Low Test Levels – Understanding Low Testosterone

by Cheryl Powers

A drop in testosterone levels can cause a man to feel like he is beginning to get old. As a man begins to experience a drop in testosterone, he will begin to experience many of the common signs of aging like irritability, lethargy, sexual dysfunction, and possibly even mood swings. Many experts believe that most, if not all, of these can be treated by bring testosterone back up to more youthful levels. Of course, in order to determine whether or not a man has low test levels will be necessary for a doctor to perform a blood test in addition to a complete physical examination.

Low Test Levels

Testosterone levels can vary quite a bit from one day to the next and can even fluctuate from one season to another. Because of this, it is not enough for a physician to merely do a blood test. Instead, a physician will perform a full physical examination and may even test to see if the pituitary gland is functioning properly. A decrease in testosterone is a normal part of aging, especially once a man reaches age 35 to 40. At this age, low test levels can increase by as much as 1% each year.

Before an individual discusses whether or not they are suffering from low test levels with their physician, they may begin to notice some of the most common symptoms associated with a drop in testosterone. These symptoms include an increased amount of belly fat, testicular shrinkage, loss of energy and stamina and a loss of muscle mass, especially in the arms and legs. Perhaps the most disturbing part of a drop in testosterone is the fact that a man will begin to experience a diminished sex drive. Some individuals also experience erectile dysfunction, numbness in the genitals and difficulty achieving orgasm.

low test levels can be caused by aging and obesity, an injury to the testicles, certain infectious diseases, an excess amount of iron in the blood and inflammatory diseases. Chemotherapy and radiation treatment as well as performance boosting drugs and certain pain and hormonal medications can also cause testosterone levels to drop off dramatically. Low testosterone is generally treated with testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, which will involve taking testosterone as an injection, a pill, gel, patch or cream. Taking testosterone in its oral form can cause an increase in cholesterol and even lead to heart and liver problems. Fortunately for men experiencing low test levels, there are a variety of treatment options available.