Low Testosterone Symptoms

Jul 29, 2014 0 Comments in Low T (Low Testosterone) by
Low Testosterone Symptoms

Low Testosterone Symptoms

Low testosterone or andropause roughly affects around 39% of the males over the age of 45 years. It has been observed that the risk of andropause increases with physiological aging. In clinical terms, low testosterone levels can be defined as serum concentration of less than 300 ng/dL at two or more consecutive occasions. In a normal adult male, testosterone levels may as high as 1000-1200 ng/dL.

It is imperative to keep in mind that overt symptoms of testosterone deficiency may not be visible until the serum levels drop to 200 ng/dL or less.

Primary Causes of Low Testosterone Levels in Males

Most of the testosterone in males is produced by the testes that are primary reproductive organs. Small quantities of testosterone are also produced at other sites; such as adrenal gland. In females, ovaries are responsible for producing extremely small quantities of testosterone.

Primary causes of low testosterone in males are:

Low Testosterone Symptoms Image

Low Testosterone Symptoms

  • Physiological Aging: As discussed previously, physiological aging affects the functional capacity of almost all the glands in the body; yet the results are more pronounced in gonads (testes and ovaries). According to latest research, prevalence of hypogonadism (or andropause) in males over the age of 60 years is roughly 20%, with even higher chances in males over the age of 70 years (30%). More than 50% males clinically test positive for low testosterone levels by the age of 80 years.
  • Damage to Testes: Diseases, injuries or permanent damage to testes or any other gland that is responsible for producing, maintaining or regulating the secretion of testosterone can increase the risk of andropause (such as adenoma of pituitary gland, damage to hypothalamus etc.). Other causes of low testosterone secretion due to testicular damage are:
  • Previous history of exposure to radiation therapy in the inguinal/ pelvic region.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • History of testicular cancer.
  • Inflammation of the testicles due to infection or injury.
  • Accidents.
  • Low Testosterone due to Drugs/ Medications: Intake of certain drugs or medications can also affect the metabolism or rate of secretion of testosterone; such as anabolic steroids, opioids and morphine.
  • Genetic Diseases: Certain genetic diseases increases the risk of developing premature andropause (decline in testosterone secretion at a younger age). For instance, Myotonic dystrophy can lead to testicular failure at the age 30-40 years.
  • Metabolic Derangement and Defects: systemic diseases can affect the normal metabolism of testosterone and may lead to premature andropause. Identification and correction of primary cause is extremely helpful in managing such cases without requiring hormone replacement. According to rough estimates, 40% males with high cholesterol levels and 40% males with high blood pressure experience some degree of decline in the normal serum levels of testosterone.
  • Obesity: Obesity increases the risk of andropause by increasing the peripheral conversion of testosterone in adipose tissues to estrogen. Approximately 50% obese males have sub-clinical testosterone deficits. Same is true for diabetics (especially those who have uncontrolled blood sugar levels).

Classic Symptoms of Low Testosterone in Males

Testosterone is required for several metabolic (Metabolic Wiki Page) and sexual activities. The severity and onset of symptoms are dependent on several factors; such as age, cause of decline in the testosterone levels, co-morbid medical conditions and other similar factors.

Symptoms of low testosterone in adult males can be discussed as:

Sexual symptoms:

  • Poor libido or low sexual drive (1)
  • Inability to achieve or maintain significant penile erection during the entire act of intercourse (also clinically referred to as erectile dysfunction or impotence).
  • Decreasing sperm count in the ejaculate (that may hinders or delay normal fertility).
  • Development of male breasts (which is usually due to high peripheral conversion of testosterone to estrogen).

Emotional Symptoms:

  • Depression and mood changes are fairly common in males who are experiencing fluctuations in the normal levels of testosterone. Most frequently reported symptoms are; inability to concentrate, increased irritability, hot flashes, feeling of sadness and worthlessness.

    Low Testosterone Symptoms Doctor's Image

    Low Testosterone Symptoms

  • Increased deposition of body fat and total body adipose stores.
  • Fatigue.
  • Decreased energy levels.

Physical Symptoms:

  • Men with chronic low testosterone levels lose their muscle mass and body hair due to negative protein metabolism (2).
  • The risk of significant bone injuries (fractures, dislocations) also increases with relatively mild injuries due to poor mineralization and low bone density.
  • Decrease in the size of testicles.

According to a latest study published in Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (3), investigators reported the findings from a clinical trial conducted on 482 men (mean age of 70 years). Report suggested that approximately 10.8% of the study population reported the history of frequent falls that was significantly associated with low mineral density and low testosterone levels. Investigators also reported higher prevalence of depressive symptoms in patients with low testosterone levels.

If you are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone levels, it is highly recommended to seek expert medical advice in order to confirm the primary cause of hypogonadism. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can help in preventing the rate of complications.


  • Kupelian, V., Page, S. T., Araujo, A. B., Travison, T. G., Bremner, W. J., & McKinlay, J. B. (2006). Low sex hormone-binding globulin, total testosterone, and symptomatic androgen deficiency are associated with development of the metabolic syndrome in nonobese men. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 91(3), 843-850.
  • Wang, C., Jackson, G., Jones, T. H., Matsumoto, A. M., Nehra, A., Perelman, M. A., … & Cunningham, G. (2011). Low testosterone associated with obesity and the metabolic syndrome contributes to sexual dysfunction and cardiovascular disease risk in men with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes care, 34(7), 1669-1675.
  • Kurita, N., Horie, S., Yamazaki, S., Otoshi, K., Otani, K., Sekiguchi, M., … & Fukuhara, S. (2014). Low testosterone levels, depressive symptoms, and falls in older men: a cross-sectional study. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 15(1), 30-35.