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Symptoms of low testosterone and how to fight it

Testosterone is a body-produced hormone that is primarily produced in male testes. In addition to affecting sexual desire, it also promotes muscle and bone growth. Testosterone naturally decreases with increasing age, but if its level falls below 300 nanograms per decilitre [1], there is a problem

But what are the symptoms of low testosterone and how can we fight them? 

Decreased libido and sexual desire

Testosterone plays a key role in the libido of men, which affects sex drive. It is normal that libido decreases with increasing age. However, men who have reduced testosterone experience a much more drastic reduction in sexual desire. However, testosterone also affects the proper functioning of the erection. Although testosterone alone does not cause erection, it affects brain receptors that produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a molecule that helps trigger a series of chemical reactions needed for erection. If testosterone levels are low, one may have problems with erection during sex or with spontaneous erection (for example, during sleep). [2]

Symptoms of low testosterone and how to fight it

Loss of muscle mass and increased body fat

Since testosterone has an effect on muscle growth, men who have reduced testosterone levels may experience a loss of testosterone. According to the study, it was observed that low testosterone levels in men also lead to increased body fat, with some men it was from 15 to 60%. [3]

Another study was completed in men who had reduced testosterone levels. Its aim was to adjust muscle wasting. Men were given testosterone during a 12-week study. The results of this research have shown a visible improvement in strength, muscle mass growth as well as body fat loss and improved glycemic index. [4]

In addition, low testosterone levels also cause bones to be weaker and gradually thinner and thinner, leading to osteoporosis or higher probability of fractures. [5]

Symptoms of low testosterone and how to fight it

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Changing moods

A study that focused on the behaviour and mood of men with low testosterone has shown that testosterone deficiency can affect them negatively. For example, some men have been found to have a greater tendency to experience depression or mood changes. Some were less concentrated or felt less energy. However, these symptoms may not be exclusively associated with low testosterone levels. For example, anaemia, chronic diseases, or sleep problems may affect them as well. [6]

However, there is an interesting fact that with regularly increased doses of testosterone in men, more aggressive and hostile mood has been demonstrated. [7]

Symptoms of low testosterone and how to fight it

Memory and cardiac activity

Although it has not been shown that reduced testosterone levels negatively affect memory, a study focused on men suffering from its deficiency was conducted. This study administered testosterone to men over 3 weeks which resulted in improved memory and concentration in individuals at the end of the study. [8]

In studies focused on cardiac problems, it was found that in people who had coronary artery disease, a higher dose of testosterone improved the function of endothelial cells, that is, the inner surface of the blood vessels located in the heart. [9]

However, no study directly suggested that decreased testosterone levels could negatively affect cardiac activity or cause heart disease. [10]

Symptoms of low testosterone and how to fight it

What can be the cause of low testosterone and when should you consider a medical examination?

In addition to the age-related natural decrease in testosterone, this decline can also hide the diseases or diagnoses you should be aware of. The most common cause of testosterone reduction is type II diabetes, obesity, chronic liver and pituitary problems, testicular clotting, or tumours. Testosterone levels can also be significantly reduced in the treatment of cancer with chemotherapy. However, steroid medications can also cause the decline or instability of testosterone. [11]

Symptoms of low testosterone and how to fight it

In addition to the above-mentioned diagnoses, you should also test your testosterone levels if [12]:

  • you have erection problems
  • you have decreased appetite for sex or even dislike
  • you have a reduced amount of sperm associated with ejaculation problems
  • you have experienced a rapid loss of muscle, hair or weight

How to fight low testosterone levels?

If you have found problems that worry you in the aforementioned points, you do not have to stress yourself immediately. If you are among people with reduced testosterone, it is not necessary to see a doctor if you have no long-term problems. However, we do not claim that you should neglect prevention. Fortunately, as a simple solution, there are supplements that act as stimulants to naturally increase testosterone levels.

Symptoms of low testosterone and how to fight it

What are the possibilities of testosterone supplementation?

Nowadays, you can choose from several options to supplement testosterone:

  • Testosterone injections [13] – this method is one of the less pleasant, you inject once every 2-4 weeks after agreement with your doctor. However, your testosterone level may not be stable between these periods.
  • Testosterone gels / patches [14] are directly applied on the skin, thus the testosterone is absorbed into the body. They are used every day and therefore testosterone levels are balanced and maintained. However, they may cause annoying itching or allergic reactions in some people.
  • Testosterone tablets [15] are usually taken every 12 hours to gradually release testosterone to the body. These symptoms, however, should gradually disappear over time.
Symptoms of low testosterone and how to fight it

However, in addition to this basic distribution of testosterone supplementation, there are several other options:

