By Grant Wood
Yes movie Rosetta. You did read that headline correctly! Are you aware that it’s possible for your body to go through hormonal changes as you age? This is due to a lowering of your testosterone levels, and can lead to some characteristics that are more commonly associated with women – such as enlarged breasts.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is the main sex hormone in men. It is produced in the testicles and is responsible for male characteristics such as body hair, deepening of the voice, muscle growth and the production of sperm.
Males tend to pride themselves on these features that make them a man, but unfortunately, testosterone levels don’t remain at a specific level throughout your life; they drop. Yes, guys; it’s a reality.
Testosterone decreases naturally
Once you hit 30 years of age, your testosterone begins to lower, naturally, by 1% for each year that follows. Even if you follow a healthy lifestyle, you won’t be able to stop the natural drop in ‘T’-levels (as it’s more commonly known).
The symptoms of low testosterone through natural ageing include:
- Changes in sexual function such as: erectile dysfunction, infertility, reduction of the size of the testes (hypogonadism).
- An increase in body fat
- A loss of energy
- A loss of body hair
- Swollen breasts (gynaecomastia)
You may also experience emotional changes such as depression, a decrease in self-confidence and difficulty concentrating.
Other causes of low testosterone
There are medical conditions that can cause very low levels of testosterone – more than the natural decrease. If you have one of these conditions, treatment and lifestyle changes can help to lessen the speed of the decline. Two of the most common ones associated with very low testosterone production are obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism published a study that found that an increase in your Body Mass Index (BMI) can lower your testosterone levels significantly.
If you are experiencing any of these changes in your body, it’s important to speak to your doctor. They will be able to advise you about treatment options.
We understand that this may be distressing news, but it’s a natural stage of life and doesn’t change the man that you are.