Updated: Mar 16
Women have had a relationship with their hormones from a young age. From puberty to pregnancy, periods to menopause, polycystic ovaries to PMT, and everything in between, thankfully women are able to talk about and seek support for their hormonal challenges. Most of us are also lucky enough to have a sisterhood of fellow females we can discuss our hormonal issues with and don’t face the fear of being judged for doing so. Far from it – it often brings us closer together as we share similar trials and tribulations.
Unfortunately, the same is not true for men. The truth is men mostly suffer in silence because of the long standing and outdated notion that somehow admitting to testosterone deficiency or hormonal related problems emasculates them. In 2021, its crazy to think that men aren’t freely able to talk about the very thing that makes them men in the first place, namely testosterone.
The fact is that Low T / Testosterone Deficiency (TD) is an enormous issue impacting men of all ages around the world. It’s estimated to be an issue for 1 in 4 men. Therefore, the chances are at some point your partner, friend, father, brother or other male in your life will be suffering with TD or Low T.
Due to lack of information about the symptoms its likely they either can’t recognise what’s going on, or dismiss the signs and reluctantly put up with them. Imagine if women felt compelled to do this during peri menopause and onwards. For those men that do realise they have a problem, then the chances are, they won’t seek medical help until it’s become much more of a serious issue.
None of these options are good for men’s health, nor their relationships as the sexual difficulties and mood swings that often come with Low T tend to negatively impact both.
What To Look For
As women, we accept that our hormones impact just about every aspect of our lives. From mood, to libido, to weight and energy levels, from our hair, skin to bones, our hormones impact how we look and feel on a daily basis.
It should come as no surprise that men’s hormones have the same impact on them. Yet they aren’t as in touch with theirs as we are with ours. Therefore, it’s our duty to help the men in our lives out by keeping a watchful eye on them.
Kim Kardashian credits herself with spotting the signs of TD in sister Courtney’s on/off partner Scott Disick. Having taken Kim’s advice, the 37-year-old was diagnosed last year with Testosterone Deficiency which he is supporting naturally.
“Lately, I’ve just had no energy to do anything. I wake up and I’m just shot. I don’t have the drive to get up and run around with my girlfriend and my kids. I just don’t have the energy. I don’t know if I’m getting old or I’m just not in great shape, but I just want to see if there’s anything wrong with me.”
Sound familiar? Most men and women can relate to this.
We know now how perimenopause is impacting women from their thirties onwards, and how the age-related hormonal decline creates symptoms. Testosterone deficiency in men is happening at much younger ages than our parent’s generation.When you discover that testosterone peaks at 19 it’s easy to understand how this is possible. When you add in increasingly negative lifestyles, you can see how this negative trend is spiralling out of control.
8 Signs and Symptoms to Look Out For:
Testosterone levels should remain healthy throughout the twenties with decline starting in the thirties. By 40, testosterone levels start declining significantly and often cause the following symptoms.
1) Loss of morning erections (chances are he’ll notice this before you do but this is one of the first and most obvious signs of declining T levels).
2) Loss of Libido – Men describe losing the desire to have sex in the same way that many women do during menopause.
3) Low Mood – We know how important hormones are on our mood and decreasing T levels can significantly impact men’s mood. Many describe being irrationally annoyed or irritated.
4) Weight Gain – Hormonal imbalance can lead to weight gain and / or the ability to lose weight.
5) Loss of Muscle Mass – Because testosterone plays a role in building muscle, men with low T often notice a decrease in muscle mass.
6) Extreme Fatigue / Low Energy Levels – Are reported by many men which interferes with their usual routine.
7) Erectile Dysfunction – Whilst this often involves more than just Low T, lack of libido can cause a downward spiral where erections become an issue.
8) Hair Loss – Commonly stems from low levels of testosterone.
What You Can Do To Help
Communicate – Broach the subject sensitively. It may take time for your man to open up but be persistent – it usually pays off.
Encourage exercise – This helps with mood, weight, muscle mass and boosts T levels.
Remove or reduce alcohol – It depletes testosterone levels.
Get his T Levels Checked – Nowadays, there’s some brilliant home testing kits which you can do in the privacy of your own home avoiding any uncomfortable GP visits
Don’t Internalise – Loss of interest in sex due to Low T rarely has anything to do with the men’s feelings towards their partner. However, as women, we often blame ourselves and mourn the loss of active sex lives. If you are used to your man initiating this, don’t misplace his lack of drive for lack of love or desire. He may simply just not have the energy he used to. Make sure you show empathy, talk about your feelings and be patient.
Balance Nutrient Deficiencies – These are really commonplace now and are the foundation of good health and happy hormones. Get levels checked (GPs will test Vitamin D, and B12 – home kits can do the rest) and rectify where necessary.We've all heard of the menopause when a woman's reproductive function starts to slow down, but do men experience something similar? The term 'male menopause' refers to the physical and emotional changes that some men experience as they get older. It's a surprisingly controversial topic and experts are divided on the subject, with many disagreeing on what it is, how is should be defined, and if it even exists.
But while debate rages on about what to call this life stage, if your man is in his late forties or older and he has experienced worrying symptoms including erectile dysfunction, a loss of sex drive, depression, or fatigue, it is worth him getting checked out.