Written by Lisa Allen | Edited by Dr Mark Kapnoudhis
There are many low testosterone symptoms that can help identify if you have a problems with low testosterone production in your body. Low testosterone in men can be a major cause of health problems, both physical and mental.
What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is generally considered to be a ‘male’ hormone but women’s bodies also produce small amounts of it. Men produce approximately 7mg per day and women produce about 8-10% of this figure.
In men most of the testosterone in produced by the leydig cells in the testes with a small amount being produced by the adrenal glands. In women about half of their testosterone is produced by the ovaries with the other half coming from the adrenals.
After the age of about 35-40 testosterone levels tend to fall quite rapidly at the rate of about 1% per year. By the time we reach our 70′s and 80′s we have a far greater risk of obesity, heart attack, osteoporosis, loss of muscle (sarcopenia) and impotence. Low testosterone levels are a contributing factor.
Testosterone is a powerful anabolic (muscle-building) and lipolytic (fat burning) hormone so making an effort to boost testosterone level in your body is essential if you want to stay lean and healthy as you age.
Here Are Some of the Functions of Testosterone For Building Muscle and Burning Fat:
- Increased metabolic rate
- Increased red blood cell production
- Increased glycogen synthesis and storage in muscles and the liver
- Decreased glycogen breakdown during exercise
- Increased protein synthesis resulting in greater muscle mass
- Sodium and water retention from the kidneys
- Greater fat mobilization
- Inhibition of fat-storing enzymes
- Stimulates bone strength
Types Of Testosterone
There are two types of testosterone in the body, free and bound. Free testosterone (2-4%) is the active form and bound testosterone (96-98%) is the inactive form.
Even in blood or saliva tests overall testosterone levels may appear to be normal. However, if the levels of free (active) testosterone are low then low testosterone symptoms may result. Therefore, it is always best to have a test for both total and free testosterone if getting a blood or saliva test.
Whilst these tests are accurate ways to measure low testosterone levels, there is also a questionnaire, which may indicate low testosterone levels. Even though the questionnaire has been developed for men, some of the low testosterone symptoms are just as applicable for women too.
If you answer ‘yes’ to three or more of these questions, further investigation (i.e. a blood or saliva test) may be required.
Here are the low testosterone symptoms questions:
1. Do you have a decrease in libido (sex drive)?
2. Have you noticed a drop in your strength or endurance?
3. Do you lack energy?
4. Have you lost height?
5. Do you feel less motivated or lack ‘enjoyment of life’?
6. Do you feel depressed or sad often?
7. Are your erections less strong?
8. Have you lost significant physical abilities, i.e. playing sports?
9. Do you fall asleep shortly after dinner?
10. Is your work performance deteriorating?
Testosterone levels do fluctuate substantially throughout the day (higher in the morning) and at different times of the year (higher during summer) so it is important to be aware of these possible factors too.
However, if you answered ‘yes’ to three or more of the above low testosterone symptoms questions, then it is definitely worthwhile having a blood or saliva test done to see what your actual levels are.