Most men know of the sexual issues caused by low testosterone but did you know the condition can have serious health consequences? As men grow older, testosterone production naturally declines. When it gets too low, the impact on your life can be significant.
Symptoms of low testosterone
In addition to erectile dysfunction, men suffering from low testosterone, which is also called hypogonadism or low-T, may experience weight gain, hair loss, decreased energy, and loss of mental focus. And that’s not all. Testosterone is tied to several other serious conditions that affect men as they age, and older men are not the only ones at risk. Very low testosterone can adversely affect the development of infants and pre-pubescent teens.
It can be easy to overlook the symptoms of low testosterone because things like thinning hair, weight gain, and fatigue are normal for men as they age and become less physically active, and mild to moderate depression can be caused by many things.
Erectile dysfunction is one of the most identifiable symptoms. This includes not being able to achieve or sustain an erection, and also not being fully erect. In cases of extreme low-T, you may also notice breast tenderness or an increase in size.
Left untreated, low testosterone can have serious health consequences. In 2008, a group of researchers in Australia published a study about whether testosterone therapy can be used to treat depression. They found a distinct link between low testosterone and clinical depression.
The study’s conclusion made note of two possible connections. They found that men with low testosterone had less muscle tone and more fat, making them weaker, they were more prone to illness in general and were at an increased risk for coronary heart disease, and they suffered more from osteoporosis.
As a result, they speculated that depression in men with low testosterone might either be caused by the condition itself or by the poor health caused by low testosterone.
To put it simply, low testosterone affects your bones, your blood, your mind, your heart, and your sex life. It’s that important. In fact, men with low testosterone are 4 times more likely to die younger.
What are my odds of low testosterone?
It’s more prevalent than you might think. Experts believe that 20% of men over the age of 60, 30% of men over 70, and 50% of men over 80 have low T. Younger men can have low testosterone, it’s just not as common. Low testosterone decreases sperm count, so it can also affect fertility.
Getting it checked out
While there are tons of commercials advertising over the counter solutions for low testosterone, it’s a much better idea to have a testosterone test. Taking supplements unsupervised can lead to liver damage or other complications. If your testosterone is low, your doctor can help…and you can lead a happier, healthier, more active life.