Testosterone is an important hormone for men and is responsible for male reproductive health. It reaches a peak during the years of puberty and helps in the development of primary and secondary sexual characters. In boys, it helps to build muscles, deepens voice and boosts the size of penis and testes. Without testosterone, there would be no beards, mustaches or chest hair since it regulates hair in these places. Sperm production falls under testosterone's control too. It plays an important role during later years as well, by maintaining mood, libido, muscle mass, energy, bone density and emotional & physical health. Therefore, it is not surprising that low testosterone can cause a variety of problems in men. Testosterone decline with age is normal.
Beginning at about 40 years of age testosterone declines at a rate of 1 -1.5% per year. But, past 50, the decline will be sharper. Apart from this, the Testosterone levels may be lowered at any age by several health conditions, often noticeable by certain symptoms. How to know if you have lowered levels of testosterone? Here are some symptoms that will help you suspect if you may have lower testosterone levels:
Drop in Energy: Fatigue is one of the common effects of low testosterone. If this happens with you regularly, if you are tired all the time despite good sleep, nutritious food, and no other known medical conditions, consider getting yourself checked for testosterone levels.
Change in Sex Life: A sudden drop in your sex drive, sometimes accompanied by problems in erection (erectile dysfunction) is another common symptom of low testosterone. But you should get yourself tested to rule out other conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, especially if you are over 35 years of age.
Fuzzy Thinking: Do you sometimes think that your thoughts are a blur? This can be a result of low testosterone. It can make you feel stressed, sad and even depressed, resulting in concentration problems. Low testosterone can also impact your memory.
Mood Change: Testosterone directly impacts your mood, even leading to extreme sadness or psychological depression. If nothing seems to make you happy, if you are not what you used to be, then visit a doctor.
Muscle Change: Muscle mass and strength reduces over the years. As testosterone helps build muscle, low levels may be the cause if you witness a sudden drop in muscle mass.
More Body Fat: If you have been enjoying healthy weight most of your life, but suddenly started gaining weight, it might point towards low testosterone in the body. Also, if you are unable to lose weight even on a healthy diet, consider consulting a doctor.
Many of these signs mirror other health conditions as well. So, one should not jump to conclusions on experiencing these symptoms. If you experience two or more of them, consult a doctor in person and get a medical evaluation.