There's a good reason guys go girl-crazy in their teens and twenties: Their testosterone straight from the source levels are at their click resources peak. From there, however, testosterone levels my link gradually decrease.
"After age 30, most men begin to experience a gradual decline in testosterone," states David Samadi, MD, chairman of the urology department at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Although testosterone levels never reach zero (as estrogen levels do in women during menopause), low testosterone levels men to experience symptoms like fatigue, low libido, and loss of muscle mass.
While reduced testosterone is more common in older men, it can occur in younger guys as well. Fortunately, all of the causes of low testosterone in young men are curable, so in the event that you experience these symptoms at any age, there is no reason to dismiss it.
For younger guys, a fall in testosterone levels can be brought on by some ailments, such as type 2 diabetes, diabetes, chronic liver or liver disease, COPD or other lung disorder, or pituitary gland problems, according to Dr. Samadi.
Genetic causes of low testosterone in males include the diseases Klinefelter syndrome, Kallmann syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and Myotonic dystrophy. Another disorder which could result in low testosterone is hemochromatosis, which makes the body store too much iron.
"Low testosterone can also result when something happens, like trauma or steroid use, that prevents the testes from making the hormone," states Bruce Gilbert, MD, PhD, an adjunct clinical professor of urology and reproductive medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and director of reproductive and reproductive medicine in the Smith Institute for Urology of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.
Additional causes of low testosterone in men younger than 50 contain adrenal gland tumors, HIV disease, and radiation treatment or chemotherapy for cancer.
Doctors categorize causes of low testosterone as primary or secondary.
"Primary hypogonadism stems from a problem in the testicles," Samadi says. "This could be from a developmental issue, injury to the testicles, or radiation or chemotherapy treatment. In secondary hypogonadism, the testicles are normal but function improperly because of a problem with the hypothalamus or pituitary gland."
Can It Be Low Testosterone?
Irrespective of the cause, low testosterone symptoms are the same.
"Symptoms include low libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, decreased mental acuity, and moodiness," Dr. Gilbert states.
If you suspect low testosterone, the first step is to see your primary care physician.
If your blood test reveals low testosterone (usually defined as a level lower than 300 ng/dL), the doctor may treat you or refer you to a specialist, such as a urologist or endocrinologist.
Treatments for Low Testosterone in Younger Men
"When it comes to treating low testosterone in younger guys, we usually reserve treatment for those who have symptoms, such as tiredness and reduced libido," Gilbert says.
In these circumstances,"therapies are usually used only in the short term, and if a physician has close observation and knowledge of the patient," Gilbert says.
An important consideration for younger men before getting treatment is fertility. "You do not want to give supplemental testosterone to guys who want to be fertile because it can turn off sperm production," Gilbert says.
Once a young man goes off testosterone supplementation, there's a chance his sperm count will never return to what it was before he started. "Hence, men of reproductive age should think about alternatives that might increase their testosterone as well as preserve their sperm production," he states. One such alternative is a category of drugs known as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs).
Other remedies for low testosterone include weight loss and other lifestyle changes, like eating healthy and raising exercise.
The main point, however, is that in the event that you have low testosterone symptoms, it's very important to see your physician. Then, your doctor can rule out more serious causes of your symptoms, including high blood pressure or a thyroid problem, and offer treatment that can improve your energy and high quality of life.