All about the symptoms of low testosterone in men: what signs indicate a deficiency of this hormone in the body?
Testosterone is one of the most important hormones in the body of every man. It is thanks to him that the representatives of the stronger sex have more developed muscles, a low voice and some features of behavior. In addition, this substance provides a full sexual life and has an antidepressant effect. Few people know that with a sharp decrease in the level of the hormone in the blood, the risk of developing a persistent decline in mood, which is difficult to drug treatment, increases significantly.
Testosterone is present in both men and women. However, its concentration in the serum of the stronger sex is significantly higher than that of beautiful ladies. With age, there are regular changes in the body, which lead to a gradual decrease in the amount of biologically active substances in the human body. According to studies by American scientists, after 35 years, its concentration decreases by 2-3% annually. Doctors call this period “andropause,” drawing parallels with the female body.
However, if you identify in men an earlier drop in the level of the hormone, it is worth considering the conduct of drug treatment. As practice shows, the first signs of a problem are rarely seen by patients, which leads to the progression of pathology. At the moment, there are quite a variety of ways that will help to increase the low supply of biologically active substances.
In the early stages, almost no man attaches special importance to the first symptoms of a decrease in testosterone in the blood. Since the entire pathological process proceeds very smoothly, they attribute the presence of the problem to emotional stress, overwork at work, or poor sleep. However, it is worth remembering the most important signs of a lack of substance in the body:
- The fall of libido. There is no scientific evidence that would associate a low level of testosterone in the body with poor erection directly. The hormone does not affect the blood supply to the external genitalia in men. However, he is responsible for the transmission of nerve impulses to the cerebral cortex, where the necessary reflexes and craving for the opposite sex are formed. It is this androgen that is responsible for the primitive desire to continue his family. Too little hormone leads to a gradual loss of interest in sex, which causes poor erection, insufficient ejaculation and other problems.
- Weakening of muscle tone, obesity. Testosterone is the main natural anabolic in men and women. It is its high level that provides a quick set of muscle mass. Many bodybuilders to improve their results, take its synthetic counterparts. With a low amount of this substance in the body, the muscles “deflate”. In addition, adipose tissue growth progresses, which further inhibits androgen activity. A “vicious circle” is forming.
- Violation of the rhythm of sleep. The most frequent moment that men have long ignored, attributing everything to personal problems. A low level of substance leads to the appearance of insomnia, nightmares. Representatives of the stronger sex become nervous, can not rest well and calmly, which contributes to an even greater drop in the concentration of androgen.
These symptoms are the most characteristic of the pathology. Do not neglect them. It is better to immediately contact a specialist.
In addition to the symptoms described above, you need to know that there are still characteristic symptoms that indicate a low level of testosterone. These include:
- Decreased ejaculate volume. Not many men monitor this parameter, however, it can reliably indicate the presence of a problem. The less sperm excreted at the peak of sexual intercourse, the lower the hormone supply in the body.
- Night erection. Normally, a healthy representative of the stronger sex should experience a similar condition at least 2-3 times a week. This is not due to the specifics of dreams, but to the cyclic release of a biologically active substance.
- The feeling of "tides." Here you need to draw an analogy with female menopause. The manifestation is very similar - there is a feeling of warmth in the head, shoulders, which then spreads lower and lower.
- Dullness of aggressiveness. If a previously very active and quick-tempered young man began to sidestep the conflict, stopped arguing and just shows signs of apathy, then you should worry about his health. It is possible that he has a hormonal imbalance. Most likely, its main androgen is lowered in this situation.
It is important to understand that a simple drop in testosterone concentration does not yet require a representative of the stronger sex to take medications or carry out appropriate treatment. The key point that you should pay attention to is the general well-being and the presence of characteristic symptoms. Often, guys with a partially reduced level of this substance are those still gigolos or "alpha males." The main thing is the interaction of androgen inside the body. If its concentration is sufficient for the normal functioning of the reproductive system, then no need to intervene.
However, if there are at least some of the manifestations of the ailment described above, it is worth contacting a specialist as quickly as possible.
How is the lack of this hormone related to age?
A decrease in the level of sex hormones begins in men after 35-39 years. During this period, a constantly high concentration of testosterone in the blood begins to gradually decrease.
This process occurs gradually, on average, a person loses 1-3% of hormones per year.
