There's a fantastic reason guys go girl-crazy in their teens and twenties: important site Their testosterone levels are at their peak. you can find out moreSource From there, 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 nyc.
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 sex drive, and loss of muscle mass.
While low testosterone is more common in older men, it can occur in younger men as well. Luckily, all the causes of low testosterone in young guys are curable, so in the event that you experience such symptoms at any given age, there is no reason to dismiss it.
Causes of Low Testosterone in Younger Men
For younger guys, a drop in testosterone levels can be caused by some illnesses, including type 2 diabetes, diabetes, chronic liver or liver disease, COPD or other lung disease, or adrenal 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 disease that could 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," 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 at the Smith Institute for Urology of their North Shore-LIJ Health System.
Other 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 states.
Is It 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 you suspect low testosterone, the first step is to see your primary care physician. Your doctor can diagnose low testosterone with a blood test.
"When it comes to treating low testosterone in younger 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. Such testosterone supplements come in the form of gel, injections, patches, long-acting pellets, or oral inserts.
In these circumstances,"therapies are often used only in the short term, and when a doctor has close observation and understanding of the individual," Gilbert says.
An important consideration for younger men before getting treatment is fertility. "You don't want to give 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. "Therefore, men of reproductive age should consider alternatives that might improve 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 raising exercise.
The bottom line, though, is that if you've got low testosterone symptoms, then it's very important to see your doctor. Then, your doctor can rule out potentially more serious causes of your symptoms, such as hypertension or a thyroid problem, and give treatment that could enhance your power and high quality of life.