Testosterone is a hormone that plays an important role in men's overall health. As men get older, their testosterone levels naturally fall. However, some men may experience low testosterone levels, also known as testosterone deficiency, which can lead to weaker bones, loss of muscle and changes in mood, like feeling depressed. About 30% of men between the ages of 40 and 79 are affected by low testosterone.
Low testosterone, or testosterone deficiency, happens when the testicles stop making testosterone or when testosterone levels in the body drop to low levels. There are two different types of low testosterone; one as a result of getting older or a problem with the testicles, and another as a result of disruption in the area of the brain responsible for the functioning of the testicles.
Talking to your healthcare professional about low testosterone
It can be difficult to talk about low testosterone but the sooner you start the conversation, the closer you will be to getting your life back in balance.
It might be useful to have a list of questions with you at your next appointment, such as:
- I don’t feel ill; I just don’t feel like myself anymore. Could I have low testosterone?
- Could the symptoms I’m experiencing be related to low testosterone? Considering my symptoms, could I be tested for low testosterone?
- How do my diet, fitness and lifestyle affect my testosterone level?
If I need any, what medical treatment options are available for low testosterone?
Keeping track of your symptoms is important as it will help your healthcare team in deciding whether you should be tested for low testosterone.