If you're an adult man and you're wondering if you have a low testosterone (low T) level, there are some symptoms to look for.
- Lower your energy levels
- Cut your drive to get things done
- Make you more irritable
You may also find it tougher to concentrate. And your risk of depression may rise.
Low testosterone can lead to changes in your body, too. For example, you may:
Low T can also cause osteoporosis, which gradually weakens your bones, leaving them brittle and at risk for breaks.
Testosterone is also important for muscle health. Low T can cause muscle atrophy, which can also lead to increased risk of falling. The heart is a muscle too and needs testosterone.
As testosterone levels drop body fat increases, which can increase the risk for diabetes.
"Men should be aware of these symptoms and think about low testosterone," says endocrinologist Spyros Mezitis, MD, PhD, of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "Physicians have to think about it as well. It remains under-diagnosed and it's not part of a routine checkup."
But these symptoms can also be related to other conditions. Make an appointment with your doctor, who can do some tests to see what's causing your symptoms.
At the Doctor's Office
When you go to the doctor with symptoms of low T, your doctor will:
- Go over your medical history
- Discuss medications you take (prescription and non-prescription)
- Ask you about any family or relationship problems
"We want to look for other possible sources of the symptoms," says Jason Hedges, MD, PhD. Hedges is a urologist at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. "Other things can lead to these symptoms, including your job, stress, and everyday life."