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Five Signs of Low Testosterone

Testosterone is a hormone typically known for its effects on the male body. And while it’s a chemical produced by both men and women, it regulates functions in male bodies throughout their lifetime. It helps with everything from growth spurts and voice changes during puberty to affecting sex drive, red blood cells, bone density, and muscle strength. So a slowdown in production of testosterone screws with the body balance in a variety of ways.

Dr. Mark Kelly, in Santa Monica, California, has decades of expertise helping patients manage their problems with low testosterone.

Testosterone contributes to a lot more than just a man’s sex drive or aggression. It builds muscle and bone mass and directly affects the physical appearance. The chances of dealing with low levels of testosterone increase as you reach age 60 and over. Here are some signs of low testosterone:

Low sex drive

While not the only factor in libido, testosterone is key in sex drive as far back as puberty. A decline in production will lead to lack of interest in sex. Sleep deprivation, stress, and medical issues can also affect libido as we age, but if testosterone levels get low enough, the sex drive will diminish. This will also lead to a decrease in semen production.

Erectile dysfunction

While hormones alone don’t create erections, they do stimulate brain receptors to produce nitric oxide. This chemical triggers a series of reactions that help produce an erection. A reduction in hormones can lead to trouble with getting an erection or having spontaneous erections at odd times (like during sleep). Erectile dysfunction can also be caused by other means (diabetes, heart disease, thyroid problems, and stress), but as you age, the chances of low testosterone playing a part increase.

Hair loss

While male pattern baldness can play an obvious role in hair loss, hormonal imbalances can play a role as well. There are different forms of testosterone in the body, including dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is made from testosterone by an enzyme. It's a lot more potent than regular testosterone and is used in the prostate, hair, and skin. Problems with this chemical in the body can contribute to hair loss and other conditions 

Decreased bone and muscle mass

Loss of testosterone also increases problems with osteoporosis, which is a thinning of bone mass in the body. This results in being prone to bone fractures. This is a problem commonly associated with women as they age, but low testosterone can cause it in men as well. The hormone also affects muscle mass, and loss of it will result in reduced muscle. This doesn’t automatically mean it will affect strength or normal function.

Mood and memory issues

Hormonal imbalance also contributes to mood changes. Irritability, depression, or inability to focus are among the changes it can bring. A reduction in hormone levels can also affect memory, which naturally declines with age. A Journal of the American Medical Association study shows a link between testosterone treatments in men with low hormone levels and improved memory. 

If you’re dealing with one or more of these issues and think you may have low testosterone levels, make an appointment with Dr. Kelly today to find a treatment that works for you.

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