Feeling 'Meh'?

There's a high chance it could be to do with your hormones... Specifically your Testosterone levels.

Common Low-T Symptoms 

Mention "Testosterone" and the first images that spring to mind are muscles and masculinity; but in reality it's so much more than that...

Testosterone promotes attention, memory, spatial reasoning, and energy — essentially, it makes you sharper — it also regulates mood and bone strength. And, of course, it famously increases libido and muscle mass.

When Testosterone levels get too low, men can begin to feel fatigued, lose sexual interest, gain weight, and lose muscle. In addition, there is a link between low testosterone levels and depression.

A drop in testosterone doesn't always interfere with sex, but it can make it more difficult for your brain and body to get aroused. Some men may notice a drop in libido, while others may lose interest in sex completely. Low testosterone can also make it tougher to get or keep an erection.

When a man's level falls below the optimal level it can lead to a number of common symptoms:- 

1. Low sex drive
Testosterone plays a key role in libido (sex drive) in men. Some men may experience a decline in sex drive as they age. However, someone with low T will likely experience a more drastic drop in their desire to have sex.

2. Difficulty with erection
While testosterone stimulates a man’s sex drive, it also aids in achieving and maintaining an erection. Testosterone alone doesn’t cause an erection, but it stimulates receptors in the brain to produce nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide is a molecule that helps trigger a series of chemical reactions necessary for an erection to occur. When testosterone levels are too low, a man may have difficulty achieving an erection prior to sex or having spontaneous erections (for example, during sleep).

However, testosterone is only one of many factors that aid in adequate erections. Research is inconclusive regarding the role of testosterone replacement in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

3. Low semen volume
Testosterone plays a role in the production of semen, which is the milky fluid that aids in the motility of sperm. Men with low T will often notice a decrease in the volume of their semen during ejaculation.

4. Hair loss
Testosterone plays a role in several body functions, including hair production. Balding is a natural part of aging for many men. While there is an inherited component to balding, men with low T may experience a loss of body and facial hair, as well.

5. Fatigue
Men with low T have reported extreme fatigue and decrease in energy levels. You might have low T if you’re tired all of the time despite getting plenty of sleep or if you’re finding it harder to get motivated to exercise.

6. Loss of muscle mass
Because testosterone plays a role in building muscle, men with low T might notice a decrease in muscle mass. StudiesTrusted Source have shown testosterone affects muscle mass, but not necessarily strength or function.

7. Increased body fat
Men with low T may also experience increases in body fat. In particular, they sometimes develop gynecomastia, or enlarged breast tissue. This effect is believed to occur due to an imbalance between testosterone and estrogen within men.

8. Decreased bone mass
Osteoporosis, or the thinning of bone mass, is a condition often associated with women. However, men with low T can also experience bone loss. Testosterone helps produce and strengthen bone. So men with low T, especially older men, have lower bone volume and are more susceptible to bone fractures.

9. Mood changes
Men with low T can experience changes in mood. Because testosterone influences many physical processes in the body, it can also influence mood and mental capacity. ResearchTrusted Source suggests that men with low T are more likely to face depression, irritability, or a lack of focus.

10. Affected memory
Both testosterone levels and cognitive functions — particularly memory — decline with age. As a result, doctors have theorized that lower testosterone levels could contribute to affected memory.

According to a research study published in the Journal of the American Medical AssociationTrusted Source, some smaller research studies have linked testosterone supplementation with improved memory in men with low levels. However, the study’s authors did not observe memory improvements in their study of 493 men with low testosterone levels who took testosterone or a placebo.

11. Smaller testicle size
Low testosterone levels in the body can contribute to smaller-than-average sized testicles. Because the body requires testosterone to develop the penis and testicles, low levels could contribute to a disproportionately smaller penis or testicles compared to a man with normal testosterone levels.

However, there are other causes of smaller-than-normal testicles in addition to low testosterone levels, so this isn’t always just a low testosterone symptom.

12. Low blood counts
Doctors have linked low testosterone with an increased risk for anemia, according to a research article in the Journal of the American Medical Association Trusted Source.

Some of the symptoms anemia can cause include problems concentrating, dizziness, leg cramping, problems sleeping, and an abnormally rapid heart rate.

The Modern-Day Testosterone Disaster

A slow drop in testosterone is a normal part of aging, sometimes called "andropause" or "male menopause." For many men, this doesn't cause any significant problems or symptoms. Others may notice a decline in muscle mass, depression, or less interest in sex.

However, a number of studies more worryingly show that there has been a large decline in 'age-for-age' testosterone in males from 1970 onwards. 

Several studies from the US [1, 2] and Nordic countries [3, 4] have shown a significant decline in serum testosterone among men from 1970s to early 2000s, and the only large scale study to show the population-level decline in testosterone in more recent years shows the worrying trend has continued to spiral downwards. 

In all, the studies show a testosterone level decline in men of over 1% per year from 1987 onwards. Which is bleak reading for today's male reader. 

Although obesity is often blamed as the culprit for the decline, these studies found that although being a factor, this was unlikely to be the reason for the decline.

However, the most likely candidate is pollution. Research has shown that chemicals that are commonly found in medicine and pesticides inhibit testosterone. These chemicals are seeping into our water, contributing to fertility problems in fish. The researchers also speculate that this same mechanism is occurring in humans as well.

In addition, research on Native American tribes found that higher levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs; a component in industrial coolants, as a plasticizer, and in many other applications) in the males' systems was associated with lower testosterone counts. We've known that PCBs are toxic for years, but the chemical lasts for a very long time. Other chemicals, like bisphenol A (BPA; a plastic) and triclosan (an antibacterial agent) have been shown to disrupt the human hormone system, either by mimicking estrogen or blocking the activity of testosterone. Once chemicals such as these get into the environment and enter the food chain, they are very difficult to remove.

What To Do About It?

If one or more of the symptoms above sound familiar we'd recommend taking the short quiz below. There's no need to enter any contact details at this point, and based on your answers we can give more specific advice on how to get you back firing on all cylinders, both mentally and physically. 

Go to your normal Doctor and it's likely they'll test your T-Levels and tell you everything is fine. Regular doctors are NOT experts in optimizing hormones, so if you fell into a standard bracket for your age group they'd send you on your way. 

Simple and Easy.

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References: 

1: Trends in sex hormone concentrations in US males: 1988-1991 to 1999-2004 (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22150314/)

2:  A population-level decline in serum testosterone levels in American men (http://www.ourstolenfuture.com/newscience/reproduction/2006/2006-1210travisonetal.html)

3: Secular decline in male testosterone and sex hormone binding globulin serum levels in Danish population surveys (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17895324/)

4: A cohort effect on serum testosterone levels in Finnish men (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23161753/)

5: Secular trends in testosterone- findings from a large state-mandate care provider (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7063751/)