We all know that testosterone is what fuels a man’s sex drive, however it also regulates muscle mass, fat distribution and red blood cell production, to mention a few more. As a guy, I know that men everywhere always like to make jokes about testosterone, however having low testosterone is no laughing matter. The latest research suggests that guys with low testosterone have a higher risk of several serious conditions including diabetes, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
Now I bet you thought that low testosterone is only a problem for your father or granddad, as a recent study reported that the average testosterone levels in men have been substantially dropping for the past two decade. Each year your ‘test’ levels slowly drop, especially noticeable after the age of 30. But this isn’t just a problem for the old. As a result of life’s hectic schedule and personal choices younger males are now starting to suffer from below-normal testosterone levels. Causes are many, including excessive emotional stress, working long hours, over-training, long-term steroid use, alcohol abuse, and recreational medication. This is a grave concern and can be devastating to your health and ego, as your muscle and libido slowly wither away.
A simple blood test can reveal whether you have low testosterone, but there are plenty of other clues that a problem exists, these include:
Fatigue and Decreased Energy
It is perfectly normal to feel tired after a long day however men with low ‘T’ have reported extreme fatigue and decreased energy levels. Despite getting plenty of sleep, if you complain of being more tired than you thought and are having a hard time to get motivated, even to exercise or move at all, you may be suffering from low testosterone levels.
Loss of Muscle Mass or Lack of Gains
Reduced testosterone levels can result in a significant loss of muscle mass. It is not that you all of a sudden become weak, but you often feel like you are not as strong as you once were, or you find it difficult to build muscle mass and are not making any gains in the gym, while hitting more frequent plateaus.
A Decreasing or Low Sex Drive
Men may notice a slight decline in libido and sex drive as they get older, someone with low ‘T’ will likely experience a more drastic drop or a sudden decline. Testosterone is what fuels a man’s sex drive so this can be a tell-tale sign of low ‘T’.
More Body Fat
Low testosterone can result in an increase in body fat. Fat cells convert testosterone to estrogen, which decreases the amount of circulating testosterone even more. This will cause you to gain more weight, which may be carried in the mid-section or lead to the development of gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue aka ‘man boobs’). This effect is believed to occur due to an imbalance between testosterone and estrogen.
In order to get and keep a strong erection, it is necessary to have an adequate blood flow, circulation, normal sensations and sex drive; and to no surprise testosterone plays a part in all of these. Testosterone stimulates the penile tissue to produce nitric oxide which starts many reactions in the body that results in an erection. If levels are too low, it may be difficult to get or maintain erections.
Low testosterone is a grave concern and not just for older men as you have read. Increasing or supporting your testosterone levels can make a huge difference in the gym and bedroom, reinforcing your masculinity and your overall quality of life.