Low T — the fact that a lower-than-normal testosterone level has a nickname can also mean that there’s some misinformation swirling around about this condition.
To shed some much-needed light on low testosterone, board-certified urologist Dr. Robert Cornell wants to take this opportunity to review some of the signs of a testosterone deficiency so you know when you should seek help.
A brief explanation of low testosterone
A normal testosterone level in men should fall between 300 and 1,000 nanograms per deciliter — so we consider anything below 300 to qualify as a testosterone deficiency.
There are many reasons why men can encounter hypogonadism, which is the medical term for low testosterone production, including:
- Trauma to the testicles
- Testicular cancer
- Hereditary conditions
We want to underscore this last risk factor — aging. Losing testosterone as you age is a perfectly normal part of the aging process, which is why as many as half of men over the age of 80 may have low T.
Signs of low testosterone
Your testosterone hormones play an important role in your overall health and wellness and are largely responsible for your more “male” characteristics, such as muscle mass, body hair, and more. These hormones also play a central role in your reproductive health.
When you have low testosterone, the effects can show up in myriad ways, including:
- Lower libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of body hair
- Thinning facial growth
- Loss of muscle mass
- Weight gain
- Mental health issues like depression and anxiety
Making matters more complex, many of these symptoms are related, and one can set off a chain reaction. For example, the decline in your sexual health can lead to frustration, which can lead to mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
Another way the side effects are linked is a loss of muscle mass, which is likely behind the weight gain and/or the fatigue that many men with low T report.
A final point to consider is that simple aging can lead to many of the symptoms we outline above.
Getting help for possible testosterone deficiency
You know yourself best, and if you’re feeling like your health and wellness just aren’t where they should be, it might be time to come see us. During your visit, we review your symptoms and your medical history, and then we draw a sample of your blood to check the testosterone in your body.
If you have low T, we can discuss testosterone replacement therapy, which is the most effective way to regain your health.
If we discover that your testosterone level is within the normal range, we can investigate elsewhere to determine the source of your symptoms.
To get back to feeling more like yourself again, your first step is to contact our office in Houston, Texas, to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cornell.