Well, when you think of decreasing testosterone levels, you might think of middle-aged or older men. But you may be surprised to know that men under 30 too can experience low testosterone or “low T.” Generally, testosterone levels peak in men during adolescence and early adulthood, and levels start to decrease by about 1% every year from around age 30. However, men may experience declining testosterone at a younger age in a few cases.
What Is Low T?
Low T is a medical problem where the body doesn’t make adequate testosterone hormone levels. Both men and women produce testosterone, but it’s called the “male hormone,” as men make a lot more of it. This hormone is responsible for various male traits, including developing male sex organs, sperm, muscle mass, growth, voice intensification and hair growth. Low T can lead to several symptoms such as erectile dysfunction, infertility, low muscle mass, fat gain, and balding.
Low T is diagnosed when the levels fall below 300 ng/dL. As per the Food and Drug Administration, the normal value is between 300 to 100 ng/dL. Serum testosterone blood work is used to determine levels of circulating testosterone.
If you think you might have a low T, fix an appointment with your doctor. In some cases, unhealthy lifestyle behaviours can be one of the causes, which can be modified. In other cases, it is caused due to an underlying medical problem that needs treatment. Read this article to learn more about the signs of Low T and learn how to manage them.
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Symptoms Of Low T
Symptoms of Low T in men tend to be more intense than just feeling tired or cranky. Regardless of one’s age, low T signs include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Problems developing or sustaining an erection
- Fewer spontaneous erections
- Low libido or sexual drive
- Hair loss
- Low muscle mass
- High body fat
- Enlarged breasts
- Poor sleep pattern
- Feeling extreme fatigue
- Brain fog
What Causes Low T In Young Men?
Though Low T is less common among men under 30, it can still happen. Some of the contributing factors include:
- High cholesterol levels
- High blood pressure
- Being overweight or obese
- Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol
- Having illegal drugs
- Taking anabolic steroids
- Certain prescription medications such as steroids and opiates
Medical conditions that lead to Low T include:
- Pituitary disease
- Any injuries, tumours, or health conditions affecting testicles include inflammation associated with childhood mumps
- Genetic disorders, such as Kallman’s syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, or Down syndrome diabetes
- Liver disease
- Cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy
If you suspect that you might have low T, consult your physician immediately. The doctor may suggest certain blood work to check your testosterone level. If your results show that your testosterone level is lower, then additional tests are required or a complete examination to determine the cause of Low T.
The treatment plan will depend on the patient's diagnostic results and medical history. Based on the reports, the doctor may ask the person to modify the lifestyle habits or go for testosterone replacement therapy. One should always talk to a healthcare provider before taking any medications, including testosterone replacement therapy and supplements, as evidence has revealed that testosterone therapy can elevate the risk of heart attack, particularly if you already have cardiac ailments. The doctor will help the patient understand different treatment modes' possible benefits and risks.
Can Low T Be Prevented?
There are no proven ways to avert low testosterone caused due to genetic conditions or damage to the testes or pituitary gland. However, leading a disciplined lifestyle that includes having a wholesome and nutritious diet, losing weight, and avoiding the use of alcohol and drugs can help a person maintain normal testosterone levels.