Medically Reviewed by Dr. George Touliatos
Testosterone plays many vital roles in the body, and it can impact your physical and emotional health. Its main functions involve muscle growth, fat distribution, bone mass development, sperm production, and red blood cell formation.
Certain internal factors can cause testosterone imbalance, making its concentration either too low or too high in the bloodstream. If your testosterone is too low your body will no longer be able to perform testosterone-related functions normally. As a result, your mental, emotional, and physical health may decline. Some men who are testosterone deficient choose to get Testosterone Replacement Therapy to counteract their symptoms.
In this article, we have thoroughly explained how testosterone impacts a man’s quality of life. We have also mentioned how you can improve your testosterone levels to live a healthier life.
Testosterone is a primary sex hormone produced by the testes and adrenal cortex in men. It supports the development of secondary sex characteristics which change a boy to men. Females also produce it but its concentration in females is around 15 times lower than what it is in men.
In addition to sperm production, testosterone plays many important roles in men including:
In order to perform these tasks, you must produce enough testosterone. When your testosterone levels decline due to one reason or another, your body fails to perform the above-mentioned roles which can impact the quality of your life.
Low testosterone not only affects physical health but also mental performance.
In recent years, researchers have put a lot of focus on finding the effects of low testosterone on a man’s quality of life. Men experience a decrease in testosterone as they age. It happens gradually contrary to the rapid reduction in estrogen levels that happens in women when they enter menopause.
The age-related decrease in testosterone occurs when the testes receive fewer signals for the brain to produce testosterone.
However, the drop in testosterone levels can happen at any age in men. It can be due to a medical issue such as HIV, type 2 diabetes, brain cancer, or any other reason. Since testosterone has an impact on your behaviour, mood, and self-perception, its deficiency can decrease a man’s quality of life in different ways.
Low testosterone can have the following effects on a man’s life.
Testosterone plays a vital role in building and maintaining muscle mass. When your body produces insufficient testosterone, you lose muscle mass and volume. However, studies show that muscle function and strength does not get affected by low testosterone.
Poor muscle growth can make you look thin, which may impact your confidence level.
One of the most common issues that men having low T experience is the lack of energy. They feel tired even after getting adequate sleep or rest and their energy level drops significantly compared to how it used to be. Some men also complain about having low motivation to do work, go to the gym, or perform day-to-day activities.
All in all, low testosterone can diminish your level of productivity and affect your family and business life.
Since testosterone is a male sex hormone, its deficiency has a great impact on a man’s sexual performance. Low T can reduce your sex drive and ability to gain or maintain an erection. You may also notice a reduction in your semen volume.
Impaired sexual performance may negatively influence your relationship with your partner.
Just as the reduction in estrogen levels impacts memory in females, decreasing levels of testosterone may also affect memory in males. Men having testosterone deficiency often find it hard to focus or concentrate on a task at hand.
Even though the decline in mental abilities is a part of ageing, testosterone also plays its part in this regard. Some studies show that testosterone treatment can help ageing men improve their cognitive abilities.
Because testosterone helps with bone mass growth, its deficiency reduces bone volume. Men experience bone loss as a result they become susceptible to bone breakage. It is one of the reasons older men have fragile bones.
Low testosterone can make your sleep shorter and shallower. Scientists believe that when testosterone level drops, the level of cortisol (a stress hormone) boosts. Having more cortisol in your blood can make you stay awake for hours. This can contribute to low energy and a feeling of tiredness the next day.
Many testosterone-deficient men also experience sleep apnea which is a condition that makes a person stop breathing for a shorter duration which can disturb sleep.
Testosterone promotes the metabolism of body fats. When you do not make enough testosterone, the fats you consume through food start accumulating in different tissues. As a result, you may gain weight. It increases your chances of developing cardiovascular diseases or having a heart attack as well.
Gaining weight may further make you lose self-esteem and become less active.
Besides controlling major processes in the body, testosterone also has a huge impact on your emotional health. It can disturb your social life as you may not feel like going to family gatherings or even if you go you may not become as cheerful as you used to be.
Some studies also prove that men with low testosterone are at a higher risk of depression and anxiety.
Men with low testosterone may easily get irritated and moody. They may not find social events as joyful as they used to find because their mood is down most of the time.
All of the above-mentioned effects of low testosterone contribute to low self-confidence. You lose muscle mass, become leaner, have low sexual performance, experience a lack of concentration, and have low energy to perform daily activities. All these things may make you feel less confident.
Low testosterone also contributes to hair loss. You may find patches in your beard or on other hairy areas of the body which can also impact your appearance and may make you lose confidence more.
If you think you are experiencing the symptoms of low testosterone, you need to get your testosterone levels checked.
Testosterone levels can be simply checked through a blood test. Your doctor will take intravenous blood from your arm and send it to the laboratory. You have two kinds of testosterone in your bloodstream.
When your doctor checks your tests, he notices the levels of total testosterone and free testosterone. Total testosterone is the sum of free and bound testosterone.
The levels of testosterone vary in a healthy man throughout the day. They are at their peak in the morning and reach their lowest point at around 8 in the evening. That is why a testosterone test is conducted in the morning.
The normal testosterone level in a healthy man ranges from 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). If the testosterone test results show that you have testosterone below 300 ng/dL, you may have testosterone deficiency. Normally two to three tests are conducted on consecutive days before making a conclusion.
Testosterone replacement therapy is an effective method of restoring your testosterone levels and enjoying life again. It involves the administration of testosterone by injections, pills, gels, creams, and patches. Your doctor will determine the testosterone dose based on how testosterone deficient you are.
Many men report improvement in their bone volume, muscle mass, sex drive, sleep quality, and energy levels after having testosterone replacement therapy. You should discuss the effects of this treatment option with your doctor to find out how it can help you improve your quality of life.
Testosterone is crucial for a man’s physical and mental health. Its deficiency can impact your life’s quality by reducing your self-confidence, energy level, muscle mass, bone volume, and mental capabilities.
You should get proper treatment to have a healthy testosterone level. Testosterone replacement therapy is a good option to consider when looking for ways to boost testosterone levels effectively. It may reverse the effects of testosterone deficiency and improve your mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
Moncada, I., 2006. Testosterone and men’s quality of life. The Aging Male, 9(4), pp.189-193.
Zitzmann, M., 2020. Testosterone, mood, behaviour and quality of life. Andrology, 8(6), pp.1598-1605.
This article has been researched and written based on scientific evidence and fact sheets that have then been crossed checked by our team of doctors and subject matter experts.
References, sources and studies used alongside our own in-house research have been cited below, most of which contain external clickable links to reviewed scientific paper that contain date stamped evidence.
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If you know your total testosterone reading from a previous blood test input the results to the left above to see if your testosterone levels are normal.
You may have low testosterone depending on the symptoms you have, please contact us to find out how we can help.
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