You’ve probably heard that low energy might be a sign of Low T—it’s one of the most common symptoms of low testosterone levels. But how do you know if it’s a sign of Low T or something else? If you’re experiencing low energy levels, read on to learn more!

What is Low Energy?

Low energy and chronic fatigue are somewhat vague terms, and they are also relative. What for one person might be low energy might be a normal level of activity for a more sedentary person. The first thing you should do is to note specific ways that your energy levels have changed. Are there activities that you used to enjoy that now you avoid due to energy levels? Are you avoiding daily activities around the house because you feel too tired? Are you struggling to focus and stay awake? Make note of these things so that you can discuss with your provider.

For most people, inability to pursue activities they enjoy is the sign that gets them to their provider, but there were often signs of chronic low energy before that point.

Other Common Causes of Chronic Tiredness

Particularly if you’ve had a major change in your life, low energy may have a different solution. (If you have young kids, you might need to wait for them to get older before your fatigue passes!) Take a look at your activity level, diet, work routines, and sleep patterns. You may benefit from keeping a diary and/or using phone apps that help you track these things for a few weeks.

Sometimes things that we associate with more energy can, paradoxically, make us more tired. If you are getting more sleep but waking up at the wrong point in your sleep cycle or using a sleep aid, you might be experiencing grogginess or sleepiness despite getting more sleep. If you have started going to the gym more often, or switched from cardio to weight lifting (or vice versa), your body may be using a lot more energy as it gets accustomed to the change. 

Depression and Low Testosterone

Chronic low energy without clear medical cause often results in a diagnosis of depression, with or without medication prescribed. However, you might still have low testosterone. Low T can occur alongside depression, and in some cases, symptoms caused by undiagnosed low testosterone can lead to depression.

Signs of Acute Problems

If your tiredness comes along with any heart-related problems, like shortness of breath, the feeling that your heart is racing, or dizziness, make sure to see a doctor right away to rule out cardiac problems. Other extremes, like falling asleep at odd times or difficulty waking up after sleeping, should also be addressed right away.

If you have experienced unusual tiredness for four weeks or more, you should definitely talk to your doctor about common and uncommon causes of chronic fatigue, and ask to have your hormone levels checked to see if low testosterone might be contributing.