The most general cause of Low T is due to andropause and the body producing less testosterone. There are, however, other reasons why the body might be producing less testosterone than what it requires to perform all of its bodily functions optimally. Some of the causes of low testosterone include:
Testosterone levels peak in your late teenage years and decline at 1-2% each year after that. This process is very gradual and the body goes through different stages as it declines from its peak testosterone years. It is difficult to even say what a typical testosterone level is at it differs from individual to individual. Most of the symptoms we discuss for men experiencing Low T typically start to present themselves in ones 40s and increase from there. Just because you are getting older does not mean you have Low T though as about 75% of older men have testosterone in the normal ranges.
Men naturally convert some of their testosterone to estrogen. Estrogen is a more essential hormone for females but it is also an important hormone for bone density as well as the balance against testosterone. Because testosterone is more typically transferred to estrogen in fat cells it is typical to find higher estrogen levels in overweight men. Being overweight will also cause more stress on the body which will reduce the production of testosterone.
Issues with the pituitary glands can cause they body to stop sending signals to the testicles telling it to produce testosterone. This is one phase of secondary hypogonadism.
Injured testicles are frequently unable to produce testosterone at the levels they did when healthy. It is possible to maintain normal levels of testosterone with only one healthy testicle however.
Over or under development of the hypothalamus can cause the body to stop sending signals to the testicles telling it to produce testosterone. This is another condition of secondary hypogonadism.
These therapies can damage the testicular cells necessary to create testosterone. Typically, the issues may surface during treatment and return to normal when the cells recover after treatment, however, occasionally there is permanent damage.
Stress on the body can be caused for many different reasons. When it does it stimulates the fight or flight condition in our bodies. This causes our body to store more fat and produce the stress hormone cortisol. An increase in cortisol will inhibit the production of testosterone as it focuses our hormone production on immediate protection of the body.
Pain killers like opiates such as morphine, oxycotin, and vicodin can create issues that restrict testosterone production.
Diseases such as histiocytosis, tuberculosis, sarcoidosis and HIV affect the hypothalamus and pituitary glands due to inflammation and restrict the communication between these glands and the testicles that stimulate the production of testosterone.
Anabolic steroids are used by body builders and high performance athletes to make them stronger and faster. Use of anabolic steroids in this manner is illegal. These performance enhancing drugs, used in excess, can cause shrinkage of the testicles and restrict the production of testosterone and sperm.
Testosterone levels can be reduced due to illness from infections including meningitis, syphilis or mumps.
Trauma to the head or tumors around these glands can affect the hypothalamus or pituitary glands which then stop sending signals to the testicles to produce testosterone. This is called secondary hypogonadism.
Low levels of red blood cells can lead to anemia. These levels affect both the testicles and pituitary glands and need to be kept in check. There are many different reasons why someone may have low testosterone levels but they do not need to live with it. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to help get you back to feeling the way you remember. Allow Hormone Therapeutics testosterone therapy to help you live well and age well.