Although it’s normal for testosterone levels to drop as men age, low testosterone can affect a man’s health. In many ways, testosterone is the stuff that makes men men. The rush of new testosterone in puberty builds muscle and bone, deepens the voice, and revs up the sex drive. Throughout a man’s life, testosterone maintains his male characteristics.
Low testosterone is defined as less than 300 nanograms per deciliter of blood. The symptoms of low testosterone include low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, mood problems, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Of all men with below-normal testosterone levels, about one-half to two-thirds report symptoms.
Unlike a woman’s menopause, when estrogen levels plummet over months to very low levels, men’s “andropause” is a gradual decline of testosterone levels over years.
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