Hormonal imbalances of testosterone and estrogen levels in men and boys can often lead to the condition known as gynecomastia. This can occur in one or both breasts and may result in puffy nipples, swollen nipples or large areolas. Common names for gynecomastia include “man boobs,” or moobs. Males most likely to develop enlarged breasts include newborns, boys going through puberty and older men. In most cases, the development is due to natural changes in hormonal levels although other causes are possible. Low testosterone, or Low T, can develop naturally and can contribute to the hormonal imbalance that leads to gynecomastia.
While gynecomastia may not be a serious health problem, it can be difficult to cope with from a psychological point of view and may result in a negative self-image. Gynecomastia will sometimes go away on its own. Otherwise, medication or surgery may be necessary. However, it is sometimes possible to hide puffy areolas by using nipple covers. If you are concerned about gynecomastia, you will want to know the most prevalent signs and symptoms of low testosterone levels as listed below.
Signs of Low Testosterone in Men
• Low libido: Men will sometimes experience a lower desire to have sex as they get older. Unlike the sudden onset of menopause, this usually occurs gradually over a long period of time. While a lower libido can be a normal sign of aging, a drastic drop in your sex drive may be an indication of lower testosterone levels.
• Erectile dysfunction: A testosterone deficiency may make it difficult for you to achieve an erection. Testosterone helps you to achieve and maintain an erection by stimulating receptors in your brain that cause those receptors to produce nitric oxide, a molecule that is required to achieve an erection. If your testosterone levels are too low, there may not be enough nitric oxide to achieve and maintain an erection.
• Low semen volume: Another symptom of a low level is a reduction in semen production. This does not necessarily prevent an orgasm, but some men may be troubled by this.
• Hair loss: Many men will go bald regardless of their testosterone level. This is because their genetic makeup predisposes them to that condition. However, if you begin to experience an unexpected loss of body and facial hair, the loss could be due to a drop in testosterone levels.
• Fatigue: There are many reasons that a man might experience a decrease in energy levels. If you regularly experience fatigue or a lack of motivation to exercise, it could be that your testosterone levels are low.
• Loss of muscle mass: Another role that testosterone plays is in the building of muscle mass. If you have noticed a decrease in the size of your muscle mass, it could be due to the loss of testosterone. Low T, typically, only affects the mass. It would not affect the muscle’s strength or functioning.
• Increased body fat: As previously noted, low T level and high estrogen levels can lead to enlarged breast tissue. If you have experienced a puffy nipple, a swollen nipple or a large areola, you may want to investigate the use of nipple covers and compression shirts, which are great at hiding moobs.
• Osteoporosis: Often assosciate with women, osteoporosis can also affect men when testosterone levels are low. This is because testosterone helps to build and strengthen bone mass. The thinning of bone mass is often a problem for older men who are more at risk for bone fractures.
• Mood swings: A testosterone deficiency may result in mood swings, especially when it is coupled with high estrogen levels. Testosterone affects the body physically, and this can also have an effect on mental capacity and mood. As a result, men with lower testosterone levels may lack focus. They may also have exhibit symptoms of irritability and depression.
• Memory loss: Unfortunately, both cognitive functions and testosterone levels tend to decrease with age. Because of this, a low T level is often linked to memory loss. The good news, though, is that some studies have shown a memory improvement in men who are taking testosterone supplements.
• Smaller testicles: The lack of testosterone can lead to smaller testicles. This is because the body needs it to fully develop the testicles and penis, and the lack thereof can lead to smaller-than-average sized testicles when compared to a man with average testosterone levels. However, it should be noted that there are other causes for this condition.
• Low blood count: An increased risk of anemia has been associated with a lack of testosterone according to a controlled clinical trial. This can cause a number of problems, including a rapid heart beat, problems sleeping, leg cramping, dizziness and problems concentrating.
When testosterone levels are low, it can lead to hormonal imbalances which can also play a part in the development of enlarged breasts, otherwise known as “man boobs.” While several treatment options exist, this condition can often be mitigated through the use of nipple covers and compression shirts.