What Is Low-T and What Are the Symptoms of Low Testosterone?
For men, Low-T, or low testosterone, is defined as less than 300 ng/dL of total testosterone or less than 9 ng/dL of free testosterone. Hypogonadism is a broader term that includes low testosterone.
Male hypogonadism is “…a condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough of the hormone that plays a key role in masculine growth and development during puberty (testosterone) or enough sperm or both.”
Low testosterone is far more common than the medical community would like to admit. This is because, in many cases, the only measurement being taken is total testosterone. What matters more is calculated free testosterone as even men with high total testosterone levels may have low free testosterone levels.
What this means is that their bodies are not able to take advantage of their high testosterone levels because the testosterone in their blood is not bioactive (your body can’t make use of it).
For many men, what Low-T is has little to do with arbitrary measurements of hormones and much more to do with how they feel. Testosterone levels naturally decline with age. Even if your total or free testosterone levels are considered above normal, they may have declined so far from the levels they were at when you were young that you experience symptoms.
Similarly, young men can have testosterone levels that are above these thresholds, but if they’re experiencing symptoms, their testosterone is low for them. They may not meet clinical definitions of Low-T, but that doesn’t make their symptoms go away—they still need treatment.
Low Testosterone in Women
While most people think of testosterone as the “male” hormone and associate it with men, women also have testosterone in their bodies. Not only that, but they need testosterone to function properly, even though their levels are about 1/10th to 1/20th that of a man.
For women, testosterone levels below 25 ng/dL are considered low in a woman under the age of 50. That being said, we again need to think not in terms of arbitrary levels, but rather in terms of symptoms.
If a woman is experiencing the symptoms of Low-T, even if her levels are above normal, it may be the case that she has testosterone levels that are low for her body. Remember, everyone’s body is different. A level of testosterone may be fine for one person while the same level is low for someone else. Numbers aren’t the ultimate sign of low testosterone—symptoms are.
The Symptoms of Low Testosterone (Low-T)
Low-T has a wide variety of symptoms, including, but not limited to:
- A low sex drive
- Mild depression or anxiety
- Difficulty concentrating
- Chronic fatigue
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Memory problems
- Weight issues or the inability to lose weight
Not everyone experiences the same symptoms, and not all these symptoms have to be present. In fact, there are some people who don’t experience any symptoms at all yet still have clinically low testosterone.
Everyone is different. If you have even one of these symptoms, it may be an indication of low testosterone, or it may be an indication of another illness or disease. The only way to know for sure is to get your levels tested.
If you think you might be suffering from Low-T, let’s talk.