Hormones are responsible for so many different functions in our body, and imbalanced levels can lead to a variety of issues and concerns. One of the most important hormones in both men and women is testosterone, and it’s also a hormone that can naturally decrease in levels over time.
To help make you more aware of the possibility that you have low testosterone, here are three common issues that can be linked to that cause.
Who Can Be Impacted By Low Testosterone?
Low testosterone is often associated with men, old age or specific disorders, but did you know that testosterone levels start to decrease as early as your 20s and that they can impact both men and women?
Dr. Sarah Bennett, a naturopathic physician in Scottsdale who regularly sees patients for hormonal concerns, sees a diverse demographic for testosterone-related issues:
“People from all walks of life come in needing help for things like decreased energy or sex drive, difficulties with weight loss and plenty of other issues that end up getting linked back to low testosterone. I’ve helped men and women of many different ages, races and backgrounds, so it’s important to ignore any preconceived notions or stigma that might make you feel weird for asking doctors about your testosterone levels.”
Many women or young men who feel like they might be seen as somehow lesser or abnormal for seeking help regarding low testosterone levels should absolutely be reassured that they are normal and not alone.
That said, there definitely is something to be said for how testosterone levels are impacted by age. Since levels can start to decrease as early as your 20s, there is a fair chance that older patients will have much more exaggerated cases, making it a lot more common and necessary to talk to your doctor about the possibility of needing help.
All that said, it’s likely that you won’t know that you’re testosterone levels are lower than they should be unless you can recognize the common signs.
Lowered Sex Drive
One of the most common issues related to low testosterone is a noticeably lower sex drive since it is one of the key sex hormones related to libido.
Particularly for male patients, testosterone is the hormone most responsible for libido and declining levels can leave people worried about their levels of sexual desire and ability to sexually perform.
Some symptoms that men specifically may face with lowered testosterone levels include:
- Reduced sexual desire
- Fewer spontaneous erections
It’s important to note that these symptoms don’t typically happen all of a sudden, so you’ll have to pay attention to how your body changes over time and check in with yourself to see if it may be possible that your testosterone levels are dropping as you get older.
Changes in Your Body
In addition to your sex drive, lowered testosterone can also cause a number of noticeable physical changes to your body.
Some of the many physical changes may include:
- Increased body fat
- Weaker bones
- Thinning hair
- Decreased muscle mass
- Hot flashes
You may notice that these symptoms are also often associated with aging, and that isn’t a coincidence. As mentioned, lower testosterone levels is a result of getting older, and these particular symptoms of aging are caused by that change in your body.
It is important to note, however, that these symptoms can also have a range of other causes (lack of specific nutrients, illnesses or conditions, etc.), so a conversation with your doctor can help to definitively clear up the cause so that you can know if it is hormonal or if something else may be wrong.
Lower Energy Levels & Trouble Sleeping
Finally, another extremely common issue that can be linked to low testosterone levels is difficulty sleeping and, by extension, fatigue/lower levels of energy.
This is often one of the most frustrating symptoms of low testosterone and one of the reasons that many individuals will seek help. It can be hard keeping up with busy schedules or even simply making the most out of your day when you are hindered by low energy.
If low testosterone is zapping your energy levels and zest for life, you should absolutely talk to your doctor about possible solutions to help alleviate these symptoms. You don’t necessarily just have to accept that lower testosterone levels are an inevitable part of aging, and if you are too tired to do things you love, it may be time to seek solutions.
What Can Be Done?
To an extent, it is important to realize that decreased level of testosterone is a natural part of aging much like menopause, wrinkles and many other changes.
Of course, there are some ways that you can attempt to boost testosterone levels naturally on own, and these methods can always be used to supplement any additional professional care you receive.
Some of these methods include:
- Boosting protein, carb and fat intake
- More vitamin D
- Getting better sleep
- Following an overall healthy lifestyle
In addition, there is always the option of hormone therapies that are offered by med spas or specialists. It is actually an incredibly common treatment method and available pretty much anywhere by a variety of practices.
Of course, the most important thing is that you have a candid conversation with your doctor. Everyone is different, so determining next steps for your testosterone levels is a personal choice that a professional should help you with.
Making sure your hormones are balanced is an important part of making sure your body is healthy and functioning properly.
One of the most important hormones to keep track of is testosterone. Common issues caused by low testosterone can be lower libido, physical changes to your body and lower energy levels.
If you’re experiencing symptoms like these, be sure to talk to your doctor to see if they may be linked to low testosterone and what could be done about it. Even as you get older, you should always make sure you are getting as much out of life as possible, and hormone levels shouldn’t get in the way of that!
For more resources to help you with the process of aging, be sure to keep up with our other posts and regular updates.