Signs Of Low Testosterone, Diagnosis & Treatment

Medically reviewed by G. Liakeas, MD FACT CHECKED

Low testosterone is the condition where the level of testosterone hormone in the body is lower than usual. It affects both men and women, but more often men.

Low testosterone levels may cause various symptoms, including weight gain, lack of energy, depression, and decreased libido.

The causes for low levels of testosterone are many but it is most often due to age or medical conditions such as diabetes or obesity.

Other factors that could cause low levels to include smoking, drinking alcohol excessively, and taking certain medications like antidepressants or opiates.

The scientific reason for Low testosterone in males is that the hypothalamus and pituitary gland are under-reacting to the signals from the body.

This is due to a decrease in the number of cells that produce GnRH, which is a hormone that stimulates LH and FSH production.

signs of low testosterone levels
  • Fatigue

    If you are feeling tired and exhausted all the time, you may have low testosterone levels. The most common causes of fatigue are obesity, diabetes, and chronic diseases.

    Other causes of fatigue include depression, lack of sleep, and lifestyle choices.

  • Difficulty Sleeping

    Sleep deprivation causes a decrease in the production of sex hormones, which is what makes it so important for males who have low testosterone to get enough sleep every night.

    To resolve your sleep issues immediately, you ccould try methods to sleep better with anxiety.

  • Weight Gain Or Weight Loss

    Low testosterone in males could be a sign of weight gain or weight loss. Low testosterone levels may lead to a decrease in muscle mass and bone density, which could result in weight gain.

    Low testosterone levels may also cause a person to lose motivation, which may lead to decreased physical activity and an increased appetite for high-calorie foods.

  • Reduced Sexual Desire

    When sexual desire is reduced, it could be a sign that there is something wrong with the body. The first cause of low sexual desire in males is related to testosterone levels.

    Low testosterone levels may lead to erectile dysfunction, decreased libido, low sperm count, and other side effects which reduce the desire for sex.

  • Decreased Muscle Mass

    Low testosterone is the most common cause of muscle mass decrease in men. The condition is called male hypogonadism.

    It may be caused by a variety of reasons, including Pituitary gland disorders, Testicular atrophy or injury, Low testosterone levels due to aging, Chronic illness, Obesity, etc.

  • Depression Or Irritability

    Depression is not the only sign of low testosterone levels. Male patients with this condition often experience irritability, fatigue, and loss of libido.

    These are all common signs that a male has less than optimal levels of testosterone in their body.

  • Erectile Dysfunction

    Low testosterone promotes atherosclerosis which creates erectile dysfunction. This happens when they cannot maintain or get an erection.

    It could be embarrassing for both parties involved. The penis may also shrink in size, which could make it difficult for them to achieve penetration.

  • Mood Swings

    A study has shown that the level of testosterone in the body is linked to moods and emotions and that those with low levels may experience these symptoms of mood swings more often than others.

  • Lower Blood Count

    Low levels of testosterone may lead to anemia, which is a condition of having not enough red blood cells in the body.

    This causes an individual to feel tired and weak, and could also cause them to feel out of breath or lightheaded.

  • Hair Loss

    Hair loss is caused by the follicles shrinking and producing a thinner and smaller hair shaft.

    The follicles shrink because they are not receiving enough testosterone to produce the necessary amount of DHT, which is responsible for stimulating hair growth.

Diagnosis Of Low Testosterone

There are a few different ways that doctors may diagnose low testosterone levels in males. The most common way is to measure the amount of testosterone in a man’s blood.

This could be done with a simple blood test. Another way to diagnose low testosterone is to look at a man’s symptoms.

Some common symptoms of low testosterone are loss of muscle mass, fatigue, decreased libido i.e. decreased sex drive, and erectile dysfunction.

If a man has some or all of these symptoms, his doctor may suspect that his testosterone levels are low. To confirm this diagnosis, the doctor may order additional tests, such as a hormone panel or a semen analysis.

Treatment Options For Low Testosterone

Testosterone could play a key role in many bodily functions, including sexual function and fertility, so low levels could cause a wide range of issues.

Possible causes of low testosterone levels could be due to a problem with the testicles themselves, the pituitary gland, or the hypothalamus.

  • One option is testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). This involves getting injections of testosterone or using a patch or gel that contains the hormone.

    TRT may be effective in increasing testosterone levels, but it does have some risks, so it’s important to discuss the potential benefits and risks with your doctor.

  • Another treatment option is to take medications called gonadotropins. These drugs help the body stimulate the production of testosterone.

    However, they could be expensive and may cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, and headaches.

  • There are also lifestyle changes you may make that may help increase your testosterone levels naturally.

    These include exercising regularly, losing weight if you’re overweight, and getting enough sleep. Making these changes could be beneficial even if your testosterone levels are normal.

  • Consult a medical professional about which treatment option is right for you. With proper treatment, you may enjoy all the benefits of normal testosterone levels and improve your quality of life.

Conclusion

Most men associate testosterone with energy, strength, and virility. However, the production of this hormone begins to decline around age 30.

After age 40, men may start to notice physical changes associated with low testosterone levels, such as fatigue, decreased sex drive, and erectile dysfunction. 

There are many treatment options available to cure low testosterone both natural and medical. For medical treatment, you may connect with your doctor or if it is not severe then you could try changing your lifestyle or your diet.

The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that has been experienced to be very effective for weight loss and improving overall health.

If you are considering trying the ketogenic diet, try to have a conversation with a healthcare professional first to ensure that it is safe for you.

Once you have started the diet, stick with it for at least 30 days to see if it is helping you reach your goals.