There's a fantastic reason guys go girl-crazy in their teens and about his twenties: Their testosterone levels are at their peak. From their explanation that point, Continued 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 like fatigue, low libido, and loss of muscle mass.
While reduced testosterone is more common in older men, it may occur in younger men also. Fortunately, all the causes of low testosterone in young men are treatable, so in the event that you experience such symptoms at any age, there is no reason to dismiss it.
For younger guys, a fall in testosterone levels can be brought on by some illnesses, including type 2 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 can result in low testosterone is hemochromatosis, which makes 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 at the Smith Institute for Urology of their North Shore-LIJ Health System.
Additional causes of low testosterone in males younger than 50 contain adrenal gland tumors, HIV infection, 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. 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 would be the same.
"Symptoms include low libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, decreased mental acuity and moodiness," Dr. Gilbert says.
"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.
Treatments for Low Testosterone in Younger Men
Not everyone with low testosterone needs treatment. "When it comes to treating low testosterone in older guys, we generally reserve treatment for people who have symptoms, such as fatigue 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 short term, and if a doctor has close monitoring 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 men who are interested in being 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. "Hence, men of reproductive age should consider alternatives which may increase their testosterone as well as maintain their semen 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 changes, such as eating healthier and increasing exercise.
The main point, however, is that in the event that you've got low testosterone symptoms, 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 give treatment that could improve your energy and quality of life.