How Low Can You Go? Effects of Low Testosterone

How Low Can You Go?

At a lively party and participating in a game of Limbo? Then the lower you go the better your chances of winning.  Talking about your testosterone levels?  Then lower is definitely NOT better! Testosterone is responsible for physically turning boys into men. Low testosterone levels at any stage of a male’s life are a cause for concern.

Testosterone is an Essential Hormone

Testosterone production plays an essential part in puberty in teenage boys.  Testosterone influences development in the following areas: 

  • Boys start to grow taller. Sometimes it seems like they are growing overnight in their sleep!
  • Their bones and muscles gain the strength necessary to support the larger framework that is developing. This would be why they are constantly raiding the fridge and eating you out of house and home.
  • The penis and testicles grow. Knocking on the bathroom door becomes very important.
  • Hair starts growing everywhere. They are so proud of the peach fuzz mustache, which eventually gives way to the real thing; and they get to learn to shave.
  • Then there is the dreaded voice changing. Fluctuating all over the place, often at the most embarrassing times, until it finds and settles on the desired deeper octave. 

Low Testosterone also called Low-T

Delayed puberty can be caused by low testosterone, sometimes called Low-T for short. This can be the result of hypogonadism, a medical condition. This condition is brought on by the body’s inability to produce adequate amounts of testosterone the body requires for all the necessary changes. The low testosterone levels impede normal male reproductive development. Signs of low testosterone levels in young males would be underdeveloped genitalia, a lack of facial hair development, and no voice changing.  Missing any of the normal joys of puberty could be an indication of a low testosterone level. If you are concerned your teenager may be suffering from low T, call IPE Screening today to schedule a male health blood panel to check the levels of testosterone. 

So you made it through puberty to manhood.  Life has been great.  Now you are starting to get older and things are slowing down.  It is natural for your testosterone levels to decrease as you age.  But seriously low testosterone levels don’t usually manifest until the senior years.  20% of men in their 60s experience low testosterone. The percentage increases to 30% for men in their 70s and 80s. Low testosterone levels can cause a number of health problems.

Normal levels of testosterone in men range from 300 on the low end up to 1,000.  When the levels drop below 300 is when symptoms can start.  Not all men with low testosterone experience symptoms.  

The most obvious symptom, and the one that gets the most attention, is the decrease in sex drive and the inability to achieve and maintain an erection.  Men will ignore a lot of health problems, but when it interferes with sex life, they pay attention.  There are several other health conditions that could cause such dysfunction, so getting a blood test to rule out low testosterone would be a good diagnostic start.

Side Effects of Low Testosterone

Other side effects of low testosterone in older males include:

  • Hair loss.  While balding usually carry a genetic component to it, low T hair loss can affect facial and body hair as well.
  • Decreased muscle mass.  Although it doesn’t necessarily affect strength or ability.
  • Increased body fat, and in some cases, moobs (man boobs). The latter can be caused by a testosterone/estrogen imbalance. 
  • Uncharacteristic mood shifts, including increased irritability and depression.  An inability to focus is also a concern.
  • Doctors believe there is a link between low testosterone levels and cognitive decline.  Although both occur naturally with normal aging.

Testosterone levels below 300 are a cause for concern.  If you haven’t been quite yourself lately, call IPE Screening today to schedule a male health blood panel.  This blood test will include checking the testosterone levels in your blood to see if you need to consult with your doctor about treatment.