Symptoms of Decreased Testosterone and Remedies to Boost It

Testosterone is a type of hormone secreted in the human body. It’s a male hormone and is produced by the testes. It stimulates production of sperms and sex drive in males. It also helps in building bone and muscle mass. Production of testosterone reduces with age. Certain symptoms may appear in males if testosterone levels reduce more than they should. A diagnosis of low testosterone (low T) is made when the levels reach below 300 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter).

What Are Low Testosterone Symptoms?

Physical Symptoms and Signs

  • Impotence or erectile dysfunction
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced muscle strength and mass
  • Increased body fat
  • Pain in back
  • Osteoporosis
  • Increased risk of heart attack
  • High cholesterol, especially LDL/HDL ratio
  • Reduced sperm count
  • Gynecomastia      
  • Increased refractory period (time it takes to perform sex again)

Mental Symptoms and Signs

  • Decreased libido
  • Brain fog/difficulty in concentrating
  • Problems with memory

Emotional Symptoms and Signs

  • Symptoms of depression such as despair, sadness, or hopelessness
  • Decreased ambition and motivation
  • Increased irritability, agitation, anger, or loss of patience

Low testosterone may result in insomnia or cause other changes in your patterns of sleep.Testosterone has a role to play in various functions of the body such as hair production. While balding may have an inherited component males with low testosterone may lose their facial and body hair as well.

An individual should visit a physician if they have any of the low testosterone symptoms along with low testosterone levels. Men who suffer from erectile dysfunction should consult their physician and not rely only on cures or medicines advertised on the internet or TV or from other sources to self treat the condition.

How Is Low Testosterone Diagnosed?

Testosterone levels are checked by taking samples of the blood in the early morning as during that time the levels are the highest. A second test may be done a couple of days later to check whether the testosterone levels measured are consistent or not. Normal levels range between 300 and 1000 ng/dL, though some labs consider the lower limit to be 200 ng/dL. Your physician is the best person to interpret the results.

If you are diagnosed with low testosterone, your physician may order other tests before starting therapy. For instance, your physician may recommend a bone densitometry to determine whether you require treatment for osteoporosis or not.

Another concern is prostate cancer, as testosterone can increase its growth.

How Are Low Testosterone Symptoms Treated?

In majority of the cases, to go on therapy, males require to have both low testosterone levels and multiple symptoms of low testosterone.

It is quite possible to have low T and not have symptoms. However, if you are not experiencing the key symptoms, particularly sexual dysfunction and fatigue, it is not recommended to go on therapy as its long-term safety is uncertain.

Even if you have both low T and symptoms, therapy may not be the first line of treatment. If your physician is able to identify the cause of low levels such as certain medicine or weight gain, then he/she may manage that problem first.

If it is decided that it is right for you to try testosterone therapy, then there exist various delivery methods such as:

  • Skin patch: A skin patch is applied in the evening once in 24 hours and it releases small quantity of hormone in the skin.
  • Gels: Topical gels are applied daily on the skin over shoulders, upper arms or thighs. Make sure to wash hands after application and to cover the area with a cloth so as to prevent exposure of others to testosterone.
  • Mouth tablet: A tablet is attached either to you inner cheek or gum 2 times a day. Testosterone from these tablets is absorbed in the blood.
  • Pellets: They are implanted beneath the skin, usually in the buttocks area. They release testosterone slowly into the blood. They are replaced by new pellets every 3-6 months.
  • Injections: Various types of formulations are given via injection every 7-14 days. Levels of testosterone may rise to higher levels for a couple of days following the injection and then gradually reduce. This may lead to a roller-coaster effect, where there is a spike in energy levels and mood before they trail off.

Most men notice improvement in their low testosterone symptoms within 4-6 weeks of taking testosterone therapy.

What Are the Adverse Effects of Taking Testosterone?

  • Enlargement of prostate
  • Increased red blood cells
  • Acne
  • Infertility
  • Swelling of ankles or feet
  • Decreased size of testes
  • Breast soreness or swelling

How to Boost Testosterone Naturally

1. Get Plenty of Sleep

Lack of sleep adversely affects multiple hormones in your body. This can have negative impact on your testosterone levels. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Talk to your physician if you are having disturbed sleep at night regularly.

2. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Testosterone levels are often low in overweight and obese males. For them, losing the excess weight may help in bringing the testosterone back up. Similarly in underweight males, bringing the weight up to an optimum level may have a positive effect on testosterone hormone.

3. Remain Active

Staying active can boost the testosterone levels. Walk briskly for at least 10-20 minutes in a day. Do strength training exercises every week. You can work with a trainer so as not to cause injury. Don’t over-exercise as it can actually lower your testosterone levels.

4. Manage Your Stress Levels

Constant stress produces the hormone cortisol which hampers the production of testosterone. Hence manage your stress levels. Cut back on long office hours. Spend at least 2 hours of your day in activities that are not related to work or exercise, such as playing music or reading.

5. Review Your Medicines

Certain medicines may decrease the levels of testosterone hormone. These are: opioids, glucocorticoids such as prednisone and anabolic steroids. Don’t stop taking medicines on your own. Discuss them with your physician and he/she may make adjustments if the medicines are creating the problem.

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