If the “black dog” of depression has reared its ugly head at some point in your life, then low testosterone levels may have been at play. But this is hardly the only possible consequence of low testosterone. Low testosterone levels that go untreated can lead to osteoporosis (where your bones become very brittle), infertility, and obesity. Even before any of these make their unwelcome appearance, other symptoms of low testosterone can pop up. For instance, if you often find yourself tossing and turning at night –unable to sleep – or if you’re fatigued throughout the day, then your testosterone levels may be too low. (Note that testosterone levels naturally decrease as you age.)
Other signs that your testosterone levels have taken a nosedive? A loss of interest in sex and a loss of muscle mass can all point to far-too-low testosterone levels.
What causes your testosterone to dip downwards? As it turns out, there are both direct and indirect causes of low testosterone levels in men. Testicular failure – resulting from genetic and metabolic disorders, as well as autoimmune diseases and testicular trauma – is a direct cause.
Indirect causes of low testosterone include excessive exercise, malnutrition, synthetic steroid abuse, and hormonal imbalances in the pituitary gland.
High Testosterone in Men
High testosterone comes with a slew of health dilemmas. You may experience more aggressive and irritable behavior, more acne and oily skin, even worse sleep apnea (if you already have it), and an increase in muscle mass. With too much testosterone pumping through your system, you may have a lower sperm count and shrunken testicles.
Elevated testosterone levels are a possible outcome of testicular or adrenal tumors. Even if these tumors are benign – that is, they aren’t malignant or cancerous – they can still boost testosterone levels to unhealthy levels, as can steroid use and abuse.
And if you don’t treat your high testosterone levels? High testosterone will raise your “bad” cholesterol levels, and can thus seriously harm your heart – potentially resulting in a heart attack or stroke. Risk of sleep apnea and infertility is also heightened if you have high testosterone.
Because high and low testosterone levels are both disruptive to your health, it’s critical that your testosterone levels are within a healthy range. But how can you check your testosterone levels? You can easily measure your testosterone levels with EverlyWell’s Testosterone Test, and discuss any unhealthy testosterone levels with your healthcare provider.