However, already by the age of 50-55, this process becomes noticeable: a man becomes less sexually active, gets tired faster, he decreases the need for food and increases the number of hours of sleep necessary for a good rest.
A decrease in the level of androgens is a natural process if it is not accompanied by a too sharp drop in the number of hormones.
To maintain a relatively high amount of testosterone, a man should lead a healthy lifestyle, stop smoking and alcohol abuse, eat right.
Exercise and sexual activity also contribute to the production of sex hormones.
Men over the age of 50 are advised to undergo a routine examination annually to monitor the level of sex hormones.
The effect of testosterone on the body
Many doctors and scientists associate a number of chronic diseases with a deficiency of the main androgen. At the moment, there is no evidence base that could unequivocally confirm or refute such an opinion, but personal observations of doctors suggest the relationship of a decrease in testosterone concentration with the following chronic ailments:
- cardiovascular pathology.
It is precisely known that synthetic analogues of this substance cannot be prescribed to patients with prostate cancer or prostate adenoma. They significantly enhance the growth of malignant cells and lead to the progression of the disease.
Patients who noticed the characteristic manifestations of an important hormone deficiency followed by adequate therapy noted a significant improvement in sexual life and normalization of overall well-being in 90% of cases. This confirms the need for timely diagnosis and treatment of the problem. Now there are many active clinical trials that are designed to improve the understanding of scientists of all aspects of this issue.
Signs of deficiency
During a physical examination, a specialist can presumably diagnose a lack of sex hormones in a man’s body according to a number of characteristic external signs. A person with androgen deficiency has little body hair, a beard and mustache do not grow at all or are weakly expressed. During the survey, the patient notes that he rarely needs to shave.
A man with low testosterone is pale, indicating anemia. He has pretty soft, sagging skin. Nails and hair are thin and brittle. The patient may complain of hot flashes, excessive sweating, dry skin.
On examination, a redistribution of body fat by the female type is noted: wide hips, overweight buttocks. The muscles are weak and saggy. If androgen deficiency persists from adolescence, then there is a low growth of the patient, thin hands and ankles, narrow shoulders.
A strong hormonal imbalance leads to the appearance of pronounced gynecomastia: the breast is noticeably enlarged, soft or with compaction, the nipples and areoles are large, clearly different in color from other skin integuments.
Who should I contact if my testosterone is low?
If symptoms appear that indicate a violation of the production of sex hormone, you should definitely seek help from a specialist.
The diagnosis and treatment of androgen deficiency is performed by the andrologist urologist.
He will conduct a clinical examination, collect a medical history of the patient and prescribe a series of studies.
Diagnostic measures necessarily include a blood test to determine the amount of free testosterone. With its lack, the patient will be prescribed hormone replacement therapy.
Testosterone is one of the most important hormones in a man’s body. He is responsible for mental stability, physical and sexual activity, the state of work of various organs and systems.
The lack of this androgen adversely affects the work of the whole organism. If there are alarming symptoms: lethargy, apathy, sexual dysfunction and muscle weakness - you should definitely consult a doctor and get the necessary treatment in a timely manner.
Testosterone and the male body
The level of this hormone tends to decrease gradually in men after 40 years. This immediately affects their health, because testosterone is the substance that makes a man a man. During puberty, there is a sharp increase in testosterone levels in men, we see this by the way the man’s voice changes, sexual development accelerates and muscle mass builds up. Throughout life, testosterone supports the male body and its capabilities.
As mentioned above, by the age of 40, the hormone begins to be produced in smaller quantities, gradually decreasing by 1-2%. Not everyone feels these changes, since the androgen level remains sufficient so far. Those who are unlucky, and the level of the hormone began to fall rapidly, may complain of serious health problems. This applies not only to the sexual sphere.
So, is a decrease in testosterone in men an irreparable process, one of the components of aging, or is it a problem that doctors have to solve?
The fact is that experts recommend focusing on manifestations, “listening” to their body. If there are no signs of low testosterone, then treatment is not required. The appointment of hormone replacement therapy is carried out for those who have complaints, symptoms. In such patients, the result of the use of androgens will be noticeable (the intensity of clinical manifestations will decrease).
What is testosterone responsible for?
Testosterone is the main hormone in men. Without the required amount, the body of both men and women cannot function normally. In representatives of the strong half, the adrenal glands and testes produce it. A man needs testosterone:
- With the development of the genitals and secondary signs of sex,
- To regulate sexual behavior and spermatogenesis,
- It affects the exchange of phosphorus and nitrogen.
