Feeling overly fatigued after your routine exercise? Is that workout not yielding adequate muscle mass for your efforts? Is it something you’ve been noticing over a period? You may have a condition that affects about 13 million other men in the United States – low testosterone.
Testosterone is a male sex hormone, responsible for, and part of, all kinds of goings-on inside the male body. It can affect bone density, muscle mass, and sex drive and libido. Naturally present testosterone is essential for the maintenance and well-being of men’s systems, so when the body is not producing it in levels where it should, it can create all kinds of problems. Luckily, it is readily diagnosed and treated, but first, you have to be aware of the problem. The body sends signals to alert you to low testosterone, but you need to know what you are looking for.
Reduced Sexual Desire/Performance:
A significant indicator is a decreased sexual desire which subsequently can be followed up with erectile dysfunction. As men age, testosterone will naturally decrease, much in the same way estrogen decreases in older women. Older men are expected to experience decreased desire, but it should not disappear, but men with low testosterone report not having any desire at all. If you are a young man and this sounds like a problem you are having, it could mean low testosterone.
Similarly, in more extreme cases, men with low testosterone can experience erectile dysfunction. The problem here is testosterone is responsible for the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which causes erections. Without adequate “T” to get the process started, erectile dysfunction is the result.
Reduction in Muscle Mass:
A decrease in muscle mass is another indication you may have low testosterone. Even if you consistently work out and follow a diet supportive of said workout, low testosterone levels could keep you from bulking up. Men diagnosed with low T struggle to even put on muscle mass, let alone maintain it.
Increased Body Fat:
Unfortunately, as if decreased muscle mass was not enough of a problem, men with low T also have higher levels of body fat. The extra body fat is, usually, reported to be around men’s midsections and in the breast tissue. It makes sense; lower levels of the male sex hormone lead to “man boobs,” and breasts are a female trait. So, if you are logging lots of hours at the gym without result, it might be worth it to see a doctor to determine if the cause is low T.
Speaking of female traits, another visible indicator of lower levels of testosterone is hair loss. Not the male pattern baldness you inherited from grandpa, but a loss of body hair. A drop in testosterone could cause loss of chest, facial and even stomach and leg hair. Just as women have lower levels of the sex hormone, they also have less body hair. If your once-hairy chest is starting to look a little sparse, low T could be the reason.
Testosterone is also, in part, responsible for the production of red blood cells, which affect energy levels. If your daily routine seems to be wearing you out more than it should, and you do not have, say, a cold, then it could be because of lower level of testosterone. Fatigue is commonly reported in those diagnosed with low T. Decreased energy levels, too, are experienced.
These two symptoms, while similar, are not exactly the same. Standard daily routines fatigue you, while decreased energy is the culprit behind your unwillingness to get off the couch. Low T can also go hand in hand with irritability, mood swings and a low-level depression. Testosterone is a hormone, first and foremost, so it does affect mood. Men with higher levels of testosterone experience higher levels of optimism and positive energy.
Naturally occurring testosterone is important to men for maintaining a healthy balance in their bodies. If any of this sounds familiar, get checked out, there are many websites out there to offer guidance and assistance to people with low testosterone including www.rejuvehealthclinics.com. Standard levels also help combat diabetes, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. In conjunction with a balanced diet and regular exercise, testosterone is necessary for healthy living.
The author, Rebecca Short, is presently studying medicine, but writes about medical topics on the side to help compliment her income for education. If you wish to learn more about Rebecca you can visit Google+.