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Low testosterone levels can occur in men of any age, with drops in testosterone generally occurring after age 40. There are a number of symptoms associated with reduced testosterone production, of which the most common is probably sexual dysfunction. A doctor can diagnose low testosterone with the use of a blood test to check on levels of this hormone, and the treatment is testosterone replacement therapy, which can be administered by injection, gel, or patch.
Low testosterone symptoms can onset slowly and subtly, which sometimes makes them difficult for men to identify. In addition to changes in sex drive, many men also experience fatigue, muscle weakness, and reduced athletic performance. An athletic endeavor like running or biking which used to be easy and enjoyable might become difficult as a result of low testosterone, for example, with endurance in particular declining as a result of reduced testosterone production. Tasks around the house can also become more difficult as a result of muscle weakness and lack of endurance.
Other low testosterone symptoms include the loss of muscle tissue and the accumulation of fat, which leads to weight gain and may cause discomfort. Men also tend to lose bone mass as a result of low testosterone levels, which can lead to an increased risk of fractures. Although many people associate fractures with menopausal women, fractures are also one of the common low testosterone symptoms, occurring in many men as they age.
Depression, sleep disorders, and mood changes are also low testosterone symptoms. Men may feel irritable, frustrated, or unhappy for no clear reason. Cardiovascular problems including an increased risk of heart disease are low testosterone symptoms of serious concern which can appear in some men. While some older men may dismiss these symptoms as being the natural result of aging, they are definitely a cause for concern in younger men, and men of any ages can take steps to ease low testosterone symptoms, which will help them feel more comfortable.
If a man develops low testosterone symptoms, he should discuss them with his regular doctor, who can conduct a test to check hormone levels or refer the patient to an endocrinologist. The endocrinologist can develop a treatment plan for low testosterone which may include hormone replacement therapy or additional testing to find out why a man's testosterone production is declining. Low testosterone is not just a quality of life issue; as illustrated above, drops in testosterone levels can lead to health problems for men which may reduce life span and cause significant increases in medical expenses.
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