Pathology Laboratory

Low Testosterone

Last updated on October 20th, 2022 at 07:55 am

Testosterone is an important hormone for men. Testosterone handles male sexual health. It spikes during the years of puberty, helping in the development of primary and secondary sexual characters.
In boys, it helps to build muscles, deepens their voice, and boosts the size of their penis and testes.

Testosterone plays an important role during later years as well, by maintaining mood, libido, and emotional and physical health. That’s why low testosterone can cause a variety of problems in men.

What happens when testosterone is low?

Here is a list of symptoms that will help you understand if you may have lower testosterone levels:

Changes in Sex Drive: A sudden drop in your sex drive or facing problems in erection (erectile dysfunction) can be another common symptom of low testosterone. But you should get yourself tested for other conditions as well, including heart disease or diabetes, especially if you are over 35 years of age.

Mood Swings: Testosterone directly affects 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.

Change in Muscles: Muscle mass and strength reduce over the years. As testosterone helps build muscle, low levels may be the cause if you witness a sudden drop in muscle mass. In such a case, consult a doctor. It can be because of low hormone function.

Energy Drop: Sometimes, we all feel full of energy, but sometimes, those energy levels are quite low. And then, sometimes we feel low on energy, you may feel that you are getting tired easily and frequently. Fatigue is one of the common effects of low testosterone. If this happens to you regularly, if you are tired all the time despite sleeping for 6-8 hours, consider getting yourself checked by a doctor.

Affect Your Memory: Do you sometimes think that your thoughts are a blur? Low testosterone can also affect your memory. It can make you feel stressed, sad and even depressed, resulting in concentration problems. These can result from low testosterone.

Body Fat Increases: If you have been enjoying a more fit or healthier weight most of your life but suddenly start gaining weight, it might point towards low testosterone in the body (avoid junk and fast food). Also, if you cannot lose weight even on a healthy diet, consider consulting a doctor.

What are the signs of low testosterone in men?

Sexual issues that are faced by men can affect their life badly. Having low testosterone levels is one of the most common problems faced by men. Usually, symptoms appear as the men get older.

Like their counterpart, females, there are treatments and methods available for correcting hormonal imbalances and low hormones at the time of menopausal and pre-menopausal ages.

Declining levels of testosterone may trigger health problems in men.

Below are a few symptoms of low testosterone level in men:

  • Loss of lean muscles: According to studies conducted, it has been established that a man loses near about 10 percent of their muscle every decade. As and when a man reaches sixty, he has already lost about 40 percent of the lean muscles. With each loss of muscle, lesser muscle and calorie is used each passing day. Chances of having high fat and weight gain increase too.
  • Fatigue: It is one of the most common symptoms of low testosterone levels. It is related to the feeling of being tired or rundown. Having less energy is also experienced by many men. It simply means that physical activity might lead to exertion and thus more effort will be required.
  • Impotence and low sex drive: With ageing, men lose interest in having sex and there will be a decline in sex too. Sex becomes less enjoyable as well as less frequent for those men who have low levels of testosterone.

Myth about the low testosterone level

The rumour is out on social media that a vegetarian diet might not be appropriate for strength and power athletes. Because plant-based diets reduce testosterone levels. Although these reports might scare strength athletes, they mean little to your performance and muscle-gaining abilities, and may not be true at all.

  1. If you are concerned about your testosterone level, have your doctor or laboratory manager measure total and free testosterone during your next visit. If it is in the lower range, assess your intake of dietary fat and total energy and increase smart fat choices as needed. Most likely, however, the test will put you at ease.
  2. Vegan and vegetarian men do not have lower testosterone levels. Larger-scale comparisons between long-term vegetarians and meat-eaters have found that neither total-testosterone nor free-testosterone concentrations are different among vegans, vegetarians, or meat-eaters. Total testosterone has been noted by several investigators to be slightly elevated in long-term vegetarians compared to omnivores, and in vegans compared to both vegetarians and omnivores. Thus, if testosterone levels are lowered during the transition to a vegetarian or vegan diet, this drop is probably short-lived.
  3. Testosterone may be lowered when switching to a drastically different diet. Few small-scale studies have found that the concentration of total testosterone in the blood is lowered when people switch to either a vegetarian diet or a low-fat omnivorous diet. Unbound testosterone concentrations, the small fraction that is free to enter target cells, are not typically affected, however, unless the diet is extremely low in fat.
  4. Why this drop in total concentration occurs is not well understood but may be related to the reduced fat and cholesterol content of the diet or the sudden and substantial change in dietary habits. Interestingly, testosterone levels were also found to drop in black South African men who switched from their usual vegetarian diet to a western diet.
What does it mean if testosterone levels drop?

In the aforementioned studies, total testosterone was lowered when people switched to a different type of diet, but this reduction was just a small dip and did not fall below the normal range of 300 to 1,200 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl) for total testosterone. Free testosterone did not drop and remained within the normal range for free testosterone of 9 to 30 ng/dl.

Because there is no relationship between muscle gain or strength and total testosterone that varies within the normal range, this small dip is meaningless for athletic performance but may be helpful for cancer prevention. Certainly, if testosterone drops below the normal range, muscle and bone loss may ensue. Elevating testosterone beyond the normal physiological range through anabolic steroid use promotes gains in muscle mass. Neither, however, is the issue here.

  1. I am suffering from a lack of low testosterone

    Low levels of testosterone that are atypical of normal ageing are because of other primary or secondary causes of hypogonadism. Hypogonadism in males happens when the testicles don’t produce enough testosterone. Hypogonadism can start during fetal development, puberty, or adulthood. Eat more vegetables and whole fruits, drink plenty of water, and exercise daily.

  2. Why do I have the low sexual desire?

    Low testosterone is a condition in men that hampers their sexual life. Moderate amounts of the hormone resulting in a lack of sexual drive and the inefficiency in getting an erection. This is a common problem for many men. Causes of Low testosterone-induced erectile dysfunction treatment. There are both physical and neurological causes responsible for this problem. The physical causes include reduced blood flow to the penis.
    This type of problem arises due to:
    1) High blood pressure
    2) High cholesterol
    3) Diabetes
    4) Obesity
    5) Alocohol and Smoking

  3. My hair growth is decreasing. Is this because of low testosterone?

    It only can be, but you need to get a full evaluation of hormones, minerals, vitamins, and basic health parameters at the same time.

  4. My semen is low in volume and watery. What to do?

    The cause may be physical or psychological. Physical causes may be because of hypogonadism, resulting in low testosterone. Certain prescribed medications, alcohol, and smoking can also be caused. For physical causes, you need to consult a physician or endocrinologist for a detailed examination.

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