Signs Of Low Testosterone: Symptoms To Look Out For

Date
June
1
2022
Compiled By Louise Rodriguez
Medically Reviewed By Dr. P Stein, MD FACT CHECKED

Low testosterone level or hypogonadism is a common problem that over 40% of men above 45 years of age face. Sometimes, the young men face the condition as well due to multiple factors.

But, low testosterone levels could lead to various health conditions in men.

Testosterone is the primary sex hormone of men produced in the testicles. In low testosterone conditions, the testes highly reduce the production of testosterone.

Hence, low[1] testosterone level affects other testosterone-dependent functions like sexual health, muscle mass, RBC count, etc.

Signs Of Low Testosterone Level

The low testosterone condition could be treated if the reason is related to lifestyle. Otherwise, it may require other medical procedures to elevate the natural production of testosterone.

But, it’s essential to be aware of the problem’s existence before starting the treatment. Hence, you may learn about low testosterone levels in your body by seeing the following signs.

  1. Difficulty In Getting A Firm Erection

    The first symptom of low sex hormone levels should be linked to sexual health problems. If you are facing difficulty getting a firm erection or maintaining the erection, it may be due to lower testosterone levels in the body.

    Testosterone has a significant role in getting a strong erection. The hormone commands the brain receptors to produce nitric oxide, a molecule responsible for the relaxation of penile tissues.

    The nitric oxide initiates multiple chemical reactions that increase the blood flow to the penis. But, due to lower testosterone levels, the ability to get an erection goes down[2].

  2. Night Sweat or Hot Flashes

    If you are experiencing sudden hot flashes, it could be a sign of low testosterone level. Hot flashes are when you get the sudden warm feeling that may cause heavy sweating, night sweating, reddening of the skin, etc.

    Several studies have shown that hot flashes or night sweats could be due to hormonal imbalance in the body. But, it may be a sign of low testosterone levels in several men.

    If you are getting such symptoms due to low testosterone levels, doctors or specialists may recommend you to undergo hormone replacement therapies.

  3. Low Energy Level

    A balanced testosterone level may usually keep you energized. But, a drop in testosterone level might drastically reduce the energy level.

    You may experience immediate fatigue after doing a minimum of work. You might experience laziness or see abrupt changes in the energy level.

    Moreover, a sense of tiredness would always persist in the body. But, reduced energy levels could not determine the low testosterone level alone.

    It may require other adjacent symptoms to identify the low testosterone condition.

    Here are the results[3] of survey in the US.

  4. Reduced Sexual Activity

    Testosterone might not be alone responsible for having sexual desires or sexual activities, but it’s an essential hormone for inducing these activities.

    During an average testosterone level, you may experience a healthy sexual life. But, as the testosterone level drops, you may experience a drop in sexual activities simultaneously.

    The decrease in testosterone level could be due to aging. But, if the hormone drops drastically, it may decrease the libido.

  5. Small Penis And Testicles

    Testosterone is an essential hormone for the growth of the penis and testicles. But, due to the lower testosterone level, you may have a disproportionately small penis and testicles prove the study[4].

    With low testosterone, the flow of the hormone significantly decreases to the penis, scrotum, and testicles. Hence, the reduced flow may result in shrunken tissues of the penis and testicles.

    The shrinking of tissues may cause the loss of girth and length of the penis. Moreover, the scrotum and testicles may feel smaller and softer than usual.

  6. Decreasing Muscle Mass

    Testosterone plays a significant role in building the muscle mass of an individual. But, decreasing muscle mass could be a sign of low testosterone levels.

    The reduction in testosterone level may make you feel less energetic and weak[5] initially, but it may lead to loss of muscle mass at a later stage.

    The degradation of muscles could be due to the inability of testosterone to bind to the androgen receptors.

    Every muscle cell contains androgen receptors that welcome testosterone to bind. But, due to the absence of testosterone, the receptors stay vacant, leading to a lack of muscle fiber maintenance and muscle degradation.

    Moreover, the low testosterone level allows estrogen to take over the receptor sites that start to increase fat concentration in the body.

  7. Decreasing Bone Mass

    Aging is the biggest reason for decreasing bone mass, but the hormone that plays a role here is testosterone. Testosterone is widely linked to a bone condition called osteoporosis which mainly occurs in older men.

