Once your testosterone levels drop, you’ll start to show low testosterone symptoms. You might be low on energy. Or your sex drive might be lacking.
There are many symptoms of low testosterone levels in men. Below, you’ll find a list of all of them. But before you straight away scroll down to see if you show any of them, here’s some good news for you:
Most low testosterone symptoms can be treated. And you rarely have to see a doctor for them. So once you know your symptoms, you can start to solve the problem.
Below, you’ll learn all about the symptoms of low testosterone, as well as the best treatment options, like testosterone therapy. Find out if you show any of these. And what you can do to get rid of them.
What is low testosterone?
I’ll share the full list of low testosterone symptoms with you in a bit.
But first, let’s quickly look at what testosterone is, why your testosterone levels decline, and how low means low.
What is testosterone, and why does it decline?
Testosterone (T) is a hormone found in both men and women. It is more common in men, where it’s produced in the testicles.
It is often called the male sex hormone. It is responsible for many (physical) characteristics seen as ‘manly’.
Once you hit puberty, testosterone production significantly increases. This changes your body in many ways. It awakens your sex drive, promotes muscle growth, and kickstarts sperm production – to name a few.
Also read: Testosterone levels by age
Testosterone is what turns you from a boy into a full-grown man. But as you grow older, you’ll notice a new change.
Your T levels slowly start to drop. You probably won’t realize it at first. But the older you get, the lower your testosterone levels become.
Right down to the point of a testosterone deficiency (TD), which we tend to call low testosterone. Other names include low-T and hypogonadism.
What is considered low testosterone?
Your T-levels are probably lower than those of your 20-year old cousin. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you suffer from a testosterone deficiency.
To find out if you do, you need to know what counts as a healthy testosterone level.
Your testosterone levels are measured in nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) of blood serum testosterone (e.g., the amount of T circulating in your blood).
According to one extensive study, which analyzed levels of testosterone in over 9,000 men aged 19 to 39, a normal range of testosterone is 264 to 916 ng/dL.
This suggests that anything below 264 ng/dL counts as low testosterone, while anything above 916 ng/dL counts as high testosterone.
Suggested read: Signs of high testosterone in men >>
However, most medical professionals now follow the official testosterone deficiency guidelines of the American Urological Association (AUA).
In the guidelines, low testosterone is diagnosed in men when total testosterone levels are below 300 ng/dL.
How common is low testosterone?
This is a difficult question to answer.
You see, not all men with low T, or who show symptoms of low testosterone, will recognize it as such. They might think they’re just getting old.
That said, there are some estimates out there. Research suggests that less than 1% of young men may have low T, while as much as 50% of men over 80 show signs of low T. For the entire male population, the number is estimated at around 2.1%.
The same study estimates that testosterone levels decline about 100 ng/dL every 10 years beyond age 30.
So now you know how common it is to have low testo levels, let’s have a look at the actual low testosterone symptoms you might experience.
12 signs and symptoms of low testosterone in men
So what happens when a man has low levels of testosterone?
Well, as your testosterone level decreases, you’ll start to notice a range of bodily changes. Below, you’ll find the 12 most common signs of low testosterone in men.
1. Increased body fat
For many men, this straight away counts as one of the most annoying symptoms.
Low T in men can increase body fat. This is because a testosterone deficiency can reduce fat oxidation and energy expenditure, as explained in this study.
On top of that, low testosterone often causes more fat, especially in the chest area.
This tends to be the result of a drop in testosterone accompanied by a rise in estrogen levels. Estrogen (E) is often labeled as the female sex hormone.
This hormonal imbalance between T and E may cause men to develop enlarged breast tissue, called gynecomastia.
Suggested read: How to get rid of gynecomastia >>
2. Decreased muscle mass
Testosterone is crucial in the muscle-building process. Multiple studies, like this one, have shown how low T may cause a decrease in muscle mass.
You’ll show signs of muscle weakness, and you’ll experience what’s called catabolism, or muscle wasting.
You will also notice a loss of strength and cardiovascular output. Simple jobs like walking up a flight of steps while carrying a bag of groceries will cause you to get out of breath. And you will notice that you can’t lift as much weight in the gym.
