The prevailing belief in today's society is that only men over 60 suffer from the symptoms of low testosterone, unfortunately, this is not true. The symptoms of low testosterone can affect men regardless of physical condition, age or health. To put it bluntly, all men should be concerned about low testosterone, and how to recognize its symptoms early.
Sadly, most men accept their low testosterone symptoms as just a natural part of getting older. It's true that declining testosterone levels and their accompanying symptoms are a natural and normal part of male aging. Restoring your testosterone levels will allow you to lead a long, normal, healthy, productive life. So how do you go about recognizing the symptoms?
The primary and often most discernable, symptoms of low testosterone can include:
Many physicians will first administer a very basic questionnaire, which asks you about the above symptoms in question form. This instrument has been standardized, and is known as the 'ADAM (Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male)' questionnaire. ADAM helps doctors develop a preliminary view of your problem's severity prior to your blood test, and can be thought of much like the physical exam which so often precedes the more detailed X-rays and MRIs.
Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male
Do you have a decrease in libido (sex drive)?
Do you have a lack of energy?
Do you have a decrease in strength and/or endurance?
Have you lost height?
Have you noticed a decreased "enjoyment of life"
Are you sad and/or grumpy?
Are your erections less strong?
Have you noticed a recent deterioration in your ability to play sports?
Are you falling asleep after dinner?
Has there been a recent deterioration in your work performance?
As you can see there are several different low testosterone symptoms, and just one of them can take a serious toll on your life, and possibly the life of your partner. Low testosterone symptoms which are merely adapted to rather than properly addressed can continue to plague you for years.
Surprisingly, there's only a relatively small body of research concerning the long-term health effects of low testosterone, a problem that's likely the result of the above attribution error. When anyone (scientists, researchers, epidemiologists, etc.), views a problem as normal the natural inclination is to overlook it, thereby not giving it the requisite attention. Although there's a well known correlation between low testosterone and several chronic medical conditions, including depression, diabetes, obesity, and possibly even cardiovascular disease, the relationship is unclear.
Actually, there could be an inverse relationship. For example, the same processes which lead that caused high blood pressure or diabetes could potentially also be the root of a patient's low testosterone. In this respect, low testosterone levels could serve as a marker for health decline. After all, it is a clinically proven fact that low testosterone impacts several bodily systems, and numerous areas of life, so why couldn't the reverse be true? This simply means that just as the separate and different parts of the body come together to make a single unit, the various symptoms can work together to adversely affect a specific segment of your life. Here are some of the negatively affected areas and their respective primary symptoms:
Physical changes? Breast tenderness, swelling, or nodules/lumps (gynecomastia - female breast tissue in men); reduced lean body mass and muscular strength; decreased bone density; an increase in body fat; hair loss (both thinning and falling out); hot flashes and; a general lack of energy.
Changes in sexual function.? This may include erectile dysfunction - the inability to become sexually aroused, reduced quality and/or duration of erections, fewer spontaneous erections (awake or asleep); reduced libido/sexual desire; decreased sperm count or motility, and ultimately infertility.
Changes in sleep patterns. ? Easily disturbed or light sleeping; a decreased ability to achieve latter stages of sleep (3, 4, and REM); insomnia - a reduced ability to readily fall asleep and; other sleep sensitivities and disturbances including an inability to sleep through the night.
Emotional changes.? An increase in moodiness and seemingly bipolar (rapid or extreme) mood swings; decreased motivation and/or self-confidence; reduced mental clarity, including problems like trouble concentrating, recalling facts, or remembering things; unwarranted feelings of sadness, loneliness or depression and; a general decreased sense of well-being.
As illustrated here, testosterone is a very important male hormone that's integral to several bodily functions, numerous areas of life, and your general well-being. An estimated 5 million Americans are currently suffering from low testosterone. In reality this number is probably vastly understated. If you suspect that your levels are lower than should be, don't despair. Low testosterone testing is quick, easy, and can have a rapid and profound impact on the quality of your life. So if you're experiencing some of the symptoms above, don't just sit around wasting time. Schedule an appointment with your doctor today, and get back to the business of enjoying your life!
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