Testosterone is an important hormone because it is responsible for male secondary sex characteristics, such as facial and body hair. It also helps keep the man’s bones and muscles strong. That’s why a number of health problems can result if a man has low testosterone, commonly known as low T.
A man’s testosterone levels naturally begin to decline after the age of 30. However, there are other things — such as certain medications and health conditions — that can lower testosterone levels enough to create health issues.
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Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of low testosterone:
It is normal for a man to feel tired after a long day at work. However, a man who has low T may experience unnatural fatigue all of the time. A man who has low testosterone may also have trouble sleeping at night. A healthy hormone balance is essential for restful sleep.
Low T can also cause depression. In fact, a study done by the University of Washington in Seattle showed that men who have Low T are four times more likely to develop clinical depression. Testosterone plays an important role in mood regulation. That is why depression is often a sign of low T.
Low T can cause anxiety. If a man has anxiety due to low testosterone levels, then it is usually mild. However, in some cases, low T can cause severe anxiety, which can lead to panic attacks and other unpleasant symptoms.
Because low T can cause mood swings, people who have this condition are more likely to be irritable. A man may insist that nothing is wrong. However, this irritability is usually apparent to colleagues, family members and friends.
Reduced Muscle Mass
Testosterone is essential for maintaining muscle mass. That is why if testosterone levels decline, then muscle mass will also start to decline. The muscles in the legs, arms and chest may begin to shrink.
Some men do not notice a difference in the size of their muscles, but they do notice that they are not as strong as they were before. Men may also notice that they are unable to build muscle despite the fact that they are increasing the weight that they lift.
Increased Body Fat
Not only does low T cause your muscle mass to decrease, but it can also cause your body fat to increase. Most men experience increased fat in the abdominal area. Additionally, men may develop gynecomastia, which is a condition that causes male breast development. This is a concern because increased body fat can lead to other health issues.
Testosterone is essential for bone health. Low T can actually cause a man to lose height. Men who have low T are also more likely to develop osteoporosis. This is a condition that causes the bones to become very brittle and weak.
Shrinking Body Hair
Because testosterone is responsible for body hair growth, a man may start to lose body hair if he has low T. Men may also lose hair on their head.
Studies have shown that low T can increase the risk of heart problems. High blood pressure and diabetes, which are two conditions that can cause heart problems, have been linked to low T.
There was a study done that involved men who were over the age of 45. The study found that men who were diabetic were 2.1 times more likely to develop low T. Men who had high blood pressure were 1.8 times were more likely to develop low T.
Testosterone is essential for heart health because it helps the bone marrow produce red blood cells. Oxygen is distributed throughout the body via red blood cells.
This is one of the most overlooked signs of low T. It is easy to attribute concentration problems to the natural aging process. However, there was a study done that showed low T can also affect cognitive performance.
Many men attribute the inability to get or keep an erection is a natural part of getting older. However, it is often a symptom of low T. That is why it is important to consult with your doctor if you are suffering from this condition.
The Testosterone-Boosting Diet
There are a number of treatments that are available for low T. However, you may be able to boost your testosterone level by making changes in your diet. Studies have shown that increasing your vitamin D levels can also help increase your testosterone. The body needs vitamin D in order to produce testosterone.
Tuna is one of the foods that are abundant in vitamin D. It does not matter whether you eat fresh or canned tuna, as both are great sources of vitamin D. In fact, one serving of tuna provides you with the vitamin D that you need for the day. Sardines and salmon are also a great source of vitamin D.
You can also increase your vitamin D levels by drinking more milk. If you choose skim or low-fat milk, then you should make sure that it has been fortified with vitamin D. Egg yolks have often received a bad rap because of their cholesterol content. However, they are one of the foods that raise testosterone. Most people can eat one egg per day without having to worry about it affecting their cholesterol.
If you love seafood, then oysters are a food that you should definitely include in your diet. Oysters are a great source of zinc. Many men with low T also have low zinc levels.
Shellfish is another type of seafood that can boost your testosterone levels. In fact, one three-ounce serving of Alaskan crab has 43 percent of the zinc that you need for the day. White and kidney beans are high in both zinc and vitamin D. Furthermore, beans are filled with other nutrients that protect your heart.
You will also need to limit your consumption of foods that lower testosterone. Flaxseed products are popular because of their high omega 3 fatty acid content. However, they can also lower your testosterone level. They are filled with lignans, which have been shown to reduce testosterone.
If you love pasta, then you should consume it in moderation. Pasta is filled with carbohydrates. The excess carbohydrates that are not used by the body are converted into sugar. This can lead to weight gain and increased body fat. Excessive weight gain can contribute to low T.
You will also need to limit your consumption of alcoholic drinks. Excess alcohol intake can lower your testosterone. Mixed drinks are the ones that are most likely to reduce your testosterone because of their high sugar content. The excess sugar content can cause you to gain weight, which can lower your testosterone.