It plays a crucial role in sperm production, bone and muscle development, and male mood. Thanks to this hormone, the virilization of the boy occurs or the appearance of the characteristic features of a man. Under his influence, a male physique, body hair, voice and other signs are formed, the shoulder girdle expands.
In women, this hormone is produced by the adrenal cortex and ovaries. Under his influence:
- In a ripening follicle, it turns into estrogen,
- The mammary glands develop (its level increases during pregnancy).
Testosterone is activated during embryo development.
What is low testosterone?
A reduced amount of this hormone is determined by its level below 300 nanograms per deciliter of blood. Only half or two-thirds of men who have low hormone levels detected by the test report complaints to the doctor.
Low testosterone in men affects health:
- Since testosterone is responsible for the condition of the bones, due to a decrease in its concentration in the blood, a rarefaction of bone tissue occurs, that is, osteoporosis.
- Specialists associate low levels of male hormones with the development of diseases such as diabetes mellitus, depression, heart and blood vessel diseases,
- Obesity also accompanies those whose testosterone tends to drop sharply in a short time.
- The volume and strength of the muscles decreases markedly with a lack of testosterone.
- Testosterone is responsible for sexual development, attraction and preservation of erection. in men suffering from insufficient function of the endocrine glands, erectile dysfunction, decreased libido are observed, and interest in women decreases.
- Obesity with a lack of hormone is associated with a slowdown in metabolism.
- In men with low levels of testosterone, the work of the neuropsychic sphere is also disrupted. Irritability appears, mood swings become frequent, a tendency to depression becomes a common cause of contacting a psychiatrist.
- One of the sexual characteristics of the male body is the hairline. Its absence or rare hair growth indicates a lack of hormone.
- With a prolonged decrease in androgens in men, gynecomastia appears, that is, growth of the mammary glands.
Causes of Testosterone Deficiency
Why is the level of the most masculine of all hormones reduced? Adverse circumstances and diseases, developmental abnormalities can lead to more than the fact that the level of testosterone is below the necessary normal values. The cause of testosterone deficiency in men can be:
- Disrupted testicular function
- Improper functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary system,
- Age related changes
- Increased body weight
- Taking some drugs
- Bad habits,
- Frequent stress
- Wrong lifestyle
- Genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome, Klinefelter, Kalman.
The complex pathogenesis of testosterone deficiency, especially associated with age-related changes, boils down to the fact that a man’s testicles cease to synthesize this hormone with age.
Testosterone deficiency in men can develop with improper testicular function. Traumatic injuries, surgical interventions, developmental abnormalities and diseases can lead to this. If the representative of the strong half is removed the testes, this leads to a sharp decrease in the amount of testosterone.
The hypothalamus and pituitary gland synthesize hormones that stimulate the production of testosterone in the testes. If these stimulatory hormones are produced a little, it will bring disruption to the testes and lead to a lack of testosterone.
Often, a decrease in male hormone is associated with age-related changes. Currently, the so-called male menopause is significantly younger. This is due to many reasons: adverse environmental conditions, bad habits, stress, unhealthy lifestyle.
Testosterone deficiency and obesity are directly related. In men who are overweight, estrogens increase, which inhibit the production of testosterone. A sedentary lifestyle also does not contribute to men's health, but excessive physical activity leads to a decrease in testosterone production.
Hereditary and genetic pathologies - Down, Kleienfelter, Kalman syndromes - among other symptoms are also characterized by a decreased level of testosterone in the blood serum. It would seem that a woman does not need male hormone. But this is far from the case. The lack of testosterone in women also does not bode well, although it is not necessary for the normal functioning of the female body. What are the reasons for the decreased amount of testosterone in the female half? Among the main circumstances causing this condition are the following:
- Age-related changes (menopause),
- Renal failure
- Down Syndrome
- Taking certain medications
- Removal of the ovaries.
Ovarian removal surgery - ovariectomy - leads to decreased hormone production. In this condition, women have an artificial menopause due to the lack of production of sex hormones. Under such circumstances, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis is increased. Removal of the adrenal glands - adrenalectomy - leads to a deficiency of testosterone, since these organs are responsible for the production of the male hormone itself. Some medicinal substances (corticosteroids, ketoconazole, opioids) also reduce the level of this hormone.
