Testosterone is a hormone produced by both men and women. Symptoms of low testosterone can be devastating for both. This is your comprehensive guide to testosterone and what it’s all about.
Men produce it in larger amounts. Therefore, levels drop with age but kidney or liver disease, alcoholism, and being overweight can also cause testosterone levels to drop.
Men with low testosterone might experience feeling tired, have a low sex drive, gain weight, feel depressed, and have low self-esteem.
Women might also experience these symptoms but it’s harder to detect low testosterone as women’s hormones fluctuate often.
A healthy lifestyle can help boost testosterone levels or testosterone replacement therapy may be recommended by your healthcare professional.
This guide will cover the following topics:
- Symptoms of low testosterone
- Causes of low testosterone
- Testing your testosterone levels
- How to maintain or boost your testosterone levels
- What is testosterone?
- Testosterone is a sex hormone (androgen), it’s sometimes called a “male” hormone.
- Women also produce testosterone, but in much lower amounts.
- Testosterone helps control many important processes in the body.
Testosterone in men
Even before birth, testosterone is already there helping reproductive organs (penis and testicles) to develop. During puberty, the effects of testosterone are easy to see. It’s responsible for:
- body hair development
- deepening of the voice
Throughout life, testosterone helps control:
- Sex drive (libido)
- bone density
- muscle mass and strength
- sperm production and fertility
- red blood cell production
- Testosterone may also affect behaviour. For example, it’s linked to aggression, dominance, competitiveness, and self-esteem.
Testosterone in women
Even though women don’t produce as much testosterone, it still plays a really important role. It helps control:
- red blood cell production
- sex drive
- hormones that control menstrual periods
Symptoms of low testosterone
Low testosterone can have a wide range of symptoms between men and women..
Common symptoms of low testosterone in men include:
- low sex drive
- insulin resistance — increasing the risk of diabetes
- erectile dysfunction
- weight gain, especially around the stomach
- lack of body hair
- excess breast tissue
- low muscle mass
Common symptoms of low testosterone in women include:
- low sex drive
- irregular menstrual periods
Low testosterone might also lead to mood and mental health issues in both men and women.
For example, low levels are linked to depression, insomnia, lack of motivation, poor memory, and concentration issues.
Causes of low testosterone
In men, it’s normal for testosterone levels to drop with age. From the age of 30 years, testosterone levels drop about 1% every year. But low levels can also be caused by:
- being overweight or obese
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- pituitary or hypothalamic issues
- damage to the testicles
In women, testosterone levels also drop with age. But low levels can also be caused by:
- oral contraception (birth control or “the pill”)
- ovarian issues
How to test your testosterone levels affordably
You can test your testosterone levels with a Lab Me home finger-prick blood test. This test is usually done in the morning when testosterone levels are at their highest. You can view our test for males here: Executive Men’s Wellness Check or Men’s Wellness Check.
If you are a female wanting to check your testosterone contact us and we will get you started.
Contact us here.
Normal testosterone levels in men are between:
8.64-29 nmol/L in 24-49 year olds
6.68-25.7 nmol/L in >50 year olds
Normal testosterone levels in women are between:
How to ramp up your testosterone
There are lots of natural methods you can try to boost your testosterone levels. Or sometimes a doctor might prescribe testosterone replacement therapy.
Natural testosterone boosters for symptoms of low testosterone
Get enough exercise. Therefore, exercise, especially weight-training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT), can boost your testosterone levels.
Secondly, eat a balanced diet that includes enough carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Yo-yo dieting, overeating, and too much alcohol can lower your testosterone levels.
Finally, manage your stress levels. Long-term (chronic) stress causes your cortisol levels to jump up, which lowers your testosterone levels. Mindfulness, breathing exercises, and yoga are all great ways to lower your stress.
You can test your cortisol levels with testosterone with the Lab Me Men’s Executive Health Test.
Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D — this might mean taking a supplement in the winter or if you spend a lot of time indoors. Also, make sure to get enough of the mineral zinc.
You can test your cortisol & Vitamin D levels with testosterone with the Lab Me Men’s Executive Health Test
Herbal supplements like ashwagandha and ginger extract might also help to boost testosterone levels. You should always get advice from a health professional before starting, particularly if you’re on any medication.
Testosterone replacement therapy
If you are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone, you may be prescribed TRT. testosterone replacement therapy means getting synthetic testosterone through an injection, gel or patch. This can help increase muscle mass and sex drive. But there are some side effects like oily skin and fluid retention.
Sometimes the testicles can shrink and sperm production can decrease but this is reversible and can be managed by your healthcare professional using specific medications. If you take it long-term, it might increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
I hope this guide has helped you understand symptoms of low testosterone, what it means and what can be done about it. Please feel free to share your comments.
This therapy should never be done without supervision from a health professional.
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