There's a good reason guys go girl-crazy in their teens and twenties: useful reference Their testosterone levels are at their peak. a fantastic read From that point, read this article however, testosterone levels slowly 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 nyc.
Although testosterone levels never reach zero (as estrogen levels do in women during menopause), low testosterone levels men to experience symptoms like fatigue, low sex drive, and reduction of muscle mass.
While reduced testosterone is more common in older men, it may occur in younger men also. Fortunately, all of the causes of low testosterone in young guys are curable, so in the event that you encounter these symptoms at any age, there's no reason to dismiss it.
For younger men, a drop in testosterone levels can be brought on by some illnesses, including type 2 diabetes, chronic liver or kidney disease, COPD or other lung disease, or pituitary gland issues, according to Dr. Samadi.
Genetic causes of low testosterone in males include the ailments Klinefelter syndrome, Kallmann syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and Myotonic dystrophy. Another disorder that can cause low testosterone is hemochromatosis, making 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 their North Shore-LIJ Health System.
Additional causes of low testosterone in men younger than 50 include pituitary gland tumors, HIV disease, and radiation therapy or chemotherapy for cancer.
Doctors categorize causes of low testosterone as primary or secondary.
"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?
Irrespective of the cause, low testosterone symptoms would be the same.
"Symptoms include low libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, decreased mental acuity, and moodiness," Dr. Gilbert says.
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.
"When it comes to treating low testosterone in younger guys, we usually reserve treatment for people who have symptoms, such as tiredness and low libido," Gilbert says.
In men who don't make the hormone in their testes because of a condition such as Klinefelter syndrome, or those who have lost their testes because of cancer, the only option is testosterone replacement therapy.
In these circumstances,"treatments are usually used only in the brief term, and if a physician has close monitoring and knowledge of the patient," Gilbert says.
An important consideration for younger men before getting treatment is fertility. "You don't want to offer supplemental testosterone to men 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. "Therefore, men of reproductive age should consider alternatives that might increase their testosterone as well as preserve their sperm production," he states. One such choice is a category of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs).
Other remedies for low testosterone include weight loss and other lifestyle modifications, like eating healthy and increasing exercise.
The bottom line, though, is that in the event that you've got low testosterone symptoms, then it's important to see your physician. Then, your doctor can rule out more serious causes of your symptoms, such as hypertension or a thyroid problem, and offer treatment that can improve your energy and quality of life.