MEN'S HEALTH CLINIC
WHAT IS LOW T?
Testosterone is an endogenous androgen. Androgens are responsible for the growth and development of male sex organs. As men begin to age, normally in the mid to late 20’s, testosterone levels begin to fall and some men may start to experience signs of “Low T,” or low testosterone. This condition is also sometimes referred to as andropause, particularly with middle age men.
One of the main concerns around low testosterone has to do with erectile function. Men can start to experience erectile changes such as a significant loss of morning erections, less firm erections, and even difficulty achieving erections. Low testosterone causes low libido and can affect sperm count as well.
Testosterone is a hormone which promotes protein synthesis for structural tissue. This means low testosterone can significantly affect your body’s ability to build and maintain muscle. This will affect strength, endurance and loss of muscle.
Testosterone plays a major role in brain function. Testosterone can facilitate the release of neurotransmitters which can help with motivation and focus issues. More recent studies show that testosterone can increase the amount of protein that transports serotonin into the brain. This in turn can allow brain cells to absorb more serotonin which can help eliminate mild to borderline depression and make you feel happier!
Testosterone plays many roles in the male body. Some studies show testosterone helps with fat distribution in the body. Low testosterone can be a major factor with the inability to burn stubborn belly fat. Excess body fat can actually cause low testosterone. Testosterone is normally broken down in the body’s fat cells. If you have a lot of fat, your body can break down testosterone extremely fast which leads to testosterone deficiency.
Testosterone is known to dilate the coronary arteries to promote normal blood pressure and strengthen the heart. (There are many cases where men on testosterone replacement therapy have seen significant changes in blood pressure, where the patient could actually come off blood pressure medication.) Testosterone can help protect against heart disease.
Patients using testosterone should seek medical attention immediately from a hospital Emergency Department if symptoms of a heart attack or stroke are present such as:
Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
Weakness in one part or one side of the body