So while your body fat increases, your muscle mass decreases. And those are just the first two…
As you go through this full list of symptoms of low testosterone, you’ll notice how most of them are closely related. Which brings us to number three.
3. Lower energy levels
A common sign in men with low levels of testosterone is a lack of energy. If you suffer from low test levels, you’ll feel sluggish and tired.
In severe cases, low T can result in extreme fatigue. This lack of energy can negatively affect other areas of your life as well.
You may struggle to motivate yourself to stay active. You may also notice less stamina and endurance during your workouts. In fact, you may even see it in the bedroom…
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll get to the effect of low T on your sex life in a bit.
So as your energy levels drop and your muscle mass dwindles, exercising becomes harder and harder.
What you want to specifically look for is getting tired when you do things that shouldn’t be causing you to get tired. Compare this to times when you were younger.
For example, if you’ve worked at your job for 20 years, followed the same routine, followed the same diet plan, and recently recognized that you are getting exhausted in the middle of the afternoon, your levels might be low.
If you feel so tired daily that you can lie down and take a nap at any given moment, it’s an even bigger indicator.
4. Decreased bone mass
I’m afraid the deterioration of your physique continues…
Your T is essential in the production and maintenance of your bones. As explained in this study, low levels are often seen as the most crucial cause of the loss of bone mass in (elderly) men.
This condition is called osteoporosis, and it affects your bone health, effectively thinning your bones.
5. Loss of hair
So far, you’ve learned how T is needed for the production of muscles and bones, but did you know it’s also required for your hair?
One of the leading low testosterone symptoms is a loss of hair. This can happen all over your body, from your head going bald to your chest losing hair to a reduction in facial hair.
6. Reduced blood counts
Research suggests that low T increases the risk of low blood counts or anemia.
This is a result of decreased hemoglobin levels. It’s particularly common in older men over 65.
The study treated men who suffered from anemia with a testosterone treatment (more on possible treatment options below). The researchers witnessed a significant improvement due to the increase in testosterone levels.
7. Smaller testicles
Ok, we’re now moving into the intimate area, and how lower T may affect your sex organs and your sex life. First up, your testicles.
Testosterone helps develop your penis and testicles. So it should come as no surprise that less T may result in smaller testicles. The same may be true for your penis size.
Of course, T is not the only thing determining the size of your D. But it can be a contributing factor.
8. Low sex drive
I hinted at this earlier, but one of the most common symptoms of low testosterone in men is a lack of sex drive.
It’s another telltale sign that your testosterone levels might be low. You may lose interest in sex, show low or no libido, or have trouble achieving or maintaining an erection.
They don’t call testosterone the dominant male sex hormone for nothing…
Suggested read: How to increase libido in men >>
9. Erectile dysfunction
Another regular sign of low testosterone is a decrease in erectile function. In other words, the ability to achieve or maintain an erection.
This is due to the role of testosterone in nitric oxide production. Testosterone promotes nitric oxide (NO) production by stimulating specific receptors in your brain. Nitric oxide, in turn, is a crucial ingredient in producing erections.
Do note that erectile function is influenced by a wide range of factors, testosterone being just one.
If you have erectile dysfunction, I advise you to consult with your doctor first before trying to solve your problem with any of the suggested low testosterone treatment options below.
10. Decreased semen volume
Sticking to the topic of sex for one more; on to sign number ten.
You may experience a decrease in semen volume due to low testosterone levels. This is because testosterone is part of the production of semen. As such, low T decreases semen volume.
Now, you’re almost at the end of this full list of low testosterone symptoms.
You’ve seen the effects on your physique, now let’s have a quick look at the psychological signs of low T.
11. Changes in mood
Many men witness mood changes, and (yes, we have them too) mood swings.
Studies have shown that lower levels of testosterone cause men to feel more irritable, down, and lackluster. It may even cause depression. This is because T helps regulate your mood.
You might know how dopamine and serotonin are known as the happy hormones. They are neurotransmitters that get released naturally and when you eat certain foods.
