Although both men and women produce the hormone testosterone, low testosterone production in men can be especially problematic. Low testosterone (or hypogonadism) symptoms can be subtle, so it’s important to be aware of the signs of and how to reverse the effects if needed.
Testosterone is mainly produced in the testicles in men and plays a key role in sperm production and sex drive. It also helps to build muscle and bone mass. A normal range of production for men is between 300 – 1000 ng/dL. Production peaks at age thirty and typically decreases with age, although when it interferes with daily life, it’s time for medical help.
Signs of low testosterone
Low T signs may include:
• Difficulty achieving erection/spontaneous erections (e.g., during sleep)
• Low semen volume/infertility
• Hair loss – both body and facial
• Fatigue/lack of energy
• Loss of muscle/strength
• Increase in body fat, including enlarged breasts
• Decrease in bone mass
• Depression/irritability/trouble focusing
Doctors will determine if you are suffering from low testosterone through a physical and a blood test. In addition, an MRI scan or CT scan may help rule out a tumor on the pituitary gland. Treatment for men with low testosterone usually involves testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), with testosterone given through injection, patch or gel.
If low testosterone is caused by a tumor, treatment may include radiation or surgery to shrink or remove the tumor. Natural methods to improve testosterone production include getting regular exercise, decreasing sugar intake, adding zinc to the diet (men need 11 mg/day), losing excess weight, and getting a good night’s sleep. There are also testosterone boosting supplements that use all-natural ingredients to promote your body’s hormone production.