It’s no secret that that one of the problems men face as they grow older is a reduction in their testosterone levels. In fact, it starts decreasing as young as 30 years of age, and continues to decrease every year after.
Low testosterone (also known simply as “low T”) affects millions of men worldwide, and the repercussions of low T can be substantial.
Effects of Low Testosterone
Testosterone is one of the most important hormones in the male body. It’s produced mainly by the testicles and it impacts virtually every aspect of a man’s body.
When testosterone levels decrease, the side effects can include:
- Reduced sex drive. Since testosterone plays such an important part in a man’s libido, it makes sense that when levels of this hormone are reduced that sex drive would be impacted. In fact, men with low testosterone levels may have very little desire to have sex.
- Erectile dysfunction. Testosterone not only plays a key role in a male’s sex drive; it also helps a man to achieve – and maintain – an erection. That’s because this hormone activates receptors in the brain that allow for the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that helps make it possible for all of the processes that are necessary to achieve an erection occur. While are several reasons why erectile dysfunction can occur, low testosterone levels can certainly be one of the causes.
- Reduces production of semen. Another way testosterone plays a part in male reproduction is its role in producing semen. Semen is the fluid that allows for the passage of sperm. As such, when testosterone levels are low, semen volume can also be low.
- Reduced energy levels. Men with low testosterone levels also often experience a marked decrease in their energy levels. They feel more fatigued and tire much more easily than they normally would. Additionally, they may not have the desire to partake in activities that they once enjoyed because their energy levels may be so reduced.
- Hair loss. Testosterone, believe it or not, also plays a part in the production of hair. Therefore, low T can increase the risk of hair loss on all parts of the body, including the head, the face, and even the arms and legs. Though balding can be an inherited trait, it can certainly be attributed to low testosterone levels.
- Heightened body fat. Men who experience decreased testosterone levels often experience an increase in their body fat. This increased body fat can lead to the appearance of male breasts, a condition that is known as gynecomastia, which occurs as a result of an enlargement in the breast tissue. Though the link between increased body fat and low testosterone is unknown, it is believed to be related to the imbalance of estrogen and testosterone.
- Decreased muscle mass. Since this hormone also aids in muscle building, when levels decline, it can lead to a decrease in muscle mass. However, it should be noted that while muscle mass may decrease, scientific studies have found that it doesn’t necessarily cause a loss in strength.
- Changes in mood. Another side effect that is often associated with low testosterone levels is changes in mood. Since this hormone plays an important part in all physical processes that occur within the body, it can also impact mood. Studied have found that men who experience low testosterone are at a greater risk of developing depression and are more apt to become irritable.
- Decreased concentration. Low testosterone levels can also impact concentration. This hormone is important for various physiological and mental abilities, including concentration and the ability to focus. Therefore, when levels of this hormone are low, men may find that they are having a difficult time concentrating.
- A decrease in bone density. Most people assume that a loss in bone mass is something that only women experience. While yes, it is women who are mostly affected by osteoporosis (a loss in bone density), men who have low levels of testosterone can also suffer from this condition. That’s because this male hormone aids in the strengthening and production of bone. When bone mass decreases, there is a greater risk of suffering fractures.
How to Increase Testosterone Levels
Fortunately, low testosterone levels can be treated. There are several ways that the production of testosterone can be increased, which will help to decrease the side effects that are associated with low T.
If your testosterone levels have decreased, here’s a look at some methods that can help to increase your levels of this invaluable hormone:
- Get some exercise. One of the easiest and most effective ways to increase testosterone levels is through exercise. Several studies have revealed that men who exercise on a regular basis have higher levels of testosterone. Furthermore, in men who were experiencing a drop in their testosterone, exercise significantly increased their levels. While any type of exercise can help to raise testosterone levels, lifting weights can be the most beneficial.
- Reduce stress levels. When you’re under prolonged stress, your body can suffer serious consequences. Increased production of the stress hormone cortisol can do serious damage to your testosterone levels. Studies have found that when cortisol levels are high, testosterone production goes down. Furthermore, high levels of stress can lead to an increased appetite, which can lead to weight gain, further reducing the production of testosterone. Therefore, if you want to increase your testosterone levels, you should try to reduce your stress levels as much as possible. Try taking up yoga, meditating, spending more time in nature, or finding other effective ways to manage your stress.
- Get more sleep. Sleep impacts all parts of your body, including the production of testosterone. One study revealed that getting only 5 hours of sleep a night can reduce levels of this hormone by as much as 15 percent. Try getting more sleep to increase the production of testosterone.
- Soak up the sun. Spending time in the sun increases your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D provides a wealth of benefits, including increased production in testosterone. If you’re trying to boost your T levels, try spending more time in the sun (exercise necessary precautions to prevent sunburn). You can also try taking a vitamin D supplement.
- Consider HGH testosterone therapy. Another effective way to increase your testosterone levels is through HGH (human growth hormone) testosterone therapy. Human growth hormone is one of the most important hormones that the body produces. It facilitates the production of testosterone, and therefore can be a very successful way to increase levels of this hormone. Therapy is easy and can safely be done under the guidance of a licensed and experienced medical professional.
These are just some of the ways that you can boost your waning testosterone levels and reduce the symptoms that are associated with low T.
If you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms described above, there is a very good chance that you could be suffering from low T. Make sure to seek the advice of a trusted medical professional to determine if your testosterone levels are actually diminishing. If that is the case, together, you can determine the most effective treatment option to improve your levels and thus, improve your overall quality of life.