Low testosterone in men, also called low-t syndrome and male menopause, is not a rare occurrence, but it is one that is just recently getting a lot of attention. A recent study linking fathering to low testosterone has brought this condition into the limelight, and it has a lot of men wondering about their own testosterone levels. Many men (and the public, in general) associate testosterone with manliness, which only increases the desire for awareness. So, what exactly does low testosterone mean when it comes to men, and what are the signs and symptoms? Here are the basics of low testosterone in men:
What does testosterone do?
Testosterone is responsible for “manly” behaviors like aggression and competitiveness, and confidence. It also helps the body maintain its bone density, supports muscle growth, and triggers secondary sexual characteristics (those characteristics that differentiate men from women).
Causes of Low Testosterone
The body’s maintenance of appropriate testosterone levels is a delicate balancing act. The brain’s hypothalamus and pituitary glands are responsible for sending signals, in the form of lutenizing hormone, to the testicles, where the testosterone is made. Anything that disrupts this process can throw off testosterone levels. Therefore, low testosterone in men is often caused by lowered testicular function (due to illness or disease), or abnormal activity in the hypothalamus or pituitary gland. External factors like chronic illness, drug or alcohol abuse, smoking, prescription drug use, and aging may also lower testosterone levels in men. Men who fall into any of these categories are at a higher risk for developing low-t syndrome, and should be especially conscious of any symptoms that present themselves.
Signs and Symptoms of Low Testosterone
Men who have lower than normal testosterone levels exhibit a wide array of symptoms. Common signs and symptoms include a loss of libido, fatigue, diminishing strength, erectile dysfunction, depression, fat gain, a lack of energy, lowered concentration and performance on the job, and even a loss of height (due to a loss of bone density). Males with low testosterone levels may also develop a condition called gynocomastia – or, the growth of soft breast tissue.
The truth is, it is difficult to say exactly how many men suffer from the effects of low testosterone, because many men never seek treatment for their symptoms. That is because there is simply not yet enough awareness about this condition, and men don’t know what to look for. Low testosterone in men can lead to devastating effects if it is severe and left untreated; therefore, it is important to look for the signs and get to a doctor as soon as possible if you think you may have low-t syndrome.
About the Author: Forest McCarley loves working as a medical assistant and enjoys learning about common medical conditions, like low T and candida. He urges his male patients to read Yeastinfection.org by Dr Eric Bakker to better understand how candida can affect men as well as women.