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| April 5, 2021, 10:37 CDT

8 Symptoms of Low Testosterone

Testosterone greatly contributes to a man's physical development and overall sex drive.
Kurtis Bright

Written by

Kurtis Bright
How Low Is Too Low?

A normal level of testosterone in men varies depending on their age.

According to recent guidelines from the American Urological Association, testosterone levels below 300 nanograms per deciliter are considered low. Men younger than 40 typically have testosterone levels ranging from 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter.

About 20 percent of men ages 60 and older experience low testosterone—a statistic that jumps to 30 percent for men older than 70.

Conditions that Contribute to Decreased Testosterone

• Hormonal disorders              • Infection

• Type 2 diabetes                     • Chronic kidney disease or liver disease

• Testicle injury                       • HIV/AIDS

• Testicular cancer                   • Obesity

Where Did My Sex Drive Go?

Although testosterone levels drop naturally as men age, a steep decline may indicate health issues and result in problems with sexual function and libido.

Decreased sex drive may be the most obvious symptom of low testosterone, but there are eight other, more subtle signs you should keep in mind.

1. Fatigue

When testosterone levels decline, it's common to feel persistent fatigue. The change in hormone levels causes you to feel tired all the time, even if you maintain a healthy sleep schedule.

Workout routines that used to be relatively easy for you but suddenly become noticeably more difficult—or you struggle to get motivated to go to the gym at all—could be a sign of low testosterone.

2. Sudden Hair Loss

Research has shown that about two-thirds of men have some level of hair loss by the time they reach the age of 35, simply due to genetics and other factors.

However, significant hair loss in a short period of time might be the result of your testosterone levels tanking.

3. Loss of Muscle Mass

Testosterone is a crucial component in building muscle.

Studies show that low testosterone can cause loss of muscle mass while not necessarily affecting strength.

4. Gain in Body Fat

Low testosterone not only leads to a loss of muscle mass, but it can also cause you to gain more body fat. In particular, some men with low testosterone are affected by a condition called gynecomastia—also known as "man boobs"—which causes enlarged breast tissue.

While the reason this happens isn't clear, experts believe it's related to an imbalance between testosterone and estrogen levels.

5. Mood Swings

It's common for men with low testosterone to experience rapid mood swings.

Some studies have shown that men with low testosterone may struggle with a lack of focus, irritability and depression.

6. Cognitive Function

Cognitive ability and memory naturally decline with age, so some scientists believe that low testosterone may be a contributing factor.

The good news is research has shown that testosterone supplementation for men with low levels can improve memory.

7. Reduced Semen Volume

Reproductive function is directly linked to testosterone levels, which play a key role in producing semen, the organic fluid created to contain sperm.

A sharp decline in the amount of fluid that you ejaculate could be an indicator of low testosterone levels.

8. Smaller Testicles

While it's not always the case, sometimes low testosterone can contribute to smaller-than-normal testicles…and smaller penis size.

Some available hormone therapies may help increase testicle size.

I Have Symptoms: What Do I Do?

It's important to remember that everyone has different testosterone levels, and it's absolutely normal for testosterone levels to decrease with age.

However, if you're experiencing symptoms that indicate low testosterone levels—especially if you believe it is a sudden dip—talk to your doctor immediately about the treatment options available to you.

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Kurtis Bright

Written by

Kurtis Bright