experience andropause (the male version of menopause). Normal testosterone levels are between 350 and 1230 nanograms per decilitre of blood. When testosterone levels drop below this level, symptoms begin appearing. Although low testosterone levels carry significant risks, many men view falling testosterone levels as an unavoidable part of ageing and therefore fail to seek medical assistance. This is a mistake! When older men can't shed fat or build muscle mass, that pot belly may mean that they have a treatable condition--low testosterone levels. In younger men--especially pre-pubescent males--low testosterone levels are equally serious. Symptoms can present as a failure for achieve sexual maturity. The absence of an adult's deepened voice, little or no body hair, and unenlarged penis and testis all point toward low testosterone levels in puberty-aged males.
How is testosterone deficiency treated?
Symptoms can mimic psychological depression, but easily administered blood tests can quickly determine testosterone levels. Testosterone levels in the 400's can be raised naturally by dietary changes (eat more steak, butter and whole eggs!). Testosterone levels in the 300's or 200's typically require testosterone replacement therapy. This replacement therapy involves administering an intramuscular injection of a synthetic hormone to replace the missing testosterone (shots are generally given on a biweekly basis).
Replacement therapies have potential side effects, but untreated low testosterone can contribute to osteoporosis, metabolic dysfunctions, diabetes, and cognitive disorders.
So take the possibility of a low testosterone seriously and seek help if necessary!