Decreased levels of testosterone (low T) also known as Hypogonadism usually cause health issues (including mood swings, sleep problems, increased or decreased size of testicles, and others). If you experience low T may also decrease your libido and cause erectile dysfunction (ED). This document will talk about potential causes of decreased testosterone in men.
This hormone plays an important role in the production of sperm and the development of muscles and bones. Testosterone also is responsible for hair growth, deepening voice, and other factors that affect appearance. Testicles produce most of the testosterone in a man’s body. If you experience low T, it means that your testes do not produce enough testosterone. In case, your testosterone level is less than 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) is considered that you have low testosterone levels according to The American Urological Association.
If you experience symptoms such as fatigue, depression, ED, or low sex drive, may help you to identify decreased testosterone. Testosterone decreases naturally each year usually after age 30. That’s why low T is more common in older males.
Causes of Low T in Men
There are two categories of male Hypogonadism such as primary and secondary. When your testicles are underactive and do not produce enough testosterone Primary Hypogonadism occurs. If you experience damage to the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, Secondary Hypogonadism occurs.
Causes of Primary Hypogonadism
Low T levels can be acquired or inherited, which leads to inactivity of your testes. Check below some examples:
- Klinefelter’s Syndrome: It may decrease the size of testicles by inhibiting testicular growth. Therefore, decreased production of testosterone is due to smaller testes. This is a condition when a man is born with three chromosomes such as XXY instead of XY.
- Undescended testicles or the absence of testes at birth (Anorchia) also may result in low T levels. When the testicles fail to descend from the abdomen before birth, undescended testicles occur.
- Hemochromatosis affects the function of the pituitary gland and testicles. This condition provokes extra iron build-up in your body to harmful levels.
Additionally, an injury, mumps infection, or cancer treatment may also damage your testes and low T may occur. A contagious disease that causes fatigue, headaches, fever, and others is called Mumps Infection or Mumps Orchitis.
Causes of Secondary Hypogonadism
Inherited conditions or acquired circumstances may also damage the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. For example:
- Inflammatory diseases including tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, and histiocytosis may also affect the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.
- Generally, people with HIV/AIDS also experience low T levels because HIV can affect your testes, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland.
- Kallmann Syndrome is a condition that is absent or delayed puberty. Therefore, it may also affect testes growth. This may also provoke decreased testosterone levels.
- Pituitary Disorders also may cause decreased levels of testosterone. Usually, drug use, kidney failure, small tumors, and others provoke these disorders.
There are some factors that may also cause low T such as aging, obesity, and medications. Additionally, physical or severe emotional stress may also cause a hormonal imbalance, which may result in Secondary Hypogonadism.
For a suitable treatment, talk with your healthcare provider if you experience any of the symptoms of low T levels. Furthermore, you should not use testosterone medications if you have heart disease, prostate or breast cancer, or sleep apnea. Your doctor may also prescribe Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) alongside medicines. Talk to a doctor before trying TRT to prevent or avoid side effects. Otherwise, you may experience a bigger prostate, acne, smaller testicles, swelling in your feet, and others. Ask your physician if you have any questions.