Testosterone is a hormone that drives a man’s sexual function, fat distribution, red blood cell production, fertility, and muscle mass. And, when your testosterone levels are low – you notice.
As a teen, testosterone is what helps build your muscles, deepen your voice, put hair on your chest, and increase the size of your penis and testes. Throughout adulthood, testosterone continues to make you physically feel and look like a man.
However, starting at about age 30, most men start to experience a gradual decline in testosterone. The effects can cause a wide array of unwanted symptoms, such as fatigue, decreased libido, sexual dysfunction, and hair loss. Diminished testosterone also makes it more difficult to build muscle and easier to pack on the pounds.
At Tru-Male Medical, Dr. Robert Marshall is an expert in testosterone and how it affects a man’s health. At his Oak Brook, IL office, he offers evaluation and treatment for low testosterone. Over the years, Dr. Marshall has helped countless men feel like their old selves with Bioidentical Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
Think you may be suffering from a low testosterone level? Here are five signs to consider.
1. Sexual dysfunction
The most common indications that testosterone levels are low involve your sexual health. Since testosterone directly regulates erections, sexual interest, and sperm production, low levels can have a major impact, leading to everything from erectile dysfunction to lower libido. While most men experience occasional problems in these areas – due to temporary illness or stress — persistent and nagging problems may have something to do with low testosterone levels.
2. Sleep disruption
Constant feelings of fatigue, even after getting a good night’s sleep, could be a sign that your testosterone levels are low. If you feel like you’re barely making it through your days, despite getting enough rest, come get your levels checked. Low testosterone levels can make you feel fatigued and lead to sleep disturbances.
3. Changed body composition
You naturally lose muscle mass as you get older, especially if you live a sedentary lifestyle. But, if you live a generally active lifestyle and watch what you eat, but still keep piling on the pounds and your muscles seem a little soft, it could be low testosterone. Even that middle-aged paunch isn’t inevitable – it could be hormones at work.
4. Unusual hair loss
Hair loss has a strong genetic component; if your mom’s dad lost his hair – you probably will too. But if you’re losing your hair at an early age or experience balding despite having a family of older men with a head of lush hair, check with our office to find out if low testosterone is the culprit.
5. Moodiness, depression, and brain fog
Another common sign of low T is a difficult one to pin down — a change in mood. Feelings of irritability, depression, and worthlessness can be a sign of low testosterone. You may also find unusual lapses in your memory and have trouble concentrating.
This last symptom demonstrates how difficult it is to pin down testosterone problems. Many of the symptoms of low testosterone can be caused by other physical or mental issues, so a thorough review of your health is key if you have any of these symptoms. This comprehensive review should also include an evaluation of your testosterone levels.