  • Maca, otherwise called Peruvian ginseng, is a medicinal plant that positively affects hormone levels. It also has a beneficial effect on the increase of libido and increases the amount and quality of sperm, development of which is influenced by testosterone. It is also known as a natural alternative to anabolic steroids. [16]
  • D-Aspartic Acid (DAA) is a highly potent substance that naturally stimulates testosterone production and acts efficiently on muscle growth. It is also considered to be one of the most effective anabolics because it is able to rapidly increase testosterone levels in the blood. [17]
  • Tribulus terrestris is a powerful herb extract of Tribulus that contains a high amount of saponin. Saponin is an active substance that promotes and increases testosterone levels. At the same time, however, it greatly increases physical fitness and positively affects sexual desire. Saponins are able to transform into steroid hormones or steroid parahormones with anabolic effect. [18]

We believe you have learned through this article what the causes of testosterone decline are and how to deal with them. If you like the article or know someone who is suffering from reduced testosterone, share this article and raise awareness of this issue.

Sources:

[1] Low testosteron – http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/low-testosterone

[2] Samantha Huo,Anthony R. Scialli,Sean McGarvey, Elizabeth Hill, Buğra Tügertimur, Alycia Hogenmiller,Alessandra I. Hirsch, and Adriane Fugh-Berman, - Treatment of Men for “Low Testosterone”: A Systematic Review - PLoS One. 2016 - dostupné online – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5031462

[3] Srinivas-Shankar, Roberts SA, Connolly MJ, O'Connell MD, Adams JE, Oldham JA, Wu FC. - Effects of testosterone on muscle strength, physical function, body composition, and quality of life in intermediate-frail and frail elderly men: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 - dostupné online – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20061435/

[4] Caminiti, Volterrani M, Iellamo F, Marazzi G, Massaro R, Miceli M, Mammi C, Piepoli M, Fini M, Rosano GM. - Effect of long-acting testosterone treatment on functional exercise capacity, skeletal muscle performance, insulin resistance, and baroreflex sensitivity in elderly patients with chronic heart failure a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2009 - dostupné online – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19712802

[5] English KM, Steeds RP, Jones TH, Diver MJ, Channer KS. - Low-dose transdermal testosterone therapy improves angina threshold in men with chronic stable angina: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Circulation. 2000 - dostupné online – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11034937

[6] Anderson RA, Bancroft J, Wu FC. - The effects of exogenous testosterone on sexuality and mood of normal men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1992 - dostupné online – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1464655

[7] O'Connor, Archer J, Wu FC. - Effects of testosterone on mood, aggression, and sexual behavior in young men: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 - dostupné online – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15181066

[8] Kenny, Fabregas G, Song C, Biskup B, Bellantonio S. - Effects of testosterone on behavior, depression, and cognitive function in older men with mild cognitive loss. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2004 - dostupné online – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14718489

[9] Ong, Patrizi G, Chong WC, Webb CM, Hayward CS, Collins P. - Testosterone enhances flow-mediated brachial artery reactivity in men with coronary artery disease. Am J Cardiol. 2000 - dostupné online – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10955392

[10] Wu, Weng. - Therapeutic effects of an androgenic preparation on myocardial ischemia and cardiac function in 62 elderly male coronary heart disease patients. Chin Med J (Engl). 1993 - dostupné online – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8222891

[11] Howell, Radford, Adams, Smets, Warburton R, Shalet SM. - Randomized placebo-controlled trial of testosterone replacement in men with mild Leydig cell insufficiency following cytotoxic chemotherapy. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2001 - dostupné online – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11589674

[12] Low testosterone overview – https://www.webmd.com/men/ss/slideshow-low-testosterone-overview

[13] Generic Name: Testosterone Cypionate Injection (tes TOS ter ohn) - Uses of Testosterone Cypionate Injection - dostupné online – https://www.drugs.com/cdi/testosterone-cypionate-injection.html

[14] Testosterone Gel In Metered-Dose Pump – https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-1611-3116/testosterone-transdermal/testosterone-gel-transdermal/details

[15] TESTOSTERONE - testosterone, tablet Apotheca Company - dostupné online – https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/fda/fdaDrugXsl.cfm?setid=59390fa8-fd99-4c00-948b-3e202ce58e7c&type=display7

[16] Maca libido energy – http://rawganik.com/studies/MacaLibidoEnergy.pdf

[17] D'Aniello A - D-Aspartic acid: an endogenous amino acid with an important neuroendocrine role. Brain Res Rev. 2007 - dostupné online – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17118457

[18] Sengupta, Hazra, Kundu, Ghosh - Comparison of Murraya koenigii- and Tribulus terrestris-based oral formulation versus tamsulosin in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia in men aged >50 years: a double-blind, double-dummy, randomized controlled trial. Clin Ther. 2011 - dostupné online – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22177370