Testosterone levels in the body – men and women – naturally and gradually decrease with age, leading to reduced sex drive, decreased muscle mass and strength, depressed mood, decreased bone mineral density, and anemia.
Testosterone levels are at their peak around 18 or 19 years of age. According to the American Urological Association (AUA), the average testosterone level for a man is at least 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). Any level below 300ng/dL may be diagnosed with low testosterone. Depending on what type of laboratory method is used to determine the testosterone level, the normal testosterone values may vary slightly.
According to Mayo Clinic Laboratories, normal testosterone levels for women aged 19 and above range from 8 to 60 ng/dL.
What happens when testosterone levels decrease?
There is a range of symptoms associated with declining testosterone levels. Here’s what you need to know when this hormone drops below par.
- Difficulty achieving an erection
While testosterone might be one of the many factors that influence a man’s ability for an adequate erection, it has aided in achieving and maintaining an erection. Other health-related problems can also cause erectile difficulties, such as thyroid issues, diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol, alcohol, anxiety, stress, and high blood pressure.
- Low sex and semen volume
While aging may decrease a man’s sex drive, those with low testosterone levels experience a further decrease. Additionally, they also produce less semen during ejaculation.
- Decrease in energy levels
Men with low levels of this hormone may struggle with maintaining high energy levels. They’ll experience extreme fatigue most of the time, despite getting the right amount of daily sleep, lowering their motivation to commit to a proper exercise regime.
- Decrease in muscle mass and increased body fat
There is a noticeable decrease in muscle as testosterone levels decline. However, this doesn’t necessarily affect strength or function. At the same time, men may also experience an increase in fat mass, leading to gynecomastia or enlarged breast tissue. This enlargement usually happens due to the disrupted balance between testosterone and estrogen levels in men.
- Changes in mood and memory
Lower testosterone levels are associated with irritability, depression, and lack of focus. Mood and mental capacity are affected along with memory issues. It is advisable to do testosterone testing to diagnose and pursue proper treatment.
Doctors have found a connection between low testosterone levels and low blood count in men. When administering testosterone gel to anemic men, blood count improvements were observed.
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