Testosterone is the main sex hormone in males and is also used as a steroid. In the male body, testosterone acts as an essential function in the development and growth of male reproductive cells, such as in the testes as well as the male prostate. Most people associate this male hormone with the sex drive and also the role it plays in sperm production; it’s also associated with the biological aspect that gives men their “manliness.”
Testosterone also promotes and helps develop additional bodily attributes like enhanced bone and muscle mass and boosting the growth of hair on the body.
The Common Issue Of Low Testosterone
Unfortunately, a lot of males and females find themselves with the health condition of low testosterone, scientifically known as Hypogonadism, but it most commonly affects males. Otherwise known as Low-T, testosterone deficiency is the lack of production or underproduction of the testosterone hormone in men (and women). The causes of low testosterone are varied and this common problem affects about 2 out of every 100 men with the risk increasing as they age.
What Are The Causes Of Low Testosterone?
Low testosterone causes can occur during puberty, during adulthood, or can even be caused during the fetal stage due to the underdevelopment of testosterone in the testicles and conditions like Congenital disability and Klinefelter syndrome, which is a genetic condition regarding extra X chromosomes.
There are a wide range of low testosterone causes, with the most common being that as a man ages and especially after the age of 30, the testosterone hormone level naturally declines. Causes can be from illnesses or accidents or be acquired by natural or inherited circumstances.
Here are several other potential causes for Hypogonadism:
- Delay in puberty
- Alcohol abuse
- Medications like hormones used to treat things like prostate cancer, steroids or any prescription drugs such as opioids
- Exposure to radiation
- Chronic or acute illnesses
- Hemochromatosis, which is excess iron in the blood
- Syndromes like Kallman
- Excess estrogen in the body
- Testicular infections
- Undescended testicles, where the testicles do not descend below the baby’s abdomen before birth
- Sleep apnea
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Extreme weight loss
- Cancer treatments
- Some inflammatory conditions
- Steroid abuse
These are just a few of the potential causes for low testosterone, and there are a variety of symptoms of low testosterone that can help someone to know if they are dealing with testosterone deficiency.
Low Testosterone Symptoms
The symptoms that occur when someone has Hypogonadism or low testosterone are widely spread and depends on the age of the person. Symptoms can include feeling depressed and low, fatigue, and lack of energy, a low sex drive, body fat increase, erectile dysfunction, among many others. Here are more symptoms that someone can experience with testosterone deficiency:
- The decrease in muscle mass and strength
- Effects to memory and lack of concentration
- Slight anemia (decreased red blood cells) and decreased hemoglobin (oxygen carrier in the blood)
- Problems with muscle development and lack of body hair during the stage of puberty
- Osteoporosis (bone thinning)
- The worsening of sleep apnea
- Low volume of semen production
- Changes in sleep patterns and in some cases insomnia
- Breast developments
- During puberty, lack of the deepening of the voice and underdevelopment of genitals
- Mood changes and lack of energy
These are just a few common low testosterone symptoms and things that occur in the body that people should be aware of. Consulting a doctor about these symptoms can help detect testosterone deficiency and enable people to get the help and treatment required. Treatments can include assistance with reproduction and also hormone replacement therapies.