One concern for many men as they reach their middle aged years and start entering older age is having lower testosterone levels. Having low testosterone levels can mean different things for different men — some aren’t affected at all really, while others can have health concerns or really feel the difference. If you are starting to feel the symptoms of lower testosterone, you may want to go talk to your doctor and see what can be done to alleviate those symptoms or what you should expect. You can always do an online search: “What are the symptoms of low testosterone?” if you suspect you may be displaying some of them. Other common questions you can ask your doctor are:
- Does low testosterone affect sleep patterns or habits?
- Does low testosterone affect strength?
- Does low testosterone affect weight gain?
- decreased muscle mass and bone density
- insulin resistance
- a lower sex drive
- lower energy levels
- feeling depressed
These may all come up in a search for “What are the symptoms of low testosterone?” although it’s important to remember that even if you do have lower levels of T (a common abbreviation for testosterone), you may not see all symptoms listed.
Can I Do Anything to Prevent My T Levels From Dropping?
Unfortunately, T levels do tend to decrease naturally as you age. Some factors can help prevent T levels from dropping off dramatically, like getting enough sleep, having a healthy amount of sex, and watching your weight. But all men will experience a natural decrease in testosterone levels at they get older. Your testosterone will peak in your 20s and decline by about 1.5% every year after you hit the age of 30.
Some things will also increase your likelihood of having lower T levels other than just age. For example, if you have diabetes, you’re more likely to have lower T. The American Diabetes Association reports that a man with Type 2 diabetes is at twice the risk to have low T than a man without diabetes. Men who have gone through chemotherapy or who suffer from AIDS or alcoholism also have a higher risk for lower T levels.
Is There Anything Dangerous With Having Lower T Levels?
Studies have shown that men who have lower testosterone levels after the age of 40 have a higher chance of dying over a four-year period than men with a normal level of testosterone. Furthermore, testosterone treatment for men who have low levels was linked to a decreased mortality rate, compared to men who received no treatment.
The good news is that you’re probably not alone. Research has shown that one out of every four men who are over the age of 30 suffer from low T levels. And only one out of every 20 men have clinical symptoms that are linked to lower T. A doctor will tell you that having low testosterone means that you have 300 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter) of total testosterone and under 5 ng/dL of free testosterone (hormone not bound to other proteins). A simple blood test can inform you of your testosterone levels.
What Are the Symptoms of Low Testosterone?
If you have any of the following symptoms, you may have the answer to your question: “What are the symptoms of low testosterone?”
Some common symptoms are:
What Can I Do To Up My T Levels?
The good news is that hormone therapy can help combat lower levels of T if you’re feeling like your quality of life is being impacted and your symptoms are severe. Your doctor will be able to recommend a course of therapy for you. Even better, there are now multiple ways to get hormone therapy, such as via a pill, patch, or injection. In some cases, insurance may even help you cover the cost of your hormone therapy and it’s been shown to have no bad affects to your mental, emotional, or physical health.
Always talk to your doctor first for the best course of action and to see whether you should be worried about lower T levels.