Are You Living with Low Testosterone?
Testosterone is known as the quintessential male hormone. Most adults recognize testosterone as the hormone that drives a man’s libido. This is accurate, but there is so much more. Men have more testosterone than women, which is one reason they tend to grow muscle mass more easily. During the teen and early adult years, soaring levels of this hormone are associated with greater levels of aggression. As they level out in adulthood, men become calmer and more easily regulated, though they continue to experience an abundance of energy, cognitive sharpness, and virility. This can all change when testosterone levels decline markedly or suddenly, as they can in mid-life.
What Constitutes Low Testosterone?
Generally, normal testosterone levels fall between 300 and 1000 ng/dL. A level below 300, then, is considered abnormally low. Well before receiving the results of lab work though, men often perceive the changes brought on by their changing hormones. This is not unlike women who experience the symptoms of perimenopause. For men, the transition of changing hormones is described as andropause. It is a relatively normal, albeit frustrating, change of life. During this time, men may notice changes in sexual function, physical performance, and even their mood.
Symptoms of low testosterone include varying degrees of:
- Cognitive issues such as poor memory recall
- Anxiety and depression
- Weight gain, especially abdominal fat
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low libido
- Lack of energy
- Loss of muscle mass
- Hair loss
Testosterone levels may be influenced by age as well as other factors. Examples include the use of certain antidepressants, weight, opioid use, and metabolic conditions. Because hormones act as chemical messengers in the body, lowering levels of chemicals like testosterone may require clinical care. If you are noticing changes in your vitality and suspect your hormones may be involved, contact our Chattanooga office at 423-778-4MEN (4636). Dr. Shridharani is a men’s health specialist who works one-on-one with each patient to thoroughly assess and correct hormone imbalance