As we age our energy levels start to decline and weight gain becomes an issue. For some older men and women these symptoms and others are more severe. They may not be a normal part of the aging process. These symptoms could be a sign of a low testosterone level.
1. Lowered Sex Drive
One of the most noticed changes cause by a low testosterone level can be a reduced sex drive and/or erectile dysfunction. Men and women may notice that they start to experience less desire for sex, have fewer spontaneous erections and doctors may find that they suffer from lowered fertility.
2. Physical Changes in the Body
Low T can also cause some physical changes, such as loss of muscle mass and increased body fat. Men may begin to notice swollen or tender breast tissue and hair loss on their bodies. Energy levels may also drop for both genders. Doctors may also find that patient’s bone density drops too.
3. Negative Emotional Changes
A lowered T level can lead to some emotional and mental issues. Men and women may feel less confident and more depressed or sad. They may also experience difficulty concentrating or remembering things.
Medical Treatment of Low Testosterone
When doctors determine that low testosterone levels are a problem and not the result of natural aging in men, they can help with hormones. Patients can take testosterone to help supplement the normal levels produced by their bodies in an oral patch. They can also get injections of it, get dermal patches, topical gels or pellets inserted under the skin. The pellets release the hormone for up to four months.
A peak level of testosterone is reached in the late 20’s at about 1,000 ng/dL in the blood in men. From the age of 30 and onward the levels of this male hormone decline by about one percent per year. In women, levels peak at around 70 ng/dL.
Natural Ways to Boost Testosterone
Doctors may also urge those with age-related low T to try some natural lifestyle changes. These changes may help the body to produce more testosterone and reduce unwanted symptoms.
1. Get Plenty of Exercise
The body’s production of testosterone can also decline as men become less active. Hormone production, along with muscle and bone maintenance, occur in direct response to the need for it. Those who are naturally less active may find that their bodies adapt to being sedentary and just stop producing as much of this hormone. Try taking a 20 minute walk daily and begin a moderate level of strength training exercises.
2. Get Enough Sleep
The body uses sleep as a kind of downtime to maintain itself. Those who aren’t getting enough sleep can hinder those efforts and also negatively affect the production of chemicals and hormones, including testosterone. Having a low testosterone level can actually make it difficult to sleep which may lead to a cycle that affects production of the hormone. Nonetheless, Men and women should strive to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep at night and keep a consistent schedule.
3. Get Extra Vitamin D and Zinc
Some research has shown that low T levels may be connected to a Vitamin D or Zinc deficiency. Men and women may want to consider eating foods rich in these nutrients to help boost production. Foods rich in Vitamin D include, beans, milk, eggs, tuna and fortified cereals. Foods containing zinc include, oysters, shellfish and beef.