If you’ve always thought of low testosterone affecting only older men, you’re dead wrong.
It’s true that low testosterone is usually found in men over the age of 50; however, that does not mean that it can’t affect men in their 40s and 30s, or even younger. Low testosterone in young men is not exactly common, but neither is it unheard of.
The causes are just a little different.
Low Testosterone In Young Men — More Than A Normal Drop In Testosterone Levels
As you age, your testosterone levels naturally decline. Hormones naturally decline with age, and it’s not just a problem for men—women experience the same phenomenon. Your body simply can’t produce the same levels it once did. Eventually, those levels can drop below what we (and the Endocrine Society) consider to be normal.
When it comes to low testosterone in young men, we define the serum testosterone level below which low testosterone symptoms begin to appear to be 300 ng/dl (nanograms per deciliter), OR a free testosterone level below 9 ng/dl. We apply the same standards to older men.
While older men may find that their testosterone levels fall below this threshold over time, younger men (in their twenties) generally only have testosterone levels below 300 ng/dl due to an illness.
Causes of Low Testosterone In Young Men
Low testosterone in young men is not common, and, generally, is only caused by an illness or external factor that affects the testicles, hypothalamus, or pituitary gland.
There are actually two different types of hypogonadism (low testosterone or low T), and the causes for each is different.
The first type is called primary hypogonadism or testicular failure. This type of hypogonadism is usually caused by a disease, illness, or external factor that directly affects your testicles’ ability to produce testosterone normally.
The second type is called secondary hypogonadism and usually involves a failure in the communication loop between your hypothalamus or pituitary gland for one reason or another.
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Down syndrome
- Opiate pain medication use or abuse
- Hypothalamic disease
- Pituitary disease
- Physical damage to the testicles
- Damage to the testicles from illness or chemotherapy
- Type II diabetes
- Sickle cell disease
Remember, this is a short list—there are many more possible causes. The causes can also combine; that is, you may have both primary and secondary testicular failure.
Even if you have one or more of the issues listed above, that doesn’t mean you have low testosterone. However, a combination of symptoms with a history of one or more of the above illnesses may indicate low testosterone.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone In Young Men
Like the causes of low testosterone, symptoms will vary from patient to patient. For an exhaustive look at all the possible symptoms of low testosterone in young men, you need to read our page on the subject, but if you don’t have time for that, here’s a quick list to give you an idea of what to look for.
Here are just some of the more prevalent symptoms of low testosterone:
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Weight Problems
- Trouble Concentrating
- Loss of Endurance
- Depressed Mood
- Muscle Weakness & Loss
- Loss of height
- Loss of libido
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your medical care provider. Feeling like this is not normal, and you don’t have to suffer from these kind of symptoms any longer.
If you want to learn more about how we treat low testosterone in young men, click here to contact us.
We’ll walk you through the process and show you exactly what to expect.
If you’re not quite ready to talk just yet, watch some of our testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) videos to learn more about how it all works.