9 Signs of Low TestosteroneWhat is the definition of low testosterone Low-T? A low level needs to be investigated further to distinguish it from normal aging. What is low testosterone Low-T? What causes low textosterone Low-T. A decrease in sex drive can develop both due to medical conditions as well as to psychological or emotional issues. Inhibited sexual desire is a type of sexual dysfunction that affects both men and women.
How do I know if I have low testosterone?
Testosterone is crucial for building muscle and fueling your sex drive. But receptors for the hormone actually exist throughout your body, from your brain to your bones to your blood vessels. The good news is, if low T is truly to blame, many of the health side effects of low testosterone can be reversed, or at least improved, with testosterone therapy. Perhaps the best-known, quickest, and most common effect of low T is low libido, says urologist Philip Werthman, M. In fact, nearly every patient who comes to his office with known or suspected low T complains of a lack of sexual appetite.
Besides wanting less sex, men with low T may also masturbate less and report fewer fantasies and erotic dreams. Brain areas involved with sexual desire, including the amygdala, are packed with testosterone receptors, says S. The hormone fits inside them like a lock inside a key, lighting them up to arouse you.
Ample testosterone puts your body in an anabolic, or muscle-building, state by helping your body produce and assemble proteins that form the building blocks of lean mass. When your testosterone levels drop, your body turns catabolic instead, breaking down muscle tissue instead of building it up, Dr. And after a few weeks of low T, you can expect to lose muscle mass, Dr. In fact, in one Japanese study, men with low free testosterone levels—a measure of the amount of hormone available to bind to receptors—had double to triple the risk of muscle loss with aging as those with normal levels.
Without a steady flow of testosterone, the tissues in your penis, scrotum, and testicles can atrophy, or shrivel, says Dr. As a result, your penis might lose length and girth. You may notice your balls shrink, too—they often shrivel to half the size and turn squishy instead of firm, he says. In fact, testosterone therapy in boys with a micropenis can increase their size by up to an inch and a half, according to a study in the Indian Journal of Urology. How To Please a Woman: Visceral fat is the deep abdominal fat that forms around your organs and increases your risk for diabetes and heart disease.
In men, low testosterone may increase the activity of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase, the study authors suspect. This compound drives circulating building blocks called lipids into visceral fat cells, plumping them up. In study from Australia, men whose testosterone levels declined over 5 years also experienced a drop in scores on tests of their mental function and memory. Besides the amygdala, areas of the brain important for memory and attention—such as the cerebrum—also have testosterone receptors.
Some of the side effects of low testosterone—such as sexual dysfunction and weight gain—can bring on the blues. According to research in the Endocrine Journal, 23 percent of young men with newly diagnosed low testosterone met the criteria for depression, compared to only 5 percent of young guys with normal levels of the hormone. Empty testosterone receptors in brain areas linked to mood are likely responsible for your depressed state, Dr. When testosterone levels fall, your bone breaks down faster than your body can build it back up.
The effect of testosterone levels on the risk of heart problems has stoked controversy among experts, Dr. On one side, low levels of testosterone may be linked to heart problems. In fact, one study from the U. This may be because testosterone can help open up blood vessels to the heart, allowing blood to flow more freely. But on the flip side, some studies have suggested that testosterone therapy—especially in older men or those with existing heart conditions—might increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Experts think it may thicken the blood, making a clot more likely. Originally published on menshealth. Health heart men men's health penis testosterone. Remember Me Login Create an account today and benefit from a bunch of awesome things.