There is a fantastic reason guys go girl-crazy in their teens and twenties: Their use this link testosterone levels are at try this out their peak. From there, look at this now though, testosterone levels gradually decrease.
"After age 30, most men begin to experience a gradual decline in testosterone," says 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 such as fatigue, low libido, and loss of muscle mass.
While low testosterone is more common in older men, it may occur in younger guys also. Luckily, all the causes of low testosterone in young guys are curable, so if you experience these symptoms at any age, there is no reason to dismiss it.
For younger men, a drop in testosterone levels may be caused by some illnesses, including type 2 diabetes, chronic liver or kidney disease, COPD or other lung disorder, or adrenal gland issues, based on Dr. Samadi.
Genetic causes of low testosterone in males include the diseases Klinefelter syndrome, Kallmann syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and Myotonic dystrophy. Another disorder that can 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," says Bruce Gilbert, MD, PhD, an adjunct clinical professor of urology and reproductive medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and director of reproductive and sexual medicine in the Smith Institute for Urology of their North Shore-LIJ Health System.
Other causes of low testosterone in men younger than 50 include pituitary gland tumors, HIV infection, and radiation treatment or chemotherapy for cancer.
Doctors categorize causes of low testosterone as secondary or primary.
"Primary hypogonadism stems from a problem in the testicles," Samadi states. "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?
Regardless of the reason, low testosterone symptoms would be the same.
"Symptoms include low libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, decreased mental acuity, and moodiness," Dr. Gilbert states.
"Younger men with low testosterone usually come to me and say, 'I can't work out like I used to, and I've lost interest in sex.' ”
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 an urologist or endocrinologist.
Treatments for Low Testosterone in Younger Men
Not everyone with low testosterone needs treatment. "When it comes to treating low testosterone in older men, we usually reserve treatment for people who have symptoms, such as fatigue and low libido," Gilbert says.
In these circumstances,"therapies are usually used only in the brief term, and when 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 wish to offer supplemental testosterone to guys who want to be fertile since 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 semen production," he states. 1 such alternative is a category of drugs known as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs).
Other treatments for low testosterone include weight loss and other lifestyle changes, like eating healthier and increasing exercise.
The bottom line, though, is that if you've got low testosterone symptoms, it is important to see your physician. Then, your doctor can rule out potentially more serious causes of your symptoms, such as high blood pressure or a thyroid problem, and offer treatment that can enhance your energy and high quality of life.