Effortless Solutions In low testosteroneThere's a good reason guys go girl-crazy in their teens and twenties: Their testosterone official site levels are reference at their peak. From that Recommended Reading point, though, testosterone levels 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.
Though 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 reduction of muscle mass.
While low testosterone is more prevalent in older men, it can occur in younger guys as well. Luckily, every one of the causes of low testosterone in young guys are treatable, so in the event that you experience these symptoms at any age, there is no reason to dismiss it.
For younger guys, 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 disorder, 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 could cause low testosterone is hemochromatosis, making the body shop 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 sexual medicine in the Smith Institute for Urology of the 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 says. In secondary hypogonadism, the testicles are normal but function improperly because of a problem with the hypothalamus or pituitary gland."
Is It Low Testosterone?
Irrespective of the reason, low testosterone symptoms are the same.
"Symptoms include low libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, decreased mental acuity, and moodiness," Dr. Gilbert says.
Your doctor can diagnose low testosterone with a blood test.
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.
"When it comes to treating low testosterone in older men, we generally reserve treatment for those who have symptoms, such as tiredness and reduced 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,"therapies are often used just in the brief term, and if a physician has close observation and knowledge of the individual," Gilbert says.
An important consideration for younger men before getting treatment is fertility. "You do not wish to give supplemental testosterone to men who are interested in being 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 which may improve their testosterone in addition to preserve their sperm production," he states. 1 such choice is a category of drugs known as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs).
Other treatments for low testosterone include weight loss and other lifestyle modifications, such as eating healthier and increasing exercise.
The bottom line, however, is that if you have low testosterone symptoms, then it is very important to see your doctor. Then, your doctor can rule out potentially more significant causes of your symptoms, including hypertension or a thyroid problem, and offer treatment that could enhance your energy and quality of life.