Testosterone deficiency syndrome (TDS) is far from an asymptomatic condition. Men that have low testosterone levels experience a range of problems and body changes.
Apart from being a sexual hormone, testosterone affects many other processes in the human body. Thus, the effects of TDS are widespread.
Are you suffering from a testosterone deficiency? What could be causing it? The following article will outline some of the most typical symptoms, as well as the common causes of TDS.
Are You Suffering From TDS? Main Symptoms
The symptoms of testosterone deficiency syndrome are diversified. Some of these affect the functioning of the reproductive system, others affect body composition (fat and lean muscle mass ratio) and still others are much less specific.
You could be suffering from low testosterone levels if you experience any of the following:
- Low libido and decreased sexual stamina
- Fertility problems and decreased semen volume
- Difficulty obtaining an erection
- The sudden accumulation of fat, especially in the belly region
- Muscle loss
- Hair loss
- Fatigue, lack of energy and difficulty concentrating
- Sleep problems, anxiety and even depression
- Decreased bone density
Health Problems Leading To TDS
Both medical problems and lifestyle factors could contribute to a significant decrease in testosterone. You have to rule out a medical problem first. Quite often, low testosterone could be the symptom of a much more serious medical problem.
Talk to your physician about it. A few basic tests will have to be performed to determine whether your TDS is caused by any medical issue that affects either the functioning of the testicles (primary low testosterone) or the functioning of the pituitary gland (secondary low testosterone).
Primary low testosterone or hypogonadism, as the condition is called, can be caused by:
- Undescended testicles
- Mumps and infections
- Testicle injury
- Cancer treatments like chemotherapy
- Hemochromatosis: a condition characterized by having excessive amounts of iron in the bloof
- Klinefelter syndrome: a genetic abnormality in which men have an extra or two additional X chromosomes on top of the normal X and Y chromosomes.
Secondary TDS can be caused by the following medical conditions:
- Disorders of the pituitary gland
- HIV and AIDS
- Various types of inflammations
- Obesity and type 2 diabetes
- Kallmann syndrome: a medical condition that causes the abnormal formation of the hypothalamus. As a result, improper secretion of pituitary hormones takes place.
Other Causes And Risk Factors
On top of the medical conditions that could be affecting testosterone production adversely, there could be life factor that are also contributing to the problem.
Keep in mind that testosterone reduction is a normal symptom of aging. The levels of the hormone will decrease most significantly after you turn 50.
If you’re experiencing testosterone reduction earlier in your life, you could be guilty of certain unhealthy behaviors.
Chronic stress is one of the factors that have most serious impact on testosterone production. When being stressed, the body begins producing cortisol.
The effects of cortisol aren’t that serious in the short term since there are physiological mechanisms for coping with its impact. If the production of cortisol continues in the long run, however, it could begin affecting testosterone production adversely.
Excessive alcoholic beverage intake and smoking cigarettes will also contribute to a hormonal imbalance.
Various types of drugs may affect hormone levels. Opioids (medications that have a sedative and pain reducing effect) and corticosteroids are two of the common groups of pharmaceuticals that could contribute to TDS.
If you are experiencing any of the low testosterone symptoms, you need to talk to a physician. There could be another explanation and low testosterone will be ruled out with a simple blood test.
In case you actually are suffering from TDS, a doctor will get to do additional tests, understand what the cause of the problem is and select the treatment (and the lifestyle changes) that will contribute to significant improvements.
You can find out more about possible treatments here