Do you feel like you’re always weak and tired? Is your sex drive gone, or are you suffering from erectile dysfunction? These are symptoms that are difficult for many men to admit to experiencing but answering “yes” to these questions could be a sign that you have low testosterone.
If you do, it may be comforting to know that you’re not alone. While few men talk about it, low testosterone affects more than 5 million men between the ages of 30 and 80 across the globe. These men experience unwanted symptoms like lower libido, weakening muscles, and even depression. But how do you know if you officially have low testosterone?
According to urologist and reproductive medicine/sexual health expert Ali Dabaja, M.D., the best way to find out is to educate yourself on this condition.
Identifying The Symptoms Of Low Testosterone
Low testosterone is associated with multiple signs and symptoms, including:
- Body hair loss (including on your face)
- Breast enlargement (gynecomastia)
- Decreased bone density and muscle mass
- Lower libido
- Decreased sperm counts
- Hot flashes
- Increased body fat
- Reduced mental concentration
- Soft and small testicles
When To Talk To Your Doctor About Testosterone Levels
The only way to officially receive a low testosterone diagnosis is to visit your doctor. They will provide specific screening for the problem and help you decide on the best next steps. Make sure your doctor provides an emphasis on safety when screening and recommending treatment.
Your symptoms will be evaluated and your doctor will conduct blood tests to examine your levels of:
- Free testosterone (not bound to any proteins) and total testosterone
- Other hormones, including the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and estradiol.
Your doctor will want to rule out any underlying health condition that may contribute to lower testosterone levels (such as obesity or type 2 diabetes).
Another approach may be to implement a healthier lifestyle with regular exercise and a well-rounded diet. One study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that men who participated in moderate-intensity exercise for more than three-and-a-half hours per week had improvement in their testosterone levels.
The bottom line is this: If you are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone, see your doctor. He or she will be able to fully determine the cause of your symptoms and recommend the right treatment approach.
To find a doctor or make an appointment, visit henryford.com or call 1-800-436-7936.
Dr. Ali Dabaja is a urologist specializing in a reproductive medicine and sexual health with the Henry Ford Vattikuti Urology Institute.