Testosterone is a hormone produced in the testicles that stimulates sperm production and sex drive and also assists in the growth of muscle and bone mass. Decreasing levels of testosterone as you age is a common and very much normal part of getting older.
However, if testosterone levels drop too low, you may be diagnosed with a disorder called Low T. Similar to a woman going through menopause, Low T can affect your mood and energy levels, as well as muscle and bone mass.
So how do you know if your decreasing levels of testosterone are normal or if you should be tested for Low T?
Because testosterone plays a vital role in hair production, it is no surprise that hair loss is a sign of Low T. While balding as you age is normal, you should not be losing body or facial hair. Significant loss of hair throughout your body may be a sign that your testosterone levels are dipping below a normal range.
Another symptom that is common when aging is decreased sex drive. It is normal that your sex drive will diminish slightly the older you get; however, it is not normal to have such a significant drop in sex drive that your sex life and relationship with your partner suffer. This much of a decrease in libido is not typical and should be investigated.
Among many other important functions, testosterone plays a significant role in semen production. The more testosterone you have, the more semen you will produce. Men with Low T will have a noticeable decrease in the amount of semen during ejaculation.
Testosterone aids in achieving an erection. It causes the brain to produce nitric oxide that helps to trigger erections. Therefore, the less testosterone you have, the more difficult to become erect it may be. Keep in mind that Low T is not the only disorder that can cause erectile dysfunction, so it is important to discuss your symptoms with your physician.
Men with Low T often report feeling extreme fatigue, even after getting a good night’s sleep. This fatigue can lead to depression, lack of focus, and a significant decrease in motivation.
Lastly, Low T can cause difficulty in maintaining or increasing strength and muscle mass. Because testosterone aids in this process, a marked decrease can certainly be to blame. Similarly, testosterone also plays a significant role in strengthening your bones. Decreases in testosterone that are left unchecked can eventually lead to osteoporosis and even bone fractures.
If you are concerned that your testosterone levels are decreasing more than they should, renowned urologist Dr. Avila can help you determine what is causing your low T and help regulate the level of testosterone in your body. For total for men’s healthcare in Phoenix or Gilbert, call Ironwood Urology today at (480) 961-2323, or request an appointment online.