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Low Testosterone In Young Men — It Isn’t Natural

If you’ve always thought of low testosterone affecting only older men, you’re dead wrong — low testosterone in young men is more common than you’d think, and it’s often worse for young men than for older men.

low testosterone in young men

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.

Here are just a few of the possible causes of low testosterone in young men involving either primary or secondary testicular failure (you can find more possible causes here, here, and here):

  • Klinefelter syndrome
  • Down syndrome
  • Obesity
  • 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
  • Alcoholism
  • Hemochromatosis
  • 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:

  • Fatigue
  • 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.

SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION

LOW T RESOURCES

(Augie) Juan Augustine Galindo Jr. MPAS, PA-C

(Augie) Juan Augustine Galindo Jr. MPAS, PA-C started his career in healthcare as a fireman/paramedic in West Texas where he served on the Midland Fire Department from 1998-2004.   He became interested in testosterone treatment after seeing how hormone replacement doctors helped those suffering from low testosterone.   After graduating from the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center Physician Assistant Program, he moved to DFW where he currently lives with his wife and three children.

33 Comments

  1. lisa hatfield on 04/12/2016 at 3:21 am

    My 22 yr.old son has very low testosterone, he was using the gel in underarm area, then got a huge cyst. His Dr. said to lose weight. He has “wet dreams” very often.

    • Augie Galindo on 04/19/2016 at 10:56 pm

      Lisa,

      There are other topicals that can be used in areas that are not so prone to cysts, abscesses, or hidradenitis. Also, normal sexual function doesn’t necessarily rule out low testosterone. It may be worth having a conversation with his provider about other methods of TRT like injections.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  2. Mike on 07/25/2016 at 7:59 pm

    Hello,
    I’m 25 and had two separate blood tests. The first results were total = 230 and free = 8. The second only tested total and the result was 46!
    I also took both tests before 10 AM and was fasting for both. I have had terrible symptoms for many years. My doctor gave me Androgel at the newer strength, I think it was 1.56 or something percent. I feel better but it’s only day 4 on the meds and I’m worried about side effects later. Can you email me with more info? I read a lot online that the positive effects fade after 2 weeks? My doctor also never checked my testis or did any checks for genetic diseases. I want to know if TRT is right for me before I start taking it for too long.

    • Augie Galindo on 07/28/2016 at 3:43 pm

      Mike,

      There are many things to consider when contemplating TRT as a young man. Fertility is probably one of the biggest. I will email you shortly with some references.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  3. Amber on 08/11/2016 at 3:52 pm

    Hello!

    My husband has had low T since he was 25 and he is now 29. He experienced the normal side effects of low T, fatigue, decreased limbido, and depression. He is often very tired and has also be diagnosed with depression about a year ago. He did do the testosterone injections for about a year and then quit doing them because he hates needles with a passion. He is now going to try the testosterone cream and from what I have read, it seems that the gel comes with more side effects which concerns me. They also have recently found out that he is deficient in Vitamin D which I think might also be a factor. I am concerned that he may have an underlying condition that they are not finding. Anyone have any similar experiences?

    • Augie Galindo on 08/22/2016 at 2:22 pm

      Amber,

      Thank you for your post! Your husband’s experience is quite common. Depression may be an underlying issue itself, but is often confused with hypogonadism. I rarely find creams superior to injections, and Vitamin D, while a contributing factor, is unlikely to have a significant effect. I hope that helps!

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  4. Karan on 08/11/2016 at 5:57 pm

    Hello, I am 31 male and just got my test results today and I have low T its 211 and i got this test bcoz i had semen analysis and had low sperms count and morality. Sperms count as 600000. We are trying for a baby and I am worried if I will ever be able to produce a baby.

