Testosterone is the hormone that gives young men their deeper voice, hair on their body, and muscle mass. As men age or for other reasons, they begin to have less testosterone, and consequently have a lower sex drive, are more fatigued, and experience depression. We will discuss the common signs of low T, but focus on lesser known symptoms of low testosterone.
Low T or Hypogonadism
Low testosterone happens when the testicles don’t produce enough of the hormone testosterone. According to the American Urology Association, 40% of males age 45 and older have low T. It can happen quickly, but there are usually subtle changes which signal low testosterone.
Some of the most common signs are a low sex drive and difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction). There are also a number of medical conditions linked to ED like diabetes, thyroid disorders, high blood pressure, stress, and anxiety.
More of the common signs of low T include the following:
- Hair loss – both facial and body hair
- Less energy for activities and fatigue
- Decreased muscle mass
- Increased body fat
- Low sperm count
- Possible infertility
- Mood and memory are affected
- Hot flashes
- Low blood count
Talk with Dr. Michael Hyman if you are experiencing any of these symptoms of low testosterone. You can begin testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, through gels, patches, injections, or an implant.
Lesser Known Symptoms of Low Testosterone
Be aware of some other signs of low T.
Reduced Bone Mineral Density
Men may not realize this until they experience a fracture. Testosterone supplements can help reverse the issue and bone mass should improve. It has been found to help especially with the lower spine and the hip. Osteoporosis can become problematic if not treated.
Heart Attack and Stroke
No one is completely sure about the safety of TRT, but without testosterone men begin to have fractures as above, and they begin to have cardiac events like a stroke and a heart attack. There is a correlation between low T and an increased rise in early deaths from heart problems.
Low T seems to cause very dry skin and make conditions like psoriasis worse. It can also cause existing chronic skin conditions to become worse. Research has found that those without psoriasis had higher levels of testosterone.
Nerve Pain and Numbness
It has been found that testosterone can repair damage to nerves that are not part of the brain or spinal cord. The damage could be from diabetes, chemo, a physical injury, or chronic nerve pain. Researchers have looked at the role of testosterone in mitigating nerve damage. They discovered testosterone treatment can improve neuropathy and prevent numbness and pain. If you have diabetes and your nerve pain is getting worse, ask Dr. Michael Hyman to test you for low T.
Difficulty Losing Weight
Most overweight men have lower levels of testosterone. The hormone affects metabolism. Testosterone supplements can help reduce weight in obese men on average by 47 pounds.
- Blood sugar levels were reduced
- Improved blood pressure
- Led to healthier blood lipids