It’s often not until something is missing that you understand the large influence it had, which can certainly be said of testosterone. This reproductive hormone plays a vital role in a man’s health and wellness and, when levels dip below normal, you can feel the effects in many different ways.
Low testosterone, or testosterone deficiency (TD), affects between 10% and 40% of males in the United States. It can develop from any number of causes, and while side effects can vary, there are some commonalities.
To help you figure out whether you might have TD, board-certified endocrinologist and internal medicine specialist Dr. Sean P. Nikravan highlights three warning signs of low testosterone in this month’s blog post.
Testosterone is primarily a reproductive hormone, so the most common side effects of low testosterone involve your sexual health. Problems with erectile dysfunction and low libido are two of the bigger complaints when it comes to TD.
Even if your sex drive and performance aren’t affected by low testosterone levels, TD can impact your fertility as you may not be producing enough good quality sperm.
Second on the list of common complaints is a general fatigue or loss of energy. There are several reasons why this can occur when you have TD.
First, your testosterone hormones oversee your muscle mass, so when levels dip, you can lose some of this muscle. This loss can lead to fatigue as you just don’t have the muscles to back up your activities.
Second, the loss of muscle can lead to a gain in fat, as well as an uptick in your weight, which can zap your energy levels.
Another problem is that low testosterone can lead to sleep issues such as insomnia, which can then cause issues with daytime fatigue.
Testosterone is an androgen hormone, and your brain contains androgen receptors. While the hormone’s exact influence on your brain is still being studied, researchers have found that men with lower-than-normal testosterone levels are more susceptible to:
TD may also lead to earlier dementia in men.
If you’re just not feeling like yourself and you suspect that the problem may be associated with TD, your first step is to come in to see us so we can evaluate your symptoms and run a quick blood test.
If we find that your testosterone levels are low, we can place you on testosterone replacement therapy. There are many ways in which we can deliver the replacement hormones, including patches, injections, pills, and topical creams.
Don’t ignore the warning signs. If you want to learn more about low testosterone or you’d like to be evaluated for TD, please contact our office in Newport Beach, California, to set up an appointment.