Most of us already know that testosterone is the male hormone that makes men… well, manly.
However, whether as a result of aging or some medical condition, our T-levels can drop, sometimes dramatically.
The latest studies suggest that men who don’t have enough of this hormone are facing an increased risk of several serious illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. Getting a simple blood test can show an unusually low level of testosterone, but aside from that there are plenty of clues that a problem may exist.
What Causes Low Testosterone Levels?
Low levels of testosterone can be the result of any number of possible causes. The effects of aging inevitably cause lowered T-levels, a condition commonly referred to as andropause.
Injury to the testicles (usually both) or failure of the testes to descend properly in infancy are also causes, as well as liver or kidney disease, over consumption of alcohol or other drugs, having mumps during puberty, genetic abnormalities, damage to the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, chemotherapy, and ironically, using anabolic steroids.
Being overweight can also have a profound impact on testosterone levels and fertility as higher numbers of fat cells increase the conversion of testosterone into estrogen.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
There are a number of ways that guys can be alerted to having potentially low amounts of testosterone, including:
- Erectile dysfunction and/or lowered sex drive
- Decrease in energy
- Body hair loss
- Decrease in strength and muscle mass
- Weakened bones
- Increase in body fat
- Shrinking of the testes
- Gynecomastia (man boobs)
- Sleep apnea
- Memory loss
- Hot flashes or night sweats
Low Testosterone Treatment
If you go to a doctor for your low-T, there are several pharmaceutical replacement therapy options, including injections, gels, patches and sub-dermal pellet implants.
These treatments are by prescription only, and unfortunately can cause some unpleasant side effects, including enlarged breasts, acne, an enlarged prostate, breathing problems, fluid retention and weight gain.
The reason for this is because testosterone is being introduced artificially into the body, the result being that it stops producing it’s own supply. Simultaneously, this causes a decrease in the levels of estrogen, which is why bodybuilders experience many of the same side effects.
For these reasons, unless you have a specific medical condition that prevents your body from producing enough testosterone, most guys will find using a testosterone boosting supplement to be a much safer and less expensive alternative.
These supplements are usually all-natural, and instead of simply adding extra testosterone directly into the body, they free up existing testosterone that has been bound by estrogen or other factors.
No prescription is required for use and they generally cause no unpleasant side-effects. Some of the better testosterone boosters include brands like:
Low-T is something most guys may have to face sooner or later.
The good news is that there are plenty of options available to help reduce or reverse the symptoms associated with it.
If you’re problem is severe enough, you may have no choice but to receive prescription-based treatment. Otherwise, most men will certainly see improvement from taking a good testosterone supplement that increases the level of free testosterone in the body.
You may very well be amazed at the positive changes that can occur.
Have you experienced symptoms of low testosterone? I’d love to know what you think. Feel free to leave a comment below.
Mark McIntyre is the founder of MaleHealthReview.com and acts as it’s chief contributor. He is a fitness trainer and avid mountain biker who also enjoys camping, hiking and fishing. Besides managing Male Health Review, Mark is also a guest columnist for several blogs related to men’s health. More about this author…