How Low Testosterone Levels Can Affect Men
It’s long been said that men don’t often enough take the time to care for their own health. Whether it’s fear, embarrassment or simply not wanting to go through the hassle of going to the doctor, there are many reasons men’s health too often gets put on the backburner. But there are even more reasons to make men’s health a priority.
It’s easy to see this when we look at how low testosterone affects men in nearly every aspect of their lives. Low testosterone can have a significant impact on men’s physical, mental and emotional well-being, causing a number of health issues that include:
Lack of focus– When testosterone drops, a man’s ability to think clearly does as well. Forgetfulness and trouble concentrating are common in men with very low testosterone levels.
Reduced energy– Low testosterone can bring on fatigue that can zap your energy, making you feel like you just can’t do as much as you used to. You may even feel the need to take naps when you never have before.
Lower sex drive and erectile dysfunction – As testosterone drops, some men may simply have less interest in sex, while other men experience an inability to get or sustain an erection, known as erectile dysfunction. Because it can be caused by a variety of medical concerns, schedule an appointment with your doctor if you are experiencing erectile dysfunction.
Depression or irritability – Mood changes that come with low testosterone can trigger emotional changes such as increased sadness, bouts of depression, irritability, lack of self-confidence and more. This is because testosterone helps with emotion regulation.
Body changes –Because testosterone is responsible for the characteristically male features such as greater muscle mass and body hair, a drop in testosterone will lead to a drop in muscle mass and body hair. With less muscle mass, men will usually have greater fat distribution since muscle burns fat. You can also experience a drop in bone density that may make injury more likely. Sperm production can also drop, which can be an obstacle if you and your partner are trying to conceive.
Sleep disturbances – Even with the fatigue you may feel with low testosterone, you may also experience insomnia and other sleep disturbances. Testosterone replacement therapy can also sometimes cause or worsen sleep apnea.
Low testosterone matters
In all these ways, low testosterone can greatly affect men’s quality of life. The mental and emotional changes like depression can make it more difficult to perform well at work and within friend and family relationships. The fatigue and other physical changes can trigger an avalanche of other health issues, such as weight gain leading to diabetes or heart disease.
The most common cause of low testosterone is advancing age, but several other factors can contribute to it, including obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, HIV and AIDS. Certain medications may also cause a drop in testosterone.
Low testosterone itself isn’t an emergency, but it can ultimately trigger a health emergency. The resulting fatigue, increased fat distribution, reduced bone density, sleep disturbances and even depression can make it difficult to care for yourself and can bring on a number of life-threatening circumstances and conditions. So, if you’re experiencing the symptoms of low testosterone, schedule an appointment with your doctor, even if you don’t think you have any risk factors for it. Identifying low testosterone and treating it can help you get back on track and back to a life you enjoy.
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