Often, hormonal imbalance occurs with a fanatical desire to lose weight. This is especially true for young girls who want to conform to imposed ideals. Sometimes, after watching an interview with a celebrity who is an advertising company of some dubious drug, and taking it as a guide to action, they do great harm to their health.
Signs of Testosterone Decrease
A decrease in testosterone in men begins to manifest with the following symptoms:
- The volume of ejaculate is reduced. The higher the level of testosterone in the blood, the more seminal fluid the sex glands produce. It is worth noting that the duration of the interval between ejaculations does not normally affect its volume, but the number of sperm in the semen decreases.
- A healthy man experiences 3-4 morning erections per week. It was established that the onset of an erection in the morning completely depends on the daily fluctuation of the hormone in the blood. The rarer these episodes, the lower the concentration of the blood hormone.
- Age-related changes in the level of androgens occur in the form of male andropause. Men at this time feel the “rush”, like women during menopause. Sweating sharply increases at the time of high tide, a sensation of heat descends from head to toe.
- Male hormone significantly affects the psycho-emotional sphere. A decrease in aggressiveness is directly related to its low level, and not to the wisdom that has come over the years.
Testosterone deficiency is diagnosed only in laboratories. For this purpose, venous blood is sampled on an empty stomach. On the eve of the procedure, it is necessary to exclude the intake of medications, alcohol, and smoking. Normally, in men, serum should have at least 2.6 -11 ng / ml, in women - from 0.7 to 3 nmol / l of testosterone.
What to do if testosterone deficiency occurs? Treatment of testosterone deficiency in men occurs with hormone replacement therapy. Prescribe testosterone-containing drugs. Endocrinologists recommend not monotherapy, but a comprehensive treatment that helps restore many functions in the body.
When properly prescribed treatment for men, erectile function is restored, muscle mass is increased, the amount of subcutaneous fat layer is reduced, bones are strengthened, male type hair growth is increased.
With the right treatment, women will also lose signs of testosterone deficiency. She will immediately begin to feel better, lose weight, increase sexual desire and satisfaction from sex. But treatment should be prescribed only by a specialist. If there is a testosterone deficiency and obesity, you also need to adjust your diet, review your lifestyle. The treatment is quite long, the attending physician conducts it under the control of the level of testosterone in the blood.
What may be associated with a lack of testosterone?
A lack of testosterone in men can be acquired, or laid genetically, in which case the symptoms will not take long already at the beginning of puberty.
The highest level of androgens is observed in men after puberty and up to 30 years, then it gradually decreases. The following reasons accelerate this process:
- Bad habits like smoking and alcoholism, drug addiction. For those who are addicted to the above, testosterone may be even lower than for the elderly.
- Nerve overload. They can catch a man both at work and at home. Desire, strength disappears, as the constant depletion of the nervous system leads to chronic fatigue, a drop in libido.
- Lifestyle and lifestyle. Excessive physical activity, their absence, office hours, the use of low-quality products, obesity, adverse environmental conditions - all this affects the level of health and causes impotence.
- Iatrogenic cause. For example, the use of certain drugs as a treatment for hypertension.
If the level of general health is low, then problems with potency will manifest themselves sooner or later. So, a decrease in testosterone levels is observed with:
- An increase in blood pressure. There are signs of a lack of testosterone in men, since the body thus protects itself from overstrain.
- Respiratory failure, shortness of breath.
- Increased blood cholesterol.
- High testicular temperature (normal up to 34.4 degrees).
- Osteoporosis as an indirect sign of hormone production disorders.
- High levels of bilirubin. This compound delays female sex hormones in the blood, upsetting the balance between them and androgens.
- The presence of chronic infections, acute inflammatory process.
It is known that without an adequate level of testosterone, sexual intercourse is impossible, there is no attraction to a woman, and spermogram indicators also worsen. If hormone levels have declined for reasons such as stress, bad habits, malnutrition, etc., you can try a dietary supplement for testosterone. They usually have a natural base, like flavonoids, essential oils and saponins. They are taken for a long time, and a maintenance dose can be recommended for several months.
Supplements for sex or to increase attraction and guarantee an erection, the composition additionally contains energy components like el-carnitine. They increase stamina, give a man energy. You need to take them regularly if you are not confident in your own abilities.
Testosterone deficiency is not a sentence. Even with a violation of its production and the presence of serious diseases, the doctor can always rely on hormone replacement therapy.
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