Men More Likely to Have Low Testosterone with No Symptoms, Study Finds
You may be aware of the symptoms of low testosterone: low sex drive, fatigue, depression, weight gain, etc. But did you know that you are more likely to have low testosterone and not show any symptoms of it? That’s according to a recent study from the New England Research Institute, which found that only 1 in 20 men who have low testosterone actually have the symptoms of this disorder.1
What does this new research mean for you? Well, if you are a male, it’s probably a good idea to get your levels checked regardless of whether you have the clinical symptoms of low testosterone. The same study found that about 25% of males over the age of 30 have low testosterone, also known as hypogonadism. Those numbers get higher as you age, so it’s even more critical for older males to monitor their hormone levels.
The decline of testosterone
Perhaps even more concerning than the data from this recent study is the trend we are seeing in overall testosterone levels throughout all age groups. A 2007 study from the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism found that average testosterone levels in males were significantly lower than they were compared to males in the 1980s, with an average drop of 1% per year over that time period.2 Furthermore, this trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, as researchers estimate as many as 38% more cases of low testosterone with its accompanying symptoms by 2025.3
Scientists are not exactly sure of the reason for these trends, but theories that may explain the dramatic reduction of testosterone levels across all age groups include:
- More sedentary lifestyles
- Increased exposure to environmental toxins
- Decrease in jobs requiring manual labor
- Increased indoor temperatures
- A culture that is less masculine than it used to be4
Getting your testosterone back
Your doctor can order a blood test to determine your testosterone levels. They may want you to repeat this test at different times of the day to track changes. Combining your results with health history, physical exam results, and possibly other tests, your doctor will determine if low testosterone is the underlying issue and provide treatment recommendations.5
One treatment that is often prescribed for low testosterone is hormone replacement therapy. This treatment may be administered through injections, implant, patch, or gel. However, you should be aware that hormone therapy may cause side effects, and the long-term risks are unknown.
Herbs and supplements for low T
Another option for those with low testosterone is supplementation. Popular vitamins, herbs, and amino acids for increasing testosterone include:
- Vitamin D
- Tribulus terristris
- D-aspartic acid
Promote testosterone with healthy habits
Of course, you can’t forget the role that diet, exercise, and lifestyle play in testosterone production. When it comes to diet, try to eat more healthy fats and limit sugar intake. And as far as lifestyle and exercise, make sure to incorporate weight training and stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, journaling, and acupuncture.6 In short, a lifestyle that focuses on holistic health can also be beneficial for testosterone production.
As a society, it appears we are at a critical crossroads when it comes to testosterone and, as a result, men’s health in general. By monitoring testosterone levels and actively taking steps that support healthy production of this key hormone, we can change these recent undesirable trends.
1. Vann, Madeline. “1 in 4 Men Over 30 Has Low Testosterone.” ABC News. Abcnews.go.com.
2. “Generational Decline in Testosterone Levels Observed.” Healio. Healio.com.
3. Vann, Madeline. “1 in 4 Men Over 30 Has Low Testosterone.” ABC News. Abcnews.go.com.
4. Howe, Neil. “You’re Not the Man Your Father Was.” Forbes. Forbes.com.
5. “Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy Right for You?” WebMD. Webmd.com.
6. “Always Stressed? Here Are 8 Natural Stress Relievers to Try Now.” Dr. Axe. Draxe.com.