What are the symptoms of low testosterone in men?
- Lack of sexual desire
- Problems getting an erection
- Low sperm count
- Sleeping problems, such as insomnia
- Decrease in muscle strength and size
- Bone loss
- Increased body fat
Why do I have low testosterone?
There are several factors that can contribute to your testosterone levels being lower than normal. One common factor is aging. From the age of 30-40 it is quite common for testosterone levels to decline.
There are also other factors that can cause low testosterone:
- Low thyroid function (hypothyroidism)
- Abuse of illicit drugs and/or alcohol
- Birth defects affecting the reproductive system
- Use of certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs
- Certain surgical procedures, such as some brain surgeries
- Injury to the testicles or diseases such as testicular cancer
- Abuse of performance-enhancing drugs, such as anabolic steroids
- Other diseases and disorders, such as hemochromatosis, uncontrolled diabetes, renal insufficiency, obstructive sleep apnea, ...
What are the solutions and/or treatments for low testosterone?
There are several ways to increase testosterone levels. If your testosterone level is slightly lower, it is quite possible that you can raise it to a normal level by making changes in your lifestyle, diet and habits. If testosterone levels are very low or if lifestyle changes are not effective, you may need to use medications to increase testosterone levels.
Lifestyle changes and supplements
If you have lower than normal testosterone levels but it's not low enough to start more aggressive treatments, you can try to improve those testosterone levels by making certain lifestyle and habit changes.
- Sleep. Your testosterone levels increase while you sleep and decrease while you're awake, so healthy sleep habits are important for maintaining a normal testosterone level. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep a night.
- Exercise more. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, getting more exercise could help increase your testosterone production. Research has found that being physically active is linked to higher levels of testosterone and other important hormones.
- Reduce stress. Research shows that elevated levels of cortisol, the hormone the body produces as part of its stress response, is associated with reduced testosterone levels. Try to minimize stress in your life, meditate, try to find relaxing situations, places or times, or confront and change the aspects of your life that make you feel stressed in the first place.
- Overweight or obesity. Obesity is closely associated with low testosterone in men, with a study published in 2014 finding that obese men have testosterone levels 40 to 50 percent lower than men in the normal BMI range. If you are overweight and have lower than normal testosterone levels, try to reduce your weight until you are in the normal BMI range in a healthy way, being consistent and if possible, with the help of a professional.
- You can use vitamins and supplements to increase testosterone. Some supplements, such as ashwagandha, zinc, magnesium and vitamin D, can help increase testosterone if you are deficient.
- Treatments for low testosterone
- If you have clinically low or lower than normal testosterone levels for your age, your doctor may suggest testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) What is it?
Testosterone replacement therapy involves using artificial testosterone to increase your total testosterone level. Testosterone is available in numerous forms, such as a transdermal patch, topical gel, tablet, implant, or injection.
TRT works quickly and can alleviate many of the symptoms of low testosterone. It is usually most effective in younger men with low testosterone levels, although it can also help older men. Although testosterone replacement therapy is effective, it has risks and can cause side effects. The most common side effects of TRT include:
- Cholesterol problems.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Heart health problems, such as heart failure.
- Prostate enlargement.
- Blood clots.
If you have tried everything and you think you need a treatment like TRT, consult your doctor first. But if not and you have a slight imbalance change your life habits, because they will not only solve your low testosterone levels, but will improve your health and your life.