There's a fantastic reason men go girl-crazy in their teens and twenties: Their our website testosterone levels are at their peak. From additional info that point, though, useful link 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 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 sex drive, and loss of muscle mass.
While low testosterone is more common in older men, it may occur in younger men as well. Fortunately, all of the causes of low testosterone in young guys are curable, so in the event that you encounter these symptoms at any given age, there is no reason to dismiss it.
For younger men, a drop in testosterone levels can be brought on by some ailments, such as type 2 diabetes, chronic liver or liver disease, COPD or other lung disorder, or adrenal gland issues, according to Dr. Samadi.
Genetic causes of low testosterone in men include the diseases Klinefelter syndrome, Kallmann syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and Myotonic dystrophy. Another disease which could cause 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 reproductive medicine in the Smith Institute for Urology of the 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 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."
Is It Low Testosterone?
Regardless of the reason, 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.
"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. Such testosterone supplements come in the form of gel, injections, patches, long-acting pellets, or oral inserts.
In these circumstances,"treatments are often used only in the brief term, and when a physician has close observation and knowledge of the individual," Gilbert says.
An important consideration for younger men before getting treatment is fertility. "You don't wish 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 think about alternatives that might improve their testosterone as well as maintain 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 changes, like eating healthier and raising exercise.
The bottom line, however, is that in the event that you have low testosterone symptoms, then it's very important to see your doctor. Then, your doctor can rule out potentially more significant causes of your symptoms, such as hypertension or a thyroid problem, and offer treatment that can enhance your energy and high quality of life.