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Could You Have Low Testosterone?

Low testosterone has been found to occur in almost 40% of men aged over 45. However, it is often overlooked. Often the symptoms that occur due to low testosterone are ascribed to other causes such as depression, anxiety or lack of exercise. 

Where is Testosterone Produced?

In men, testosterone is mainly produced by the Leydig cells in the testicles. A smaller amount is produced by the adrenal glands. Usually, testosterone levels are tightly controlled by a feedback system. This feedback loop is regulated by the hypothalamus and the anterior pituitary gland which are located in the brain. 

Not all men become deficient in testosterone with age. However, as men age testosterone levels do gradually decline. There are a wide range of causes of low testosterone. Therefore, if low testosterone is identified it is important to identify if there is an underlying cause. Yet, in many men, no cause for low testosterone is found. 

What are the symptoms of low testosterone?

In adult men, having low testosterone results in a number of potential symptoms and signs including:

  • Mood disorders such as low mood, anxiety, anger and irritability.
  • Decreased sense of wellbeing.
  • Reduced concentration and memory.
  • Changes in body composition such as increased abdominal and visceral fat, increased BMI.
  • Reduced body hair.
  • Muscle wasting and impaired muscle strength.
  • Fatigue and loss of energy.
  • Poor sleep.
  • Thinning and weakening of bones.
  • Increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Hot flushes.
  • Reduced libido.
  • Problems getting or maintaining erections.

The most common symptoms of low testosterone are low sexual desire, difficulty getting and maintaining erections and reduced morning erections. 

If you are concerned that you have symptoms of low testosterone, speak to your GP about getting tested. 


Dr Hugh Coyne

Private GP