Low Testosterone (Low T)
The National Institutes for Health (NIH, 2013) describes testosterone as a sex hormone with many different functions such as strength, muscle mass, bone mass, and fat distribution. More importantly, it helps in the production of red blood cells and sperm. It also regulates the sex drive.
What Does It Mean When You Have Low Testosterone?
There are many bodily changes that come with having low testosterone. If you think that the main cause of your problems may be a lack of testosterone, then you may need to look at the main signs and symptoms as well as the main effects that low T can have on your life.
The Common Causes of Low Testosterone
The common causes of low testosterone have been documented by the Cleveland Clinic (2019) as any of the following causes:
- When the individual experiences an injury that interrupts blood supply to the testicles or results in an in infection of the testicles;
- Metabolic disorders such as when the body retains too much iron;
- When taking medications such as steroids and other hormones;
- Alcohol abuse also causes low T:
- Diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Kallman syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome; and
The Effects of Low Testosterone In Your Life
First, the individual who has low T will likely experience a change in sleeping patterns. Insomnia as well as sleep disturbances may occur when someone has testosterone lower than the normal level.
On top of that, an increase in body fat and a reduction of muscle bulk are also signs that the body has low testosterone levels. If you are trying to build muscle and it is not going at the expected pace, then you may need to check if you have low T.
Whenever you have changes in your sexual desire or when you experience sexual dysfunction, you should also see your doctor to see if you have low testosterone. Erectile dysfunction is a common life change that people who suffer low testosterone levels often experience. It can be devastating, especially when the drive is there but the body cannot function properly.
On top of that, emotional changes are also triggered by changes in testosterone levels.
When you have no desire or motivation to get up in the morning or you are experiencing depression, it may be caused by low testosterone. When you have a decreased sense of well-being—feeling that you are not doing good in your life and you need more—you should also get your testosterone levels checked. Sometimes the emotional changes are triggered by the functions of the body and not always by the mind.
Those with low testosterone levels also tend to have difficulties with concentration and memory. If you are struggling at work or school, or your find it hard to concentrate while on the road, then you need to consider the possibility of having low testosterone levels.
Fatigue is also a sign of low testosterone. It is the overall feeling of weakness in the body that cannot be cured by any kind of sleep or rest. If you’re having a hard time putting your mind at ease, your fatigue may be caused by low testosterone levels.
The other changes that you can expect when you have low testosterone levels in your body include the following:
- A decrease in your body’s hemoglobin levels/mild anemia – this happens when your body is trying to make up for the other functions that some other parts are missing.
- Whenever there are low testosterone levels, there is also thinning of the bones and sometimes osteoporosis.
- The individual may also experience an increase in body fat.
- Men may experience development of breasts or also known as gynecomastia.
- In the case of women, they may experience infertility.
- Sleep apnea
- Congestive heart failure
Fixing Your Testosterone Levels
There are different ways of fixing your testosterone levels and they are the following:
- Through the use of skin patch and mouth patch;
- Through the use of gels;
- Through injections; and
- Through the use of special pellets
The Best Way To Deal With Low Testosterone Levels
The best way to deal with low testosterone levels is to try to increase it naturally. You can try by doing any of the following:
- Exercise regularly and lift weights without the use of hormonal supplements.
- Eat more protein, fat, and carbs. If you are on a diet, you may end up disrupting your natural testosterone levels. To prevent this, you should eat more protein, carbs, and fat based on a diet recommended by a nutritionist.
- Reduce your stress levels as early as possible. You need to reduce stress and make sure that you do not have to deal with things that trigger stress as that can lower your testosterone levels as well.
- Getting some sun is also important. Supplementing your body’s Vitamin D levels may help you increase your level of testosterone.
- You should get plenty of sleep. Sleep allows your body to relaxed, replenish, and heal. Studies have shown that if a person only gets some 5 hours of sleep per night, he or she may see a 15% reduction in testosterone levels.
With the above knowledge, it is now easier to see the changes that you may get with low testosterone levels in the body and how to change it back naturally.