Low T (Low Testosterone)

While it helps to maintain sex drive, sperm production, pubic hair and body hair, testosterone is also responsible for maintaining muscles and bones. When testosterone production is low in men, sexual dysfunction is a common complaint; but other nonspecific symptoms such as depression, mood changes, weight gain, or fatigue, have been reported.

Low levels of testosterone in men can affect a man in the following ways:

– Loss of sexual interest and function
– Erection problems
– Increased breast size
– Hot flashes
– Problems with memory and concentration
– Mood problems such as irritability and depression
– Smaller and softer testicles
– Loss of muscle strength and weakened bones

Research has shown that nearly 40% of obese men over age 45 have a low testosterone blood levels.

Men with very low testosterone also are more likely to become obese. Losing weight through exercise can increase testosterone levels. Testosterone supplements in men with low testosterone also can slightly reduce obesity.

For a reasonably healthy man, having no interest in sex is not normal. As a man ages, it is natural for him to have less interest in sex than when he was younger. A gradual decrease of testosterone is normal as a man ages, but it is not normal for a healthy, older man, to have no interest in sex. A man of any age who has lost interest in sex should have a frank conversation with a doctor.

Alcoholism can lower testosterone. Alcohol is directly toxic to the testicles where testosterone is produced, and it seems to affect the release of other hormones related to men’s sexual function and fertility. Shrunken testicles are a common sign of low testosterone in alcoholic men with liver disease, as well as lower libido and sexual potency. Enlarged breasts are common in heavy drinkers because alcohol may help convert testosterone into the female hormone estrogen.