    As testosterone is responsible for building and maintaining bone mass, its loss could weaken the bones. The insufficiency of testosterone is significantly seen in older people, but it may occur in younger men too.

    Due to weak bones, the fear of fracture or tear may significantly increase. But, the degree of weakness primarily depends on the pace of testosterone loss in males.

  8. Loss Of Hair

    Loss of hair could be linked to decreasing testosterone levels in the body. As you start aging, the hair starts thinning, and ultimately, you lose plenty of them.

    But, you may lose facial and body hair primarily due to the low testosterone levels. As the testosterone level declines, the body experiences a hormonal imbalance that directly affects the hair growth cycle.

    It has been observed during a study[6] that in case of a rapid drop in testosterone level, you may experience sudden thinning and fall of hair in bulk.

  9. Declining Memory

    Low testosterone levels could be a potential cause of declining memory in men. As you age, you may observe difficulty in recalling or remembering things.

    The problem could be caused due to low testosterone levels. The cerebrum is an essential part of the brain for memory and attention.

    The cerebral region consists of several testosterone receptors that help the brain function better.

    But, due to the low testosterone in the blood, you will not have enough hormones to bind to those receptors that may affect your memory.

  10. Prompt Mood Swings

    A dropping testosterone level may make you face instant mood swings. Lower testosterone may result in a lack of focus and inhibit the proper functioning of the brain.

    On the other hand, due to lower testosterone, you might experience a high cortisol level in the body.

    More elevated cortisol could be responsible for increasing the irritation and causing[7] multiple mood swings like anger, anxiety, hostility, etc.

    Moreover, you may feel excessive stress due to decreasing testosterone in the blood. In some cases, lower testosterone concentration puts an individual in depression.

Conclusion

You won’t be able to determine low testosterone concentration unless you experience some symptoms or get diagnosed. 

But, one or two symptoms won’t be enough to determine the testosterone level. If you have multiple symptoms from the above list, you may consult a doctor. 

Testosterone deficiency isn’t a significant concern as it is curable. But, if you manage to identify the condition quickly, it would be helpful for you to get early treatment.

+7 References/Sources

Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed researches, academic and medical institution studies. 

  1. Peeyush Kumar, Nitish Kumar, Devendra Singh Thakur, Ajay Patidar. Male hypogonadism: Symptoms and treatment. J Adv Pharm Technol Res. 2010 Jul-Sep; 1(3): 297–301. doi: 10.4103/0110-5558.72420.
  2. Jacob Rajfer, MD. Relationship Between Testosterone and Erectile Dysfunction. Rev Urol. 2000 Spring; 2(2): 122–128.
  3. Alex A. Straftis*, Peter B. Gray. Sex, Energy, Well-Being and Low Testosterone: An Exploratory Survey of U.S. Men’s Experiences on Prescription Testosterone. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Sep; 16(18): 3261. Published online 2019 Sep 5. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16183261.
  4. Fabrizio Iacono, Domenico Prezioso, Antonio Ruffo, et al. Testosterone deficiency causes penile fibrosis and organic erectile dysfunction in aging men. Evaluating association among Age, TDS and ED. BMC Surg. 2012; 12(Suppl 1): S24. Published online 2012 Nov 15. doi: 10.1186/1471-2482-12-S1-S24.
  5. Mark D. Peterson, Aleksandr Belakovskiy, Ryan McGrath, Joshua F. Yarrow. Testosterone Deficiency, Weakness, and Multimorbidity in Men. Sci Rep. 2018; 8: 5897. Published online 2018 Apr 12. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-24347-6.
  6. Hanna Kische, Andreas Arnold, Stefan Gross, et al. Sex Hormones and Hair Loss in Men From the General Population of Northeastern Germany. JAMA Dermatol. 2017 Sep; 153(9): 935–937. Published online 2017 Apr 12. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.0297.
  7. Justin M Johnson, Lisa B Nachtigall, Theodore A Stern. The effect of testosterone levels on mood in men: a review. Psychosomatics. Nov-Dec 2013;54(6):509-14. doi: 10.1016/j.psym.2013.06.018. Epub 2013 Sep 7. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24016385/.

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