You may think that low testosterone only affects older men. Testosterone levels are thought to be highest during youth. However, that's not entirely accurate. A growing number of men are facing the issue of low testosterone and it is no trivial matter. Low testosterone can significantly impact your health, mood, sex life and self confidence. This article aims to delve into the causes of testosterone in young males, provide insights on how to identify if you are affected, and suggest potential actions to address the issue. So let's begin!
What is testosterone and why is it important?
Testosterone is the most essential hormone inside a male body that creates the key physiological divides between males and females. It has the function to feed all the manly traits in your body. Essentially, testosterone is responsible for:
- Muscle growth
- Body and facial hair
- Higher bone density
- Energy and vigor
- Functioning of the male reproductive system
- Sexual desire and libido among men
Testosterone plays a role in aspects of your overall health. It has an impact on your mood, memory, abilities and even your confidence. As we age testosterone levels naturally decrease. It's important to maintain them within a range specific to your age group. For men the normal range of testosterone typically falls between 300 and 1000 nanograms, per deciliter (ng/dL). In case your levels drop below 300 ng/dL it could indicate low testosterone or hypogonadism.
What causes low testosterone in young males?
There are many possible causes of low testosterone in young males. Some of them are present at birth, while others are acquired later in life. Some of the most common causes are:
Prolonged or chronic stress has been known to have an impact on our balance. It can lead to an increase in cortisol levels, a hormone that can hinder the production and release of testosterone. Additionally stress can disrupt the quality of our sleep which plays a role in maintaining optimal hormonal levels necessary for our overall well being.
Lack of sleep
Insufficient sleep has the potential to disturb your body's circadian rhythm, responsible for regulating hormone secretion. It can further result in reduced levels of growth hormone, which play a role in promoting muscle development and facilitating repair processes.
Wearing tight clothing or exposing your testicles to high temperatures can reduce their ability to produce sperm and testosterone. This is because heat can damage the delicate cells that make these substances.
Lack of sunlight exposure
The presence of sunlight triggers the production of vitamin D, a component in the synthesis of testosterone. Additionally vitamin D plays a role in maintaining proper levels of calcium and phosphorus within your body, which are vital for promoting strong and healthy bones.
Excessive drug use
Certain substances, including opioids, steroids, marijuana, alcohol and nicotine have the potential to disrupt the balance of hormones in your body. When consumed these drugs can inhibit or imitate the impacts of testosterone resulting in imbalances within your hormonal system and potentially giving rise to unfavorable consequences.
Obesity or weight gain
Having an amount of body fat can lead to an increased conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone commonly associated with females and its effects counteract those of testosterone. Additionally, obesity can contribute to inflammation and insulin resistance. These factors can negatively impact function and ultimately result in lower levels of testosterone.
Some foods and products contain estrogen-like compounds that can disrupt your endocrine system and lower your testosterone levels. These include soy products, dairy products, plastic containers, pesticides-ridden foods, and personal care products.
How to know if you have low testosterone?
Low testosterone can cause a variety of symptoms that affect your physical and mental health. Some of the most common signs of low testosterone are:
Loss of muscle mass
Testosterone helps build and maintain muscle tissue. If you have low testosterone, you may notice that your muscles become weaker and smaller over time.
Lack of energy
Testosterone helps boost your metabolism and give you energy. If you have low testosterone, you may feel tired and sluggish throughout the day.
Lower sex drive
Testosterone stimulates your sexual desire and arousal. If you have low testosterone, you may lose interest in sex or have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection.
Testosterone affects your mood and emotions. If you have low testosterone, you may experience depression, anxiety, irritability, or low self-esteem.
Testosterone supports your brain function and memory. If you have low testosterone, you may have trouble concentrating, learning new things, or recalling information.
If you experience any of these symptoms or suspect that you have low testosterone, you should consult with your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Testosterone deficiency commonly affects men impacting their overall health and quality of life. Various factors contribute to this issue including stress, inadequate sleep, excessive heat exposure, limited sunlight, substance abuse, weight gain or obesity and estrogen intake. The consequences of testosterone can be significant leading to muscle mass depletion, diminished energy levels, decreased libido, mood fluctuations and cognitive deterioration. Restoring testosterone levels can be achieved through exercise, adjustments in diet and lifestyle, medical prescriptions, or by using natural testosterone boosters. If you suspect testosterone or seek further information consulting a healthcare professional is advisable, for personalized guidance and support.