Testosterone is the hormone that can cause men the most problems as they age. Dropping testosterone levels can usher in a number of health complaints that range from mild to very serious. Despite this, most men don’t get treated—or even tested—for low testosterone. And, if you think it’s a rare occurrence, it’s not. As many as four million men may be deficient in the hormone.
The best health advice would be to get your levels checked at the doctor’s office because you want to make sure that you don’t run into trouble with some of the more serious side effects of low testosterone. According to researchers at the University of Western Australia, studies have reported associations between low testosterone levels and health outcomes in aging men. These health outcomes can be summarized into five risk categories:
— Reduced sexual ability
— Insulin resistance
— Cardiovascular events (including heart attack)
— Increased mortality
This hormone is one of the most potent forces in male health. Testosterone regulates male sexual development and body composition during puberty. In adulthood, testosterone levels may start to drop and cause noticeable changes in muscular strength, libido, and bone strength. One of the first clues that you may be low in the hormone is a reduction in body hair. If you don’t have to shave nearly as much as you used to, it could be your testosterone levels; in other words, slower beard growth equals a drop in hormones.
As for libido, while the majority of sexual problems are triggered by vascular issues, almost a quarter can be attributed to low testosterone. Erectile dysfunction is common in men who don’t have enough of the hormone. Low testosterone can also trigger a decrease in mood, energy, and sexual desire.
Talk to your doctor about getting your hormone levels checked. You may fall into the category where supplementation can help you resolve any symptoms. Testosterone can’t be measured directly—you’ll probably need to get two measurements. One measures bound and free testosterone together, while the other measures testosterone bound to proteins. The second number is then subtracted from the first. It’s not an entirely accurate measure of testosterone, but it will give a pretty good estimate of where your levels fall on the scale.
For some health advice about how to naturally boost your testosterone levels, read the article This Natural Mineral Could Boost Testosterone.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
Maintaining the One Essential Hormone for Men’s Health
Yeap, B.B., et al., “Do low testosterone levels contribute to ill-health during male aging?” Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. October 24, 2012.