Before we actually start discussing on the topic, let us see what hormones are and where testosterone fits in.
What are hormones?
Hormones are secretions from a set of glands called endocrine glands in human body, that are used as a means of communication between the cells and the organs, to regulate the physiological activities like digestion, reproduction, growth, and certain behaviors like mood, sleep, hunger and stress. For a perfect functioning of the human body, the hormone secretion has to be at the optimal level. Over production or under production of the hormones can lead to various disorders in the body and can manifest at various levels.
There are around 10 endocrine glands in the human body secreting various types of hormones like Pituitary Gland, Thymus, Testes, Ovaries, Thyroid etc… Among these, the ovaries and testes are glands in women and men producing the hormone that clearly indicates the sexual orientation of the person.
What does testosterone do?
Testes in males produce the hormones like testosterone that promotes
• Facial hair and body hair patterns in males
• Production of sperm in males
• Sex drive in males
• Bone and muscle mass
Ovaries in females too produce a little amount of this hormone.
Over-production of testosterone
If there is an over production of testosterone, it increases aggressiveness in the human body. Sometimes it promotes cancer too. It can also lead to lot of mood swings, anger and sometimes depression too.
Under-production of testosterone
Similarly, under production of testosterone also shows itself in various forms. Production of testosterone decreases with aging in men. So all these symptoms mentioned below will show up as men keep aging.
However in few cases, in young men, it manifests itself in a condition that is called as hypogonadism, especially in their adolescence. The typical symptoms being poor muscle development, voice still soft and doesn’t deepen, underdeveloped genitals, enlarged breasts like women and droopy shoulders.
These symptoms are the only answer to your question how do I know if I have low testosterone.
Symptoms when low in testosterone
The following are the common symptoms present in young and old men whose testosterone production is inhibited.
1. They have low energy level and feel fatigued often. Any amount of rest isn’t going to help as the cause is testosterone under production
2. Very low sex drive
3. Loss of muscle mass and accumulation of fats in body.
4. Mood swings as with any other hormone under production, causing irritability and anger.
5. Loss of scalp hair
6. Condition like osteoporosis can occur where the bone density becomes less. Bones become brittle and fractured easily.
7. There is less semen production in case of males.
You should look out for these if you wonder how do I know if I have low testosterone. Once these symptoms are visible, a simple blood test can reveal and confirm the underproduction of testosterone.
Treatment for low testosterone condition
Once known, a few lifestyle changes can help lessen the condition:
1. Exercise to lose weight. Losing weight, in turn, promotes testosterone production.
2. Nutritive food as Zinc deficiency, vitamin deficiencies promote sub optimal testosterone production.
3. Testosterone replacement therapy by giving an oral supplement of the hormone.
4. Adequate rest, as a well rested body helps the endocrine glands to secrete the hormones