As many as 40% of adult males suffer from testosterone deficiency or “low T.” Yet many symptoms of low T are overlooked, partly because many people think testosterone only affects sexual function.
While testosterone certainly plays a major role in sexual function and male development, it has a lot of other functions, too. That means when your levels of testosterone are low, you can wind up with many different symptoms, including ones that have nothing to do with sex.
Treating patients at his offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, New York, Alfred Shtainer, MD, FACS, helps patients at Adult and Pediatric Urology recognize low T symptoms so they can get the treatment they need to feel better. Here are eight low T symptoms he wants you to know about.
1. Erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is perhaps the most well-known effect associated with low testosterone. Testosterone plays an important role in sexual health, including erections. Of course, low testosterone isn’t the only cause of erectile dysfunction; lots of other factors can play a role, too. If you’re having difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection, consider having your testosterone measured as an important first step for treatment.
2. Decreased interest in sex
Testosterone also plays a role in your libido or sexual desire. In fact, low libido is another fairly well-known symptom associated with low T. This is a symptom that can take a toll on your life and your partner’s, too.
3. Low energy
Everyone feels a little tired from time to time, especially after a particularly busy or active day. But if you feel fatigued or “worn down” regularly, low levels of testosterone could be to blame. In fact, chronic fatigue is one of the more common symptoms of low T. You may also find you have less motivation to get things done at work or around the house.
4. Reduced muscle mass
Testosterone also plays a role in muscle mass. When your testosterone level declines, you may notice a loss of strength and find it more difficult to build strength with regular workouts, too.
5. Irritability or moodiness
Most people think of hormone-related mood changes as a symptom of menopause or a decline in estrogen. But low levels of testosterone can have the same effect in men, causing issues like irritability and even depression.
6. Extra weight gain
While low T contributes to a loss of muscle mass, it has the opposite effect on body fat. Testosterone plays a role in metabolism — the way your body converts calories to energy. When testosterone levels drop, you tend to pack on more pounds — and it’s harder to lose that extra weight, too.
7. Problems concentrating or “brain fog”
A little forgetfulness is pretty common with age. But if you have memory problems regularly, it might be time to have your testosterone levels checked. Low T can also cause “brain fog” or problems with focusing or concentrating.
Anemia is a problem that happens when you have a low red blood cell count. Your red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to every part of your body. Research shows men who have low T are more prone to anemia, which could also contribute to fatigue, irritability, and problems with memory.
Testosterone treatment for low T
Low T affects every man differently, which calls for a custom treatment plan. Dr. Shtainer tailors every patient’s therapy based on symptoms, health, lab test results, and other factors for optimal results.
To find out if low T is causing your symptoms — and how we can help — book an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Shtainer and our team at Adult and Pediatric Urology today.