I've been in the health and fitness industry for almost a decade, and I’ve seen clients struggling to reverse the damage caused by low testosterone levels.
Male hypogonadism can have an impact on many areas of the body and mind, and understanding what to watch out for is a crucial aspect of preventing many health problems.
So, I’ve spent six weeks reading relevant literature and worked with several dietitians to uncover the dangers of low testosterone to help you better understand the symptoms.
Let’s get into it.
- Having deficient testosterone is associated with an increased risk of many health conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, and Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).
- Low testosterone levels are more common in older men as production begins to drop starting from age 30.
- Unexplained fatigue, mood swings, and decreased muscle mass could all point to an underlying hormonal disruption.
Is Having Low Testosterone Levels Dangerous?
Yes, having low testosterone levels is dangerous as it can lead to many negative symptoms, including disrupted sleep, decreased energy levels, and reduced muscle mass .
With that in mind, testosterone is considered low when the total blood testosterone level falls below 300 ng/dL.
Maintaining healthy testosterone is vital not only for regular bodily and cognitive functions but also for preventing some age-related diseases.
Men with hypogonadism are more likely to develop serious health problems, including diabetes, obesity, and increased cardiovascular risk .
In addition, testosterone is a vital sex hormone because it plays an essential role in sperm production, muscle mass and strength, bone growth, and sexual function (libido) [3, 4].
What Are the Symptoms of Low Testosterone Levels?
The symptoms of low testosterone levels are fatigue, erectile dysfunction, increased body fat, sleep apnea, mood swings, loss of body hair, loss of lean muscle mass, feeling tired, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and difficulty with memory.
Let’s go over each of the most common indicators of hormonal deficiency.
Low Energy Levels
Low testosterone can cause feelings of fatigue even in the early morning hours.
Moreover, you may notice having trouble concentrating and a lack of motivation to make any kind of physical effort.
These symptoms vary among men depending on the severity of their deficiencies, but generally speaking, if your body doesn't have enough testosterone to maintain balance, you will feel exhausted .
Increased Body Fat
Research has shown that low testosterone causes weight gain and is linked to increased body fat.
As men store more fat, their fat cells create more aromatase, which converts testosterone into estrogen, causing further testosterone reduction.
As a result, the hormone imbalance sends signals to store more fat .
This is one of the reasons why men with severely low T-levels find it incredibly complicated to lose weight.
Low Sex Drive
Previous Research has found that low testosterone can decrease sex drive and erectile function .
The lower your T-levels are, the less your body produces nitric oxide.
This can be a major roadblock for couples hoping to start a family .
Previous research has shown that the amount and quality of sleep we get can affect our testosterone, as the majority of the hormone is released while we're sleeping.
However, testosterone also drops drastically in aged individuals, making them feel tired sooner than they usually would .
Related: Can Sleep Apnea Cause Low Testosterone?
Lack of Focus
Studies have linked high testosterone with better mental focus and overall cognitive function in men, an effect many hypogonadal men can immediately notice after treatment .
Such results point toward the activation of a cortical network located within our brains.
This network is responsible for instigating thinking during problem-solving tasks .
“Testosterone is the hormone most responsible for sex drives and high libidos in men. A decrease in testosterone can mean a decrease in libido. One of the biggest worries faced by men with declining testosterone levels is the chance that their sexual desire and performance will be affected.”
- Alana Biggers, Editor at Healthline.com
What Causes Low Testosterone Levels in Men?
The causes of low testosterone levels in men are multifactoral, some of them being cancer treatments, testicular injury, and genetic conditions.
Other causes of testosterone deficiency syndrome are:
- Aging: As men age, they experience reduced testosterone production and increased sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels. This hormone controls the amount of testosterone that your body uses .
- High body-fat levels: Research has shown that there is an association between obese men and low total and free testosterone. Successful weight loss has been proven to have many health benefits, including increasing T levels .
- Poor lifestyle choices: Smoking and drug abuse have been shown to reduce testosterone production. On the other hand, favorable lifestyle choices, like aerobic exercise and strength exercise, can increase/prevent low testosterone. Based on a study, being physically active five to seven days per week has the greatest effect on testosterone .
How to Increase Low Testosterone Levels?
To naturally boost low testosterone levels, doctors may prescribe testosterone therapies, such as skin patches, gels, tablets, pellets, injections, and testosterone-boosting food.
If you frequently have any of the symptoms above, doctors may ask you to take a blood test to determine your hormone levels and decide whether you need testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
While testosterone therapy can be very beneficial for increasing libido, bone and muscle strength, and energy levels, many risks have been attached to the treatment, even in men who met the testosterone treatment criteria.
The primary risks associated with testosterone therapy include heart disease, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), polycythemia, and obstructive sleep apnea .
What Happens if Low Testosterone Goes Untreated?
If low testosterone goes untreated, it can cause a number of health problems, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Low Testosterone in Males?
The long-term effects of low testosterone in males are decreased muscles, bone density, and erectile dysfunction. Additionally, low testosterone can increase body fat.
What Is a Dangerous Testosterone Level?
A dangerous testosterone level is when total testosterone is below 300 ng/dL. Abnormally low testosterone is also known as hypogonadism.
Boost Your T Levels Naturally
Testosterone deficiency can lead to a myriad of serious health issues, including fatigue, obesity, and, most importantly, infertility.
While low T can result from underlying conditions, I always recommend combining regular exercise and a balanced diet with only high-quality testosterone boosters:
We’ve tested dozens of products to compile a list of the best ones available on the market.
Based on our research and clients’ reports, these supplements contain purely natural ingredients and successfully increase performance, focus, libido, and testosterone.
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