Now, although testosterone is not known as a happy hormone per se, it is still essential for regulating mood.
If you find yourself getting mad at irrelevant things, having a short temper that you never had before, or getting depressed easily over something that didn’t use to phase you, then you might have low T-levels.
You might also encounter mood swings, anxiety, and a lack of interest in hobbies or things that once got you excited. Quite frankly, you might lose some of that lust for life.
12. Loss of memory
Last but not least, your memory may be affected by the amount of serum testosterone in your blood.
As you know, memory loss is a regular sign of getting old. Some researchers suggest that this decrease in cognitive function may be related to a decline in T-levels. However, at this stage, still more research is needed on this topic.
And there you have it: The 12 most common low testosterone symptoms!
But before I share the available treatment options with you below, let’s quickly look at some other potential causes for your symptoms.
Other potential causes
Many of the symptoms described above are not just related to low testosterone.
Although they are some of the most regular signs men notice, they can be related to other causes. Such causes might also work hand-in-hand with a decline in testosterone levels.
Other reasons why you might show any of the symptoms mentioned above include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Alcohol abuse
- Problems with your pituitary gland
- Testicular injury or testicular cancer
- Side effects caused by a particular medication
These are just a few of the potential causes of the symptoms described above. Some of these causes may simultaneously lower your testosterone levels as well (take alcohol use, for example).
So if you notice any or more of the symptoms described above, it’s always advisable to speak to your doctor first before drawing any conclusions.
Low testosterone treatment options
So you show some of the symptoms above, and you’re quite sure it’s low T. What now?
Luckily for you, there are several treatment options to try. I’ll list them all shortly below.
I’d recommend you first try the lifestyle changes and natural solutions before resorting to any type of invasive treatment or therapy. When unsure, you should always consult with your doctor first.
1. Exercise and lose weight
Do your symptoms include excess body fat, lower energy levels, decreased muscle mass, or reduced erectile function?
Then getting into shape might be enough to boost your T levels again. Weight loss and an active lifestyle have been shown to slow the decline of testosterone levels in men. In fact, they may even help raise them!
If you want to know more, check out these two articles:
2. Change your diet
Closely related to the previous low testosterone treatment: Changing your diet.
First of all, you can change your nutritional intake to lose weight.
Second, you can cater your diet to your testosterone needs. What do I mean by that?
You see, there are certain foods you can eat that can either raise or lower your testosterone levels. By picking the right foods (like with this testosterone-boosting diet), you can prevent those low T symptoms and naturally increase your T.
3. Add natural supplements
As part of this new and healthy T-boosting diet, you can take a natural supplement like TestoGen.
TestoGen is a 100% natural and safe testosterone booster. It contains eleven all-natural, effective, and carefully researched ingredients that have been shown to help you naturally increase your testosterone levels.
Since it’s entirely made of natural ingredients, this nutritional supplement is side effect free and can easily be added to your daily routine as part of any healthy diet.
4. Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)
As a last resort, you may want to consider testosterone therapy. To be eligible for this treatment, you will need to speak to your doctor.
This low testosterone treatment is for men who experience a definite impact on their quality of life and health. During this treatment, you will be given synthetic testosterone to help raise your body’s blood serum testosterone levels.
You can receive TRT in multiple ways, including via:
- Injections directly inside your muscles
- Pellets under your skin
- Topical creams or gels
- Transdermal patches
Replacement therapy is effective, although some research indicates it might increase the risk of prostate cancer. However, other studies have found no increased risk whatsoever.
Furthermore, this treatment for low testosterone may cause side effects like oily skin, retention of fluid, or decreased sperm production.
Always consult your doctor first before resorting to an invasive treatment like TRT.
Healthy testosterone levels are crucial for a man’s wellbeing. As your T-levels dwindle, you may start to notice some unwanted changes.
As you’ve seen, the list of low testosterone symptoms is long and daunting. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available as well.
If you notice any of the low T signs, you can start with some lifestyle changes and natural solutions. As a last resort, you can always consider replacement therapy.
Either way, you don’t have to live with the symptoms of low testosterone for the rest of your life.