Testosterone is often described as a man’s “sex hormone,” and it is essential for many aspects of male health. Testosterone is responsible for an array of effects in adult men, including bone density, muscle mass, red blood cell production, and even libido. Testosterone levels peak in young adulthood and then slowly decline throughout the remainder of a man’s life. But what exactly does this mean? How will it affect you? Why should you get tested? And when should you start getting tested for testosterone levels?
Here are six reasons why men should get routine testosterone testing.
Testing For Testosterone Has Gotten Easier!
Before we dive into the six reasons, let’s talk about where men could get tested for testosterone and other vitamins and hormones that are crucial to men’s health. After all, studies show that men are more likely to skip a doctor’s appointment than women.
We’re sure you may have heard of at-home testing kits or even going directly to a local lab without a prescription. With an increase of these “easy to use” services, men no longer have the excuse of skipping their doctor’s appointments. There are plenty of online lab testing services like Health Labs that are being used throughout the U.S, helping men stay on top of their health. Then there are at-home testing kits on the market that provide more discreet testing, but longer wait times for their results.
Either way, we now have plenty of testing services out there that do not require a prescription from a doctor, making it easier for men to get frequent or routine testosterone testing on their time.
So, why should men test for testosterone?
You’re Having Trouble in the Bedroom
If you’ve noticed a decrease in your sex drive or an inability to achieve an erection, it could be an early sign of low testosterone. A man’s ability to get and maintain an erection relies on proper blood flow to the penis. And as men age, the arteries that carry blood to the penis become less elastic, meaning it takes longer for blood to reach the penis. This can lead to an inability to get a full erection, an inability to maintain an erection, or both. Aging also decreases the amount of testosterone in the body, making it less likely that you’ll be able to achieve or maintain an erection as you get older. A drop in testosterone levels can lead to a 17-fold increase in the risk of erectile dysfunction in men aged 40-79.
You Have Irritable Male Syndrome
Men between the ages of 30 and 50 are twice as likely to experience irritable male syndrome (IMS) than younger men. IMS includes symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, and even an inability to concentrate. Studies indicate that a majority of men with IMS have low levels of testosterone. If you’re experiencing a few of the symptoms associated with IMS, it’s a good idea to get your testosterone levels checked. Low testosterone can be easily treated with testosterone injections, patches, or gels. If you choose to go with the gel or patch, it’s recommended that you apply it on the upper arms or shoulders.
You’re Struggling With Weight Management
If you’ve been struggling with weight management, you may have hypogonadism. Long before you notice a change in your libido, you may notice a change in your body composition. Getting treatment for hypogonadism can lead to significant weight loss in some men, even in the absence of a dietary change. The exact cause of weight loss resulting from testosterone replacement is uncertain. Excess abdominal fat is most commonly affected by low testosterone.
You Feel Depressed or Anxious
Testosterone has been associated with positive mood states like happiness and optimism. Conversely, low testosterone is associated with negative mood states like depression and anxiety. That’s why it’s common to see men with low testosterone experience an increase in mood symptoms after undergoing treatment. Excess abdominal fat is most commonly affected by low testosterone.
Your Bone Density is Deteriorating
As you age, your bones are under constant assault from a variety of factors, including a decrease in testosterone. When testosterone levels fall, it becomes more difficult to maintain bone density. This can put you at greater risk of developing osteoporosis. When men are diagnosed with low testosterone, they are often prescribed testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). TRT can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Excess abdominal fat is most commonly affected by low testosterone.
Your Prostate is Enlarging and Becoming Irritated
A man’s prostate is responsible for producing a fluid that helps carry sperm. As men age, the prostate can become enlarged and irritated because of excess growth of normal cells in the prostate. This condition is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is associated with lower testosterone levels, and it can be treated with a combination of medication and testosterone replacement therapy. Excess abdominal fat is most commonly affected by low testosterone.
Men who are experiencing several of these symptoms should definitely consider getting their testosterone levels checked. Low testosterone is fairly common among older men, and it can be easily treated with testosterone replacement therapy. Preventative testosterone testing is also recommended for younger men who have a family history of low testosterone, thyroid issues and other health conditions that may cause hormone irregularities. If you’ve been feeling fatigued, depressed, or experiencing erectile dysfunction, there’s a good chance that your testosterone levels are low. Get tested and talk to your doctor about treatment. You’ll feel better in no time!