As a man, you might not give much thought to your hormone balance. And why would you? Unlike a woman, your hormones likely don’t produce noticeable patterns. However, if you don’t have enough testosterone, you’re at risk for health problems like diabetes, osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease.
Here are five things to know about low testosterone in men.
It can produce sexual side effects.
Testosterone plays a key role in sex drive. If you have too little of this hormone, you’ll likely find you have a significantly lower sex drive as well as difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection.
It naturally decreases as you age.
Not surprisingly, men have much higher testosterone levels than women. Once a man passes age 30, his testosterone production decreases at about 1 percent per year.
It can cause physical changes, too.
Although most people think of testosterone as a male-only hormone mainly responsible for sex drive, if you have too little of it, you may notice changes in your body, too. Too little testosterone can cause decreased body fat and muscle mass as well as decreased body hair, fatigue and hot flashes.
It can disrupt your sleep.
Low testosterone can cause insomnia and other sleep disturbances and it can make you feel completely depleted of energy. Another sign: You still feel tired after a night’s rest or a nap. Getting plenty of rest, eating healthy, getting regular exercise and treating any other conditions can help give you more energy. In addition to feeling tired, you may find you have lost your initiative or drive to do things you enjoy.
It can make you moody.
You may feel down or blue of you have low testosterone. Or your friends or family may notice you are more irritable than usual.
Treatment for low testosterone can involve hormone replacement methods or natural options like weight loss and exercise.
If you suspect your testosterone levels may be too low — or if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms and they worry you — talk to your doctor. He or she will likely order a blood test to test your levels of the hormone.