We have all heard about the problems low testosterone can lead to, but do we understand the true extent of the potential dangers caused by this condition?

To some people’s astonishment, low testosterone can significantly increase the risk of death, according to a study that was presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society held in Toronto.



According to the study, men that suffer from low testosterone had a 33% higher chance of meeting their demise over the next 18 years of their lives, when compared to men who had regular, healthy testosterone levels.

According to Dr Elizabeth Barrett Connor, from the University of California, “it’s very exciting and potentially a ground breaking study… but it needs to be confirmed”.

The study focused on nearly 800 men between the age of 50 and 91 who resided in the California area.

Their testosterone levels were measured at the beginning of the study, and subsequently their health was tracked over the following 20 years.

What Is Low?


Typically, testosterone begins to decline in men as they grow older.

However, a concrete definition of “low” has not yet been firmly established. According to Dr Joel Finkelstein who is a leading endocrinologist and associate professor based at the Harvard Medical School, “no one really knows what low is…the study authors defined it at 250 ng/dL which is a definition, but no one has figured out what low is”.

According to Dr Connor and her colleagues, it was found that nearly 20% of men that they attentively studied met their criterion score of 250 or lower to identify low testosterone.

Hot Flashes


Symptoms associated with low testosterone are entirely dependent on how low levels really are.

When levels reach dangerously low, men will experience hot flashes, a lot like those experienced by women going through the menopause.

Dr Finkelstein explains, “at levels not quite that low, men have decreases in the libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue and physiological changes many will not immediately recognize”.

He goes on to say that these changes may well include a loss of strength, and a decreasing bone density as well as a depleting muscle mass.

Dr Finkelstein affirms that there is no reason to get testosterone treatment if these symptoms are absent, “the indication for testosterone is having a low testosterone level in the presence of symptoms, of physiological consequences such as low bone density…doctors should not prescribe testosterone because level is low, because patients think it will make them live longer”.

Dr Connor entirely agrees with Dr Finkelstein’s theory, “Don’t take testosterone just because you want to feel like your 30 again”.

On the other hand, excessive levels of testosterone can also be unhealthy.

The authors of the study found that men with medium to high levels of testosterone did not experience any added benefits compare to those with “boosted” levels.

Some worrying side-effects caused by testosterone treatment include sleep apnea, thickening of the blood and a possible increase in prostrate disease for certain individuals.

For those individuals that actually required testosterone treatment, they can be treated using a number of different methods including via injection, and topical gel which is absorbed through the skin.

According to Dr Larry Lipshultz, a professor of urology at Baylor College of medicine, “testosterone injections are given every 1 to 2 weeks and can be administered by the patients themselves…and gels get applied daily”.

Expanding Waistline


It is normal for men who suffer from low testosterone to have a larger waist girth.

These individuals also appeared to be at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as diabetes.

It is important to note that just how testosterone would cause these affects is still yet to be fully understood.

If you are considering ways of increasing your testosterone levels and you want to avoid the potentially harmful side-effects that can be experienced by undergoing testosterone therapy, you can try using a natural, herbal testosterone booster, which can be as equally as effective in increasing testosterone levels without putting yourself at risk.

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1 Comment

  1. George G Fallowfield

    October 13, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Great article. Everysingle symptom of low testosterone mentioned is all too familiar.

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