Over the past few years, you’ve started to feel yourself slow down: your hair might be thinning a little, you’ve lost some muscle mass or gained some fat, or maybe in general you’re feeling somewhat fatigued. These are all just signs of aging, right? Actually, they could be signs you’ve got low T.
Low T, or low testosterone, is a condition found in men where testosterone isn’t being produced as much as it should be. Testosterone production tends to start to drop off after age 30 at the rate of a few percents per year. In most low T cases, men tend to ignore the symptoms, despite that tens of millions of men suffer from it in the US alone.
The simple fact is that low T is a completely treatable disorder, treatment is affordable, and more often than not, covered by insurance. Studies show that low testosterone levels are linked with a shorter life span — in fact, men with normal or high levels of testosterone have a 67% lower risk of death over the next 2 decades of their life compared to men with lower levels of testosterone. So what kinds of symptoms should you bring up with your doctor when discussing low T?
- Does low T affect weight gain? Yes, it does. Those few extra pounds you’ve gained over the last few years might not be from beer and wings, it might be from a testosterone deficiency. Studies are now showing that low testosterone levels actually contribute to obesity. While you do want to look at your activity level and the amount that you eat, if you find that you are having difficulty dropping extra weight it may be due to low T.
- Does low T affect strength or energy levels? Yes, it does. Low testosterone has been shown to contribute to fatigue (feeling exhausted after a good night’s rest) and also losing muscle strength. Testosterone is one of the major factors in men for producing energy and muscle mass, so a steep decline in daily energy for activities and measured strength is a good indication of lower testosterone levels.
- Does low T affect moods? Yes, it does. Studies show that there is a link between low testosterone and clinical depression, and that link gets stronger the older men get. In fact, a Harvard study showed that men with low testosterone and depression failed to respond to just anti-depressants. Other studies have shown testosterone therapy to be beneficial to men suffering from depression.
Getting tested and getting treated for low levels of testosterone are easier than ever, and very affordable. There’s no need to continue to go through life unable to enjoy yourself or the things you love due to depression; decreased strength or energy; or weight gain, so talk to your doctor about options.