    • Augie Galindo on 08/22/2016 at 3:57 pm

      Karan,

      Low testosterone could be a symptom of other issues that are also affecting fertility. I would advise extreme caution when considering TRT and simultaneously trying to promote fertility. Your best bet is to see a fertility specialist and consider sperm banking or other fertility preservation methods before utilizing testosterone.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  5. Austin on 08/18/2016 at 12:09 pm

    Would taking free test booster help with any of these symptoms

    • Augie Galindo on 08/22/2016 at 10:21 pm

      Austin,

      It is unlikely that any OTC supplement, that isn’t an illegal substance masquerading as a “natural alternative”, would work definitively and significantly. The supplement industry is actually highly “regulated”, but those regulations are poorly enforced. A fancy label and good marketing can cover up quite a bit of inadequacies. All I can say is keep your expectations low, suspicions high, and “buyer beware”.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  6. adam webb on 10/01/2016 at 7:12 pm

    hello, i am 27 and have taken testosterone therapy for 3 years now first because i had excruciating pain in my lower back and always exhausted. After a few months of every 2 week injections the pains were gone and i felt great, i am now only getting them 2-3 times a year but still hesitant on the side effects because i still get testicle pain and every so often cysts.
    Thank you

    • Augie Galindo on 10/02/2016 at 4:04 pm

      Adam,

      You may be doing more harm than good with infrequent treatment. TRT only works when it maintains consistent levels. As far as therapy related testicular pain is concerned, I could see how testicular atrophy could cause discomfort from a high-riding testis, but aside from that, I know of no concern to testicular health with TRT. Cysts can form with poorly administered injections. This is why we see our patients weekly and keep a very close eye on response and safety.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

    • Salman on 10/05/2017 at 2:40 pm

      Adam our symptoms are identical. Low back pain and Dull testicle pain with no other symptoms and low T. Or did you get testicle pain after TRT?

  7. Shahid Khan on 12/15/2016 at 1:49 am

    Hi I am Shahid
    Recently I got married,
    before marriage i never had sexual experiance,
    but i masterbate many time,
    many means in a month i masterbate 3 to 4 times,
    when i got married
    i do sex,
    and i realize i am not able to do sex,
    my condition is
    when i enter my penis in vagina, i lost my erection rapidly,
    and next when again my penis is erected.
    penis is ejaculate but not so hard, i am worry about
    plz tell me what should i do?

    • Augie Galindo on 12/16/2016 at 4:22 pm

      Shahid,

      The best thing to do would be to schedule a visit with a urologist to look for evidence vascular causes of erectile dysfunction.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  8. Darpan on 12/29/2016 at 11:39 pm

    Hello

    My age is 36 and not yet married. I was planning marriage soon, but I realised some kind of sexual dysfunction. I visited urologist and he hot some tests done. My Total testosterone came at 183 and my Free T came at 9. RBC and WBC were also little high. My doctor wants to start me on TRT. But taking into consideration the side effects of TRT I am worried. I want to get married, have kids and live long normal life. Pls suggest wat to do?

    Regards

    • Augie Galindo on 01/05/2017 at 4:25 pm

      Darpan,

      There is quite a bit to consider when adamant about maintaining fertility and contemplating TRT. You need to schedule a discussion with your provider specifically addressing this issue.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  9. Mickey on 02/03/2017 at 12:39 am

    I am 25. I do not experience any sexual dysfunction but I am very depressed have been for a while i never have any drive or ant and i sleep 14 hours a day i didnt have any illness while i was younger but as a child i did recieve some pretty bad trauma to my testicles my main concern being that my sperm is clear could this mean anything or what do u suggest

    • Augie Galindo on 02/06/2017 at 7:02 pm

      Mickey,

      With the burden of those symptoms, I would not rule out clinical depression. That said, any history of testicular trauma warrants functional tests by urology before proceeding with contemplation of TRT.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  10. Eric on 02/23/2017 at 8:54 pm

    I realize this is an old article, but I figured I’d try anyway. I’m a 29 year old male and recently had my levels tested. My t-level was a 65. This was very concerning to me, but when I asked my Doc what would cause that she said it was due to “aging”. Having such a low level at my age just doesn’t seem right and I’m not satisfied with the aging explanation. Any suggestions of what I should do?

    • Augie Galindo on 02/24/2017 at 2:21 pm

      Eric,

      Lab ranges vary greatly by both unit of measure AND the range itself depending on testing modality. That being said, if your numbers are reading low or even “low normal” at your age, you definitely want someone to look at your calculated free testosterone levels. This will tell you where you really stand. And, no, that is NOT from a normal aging process. Your testosterone levels should be at their peak in your late twenties and normal age-related loss (which should only be about 1% annually) should not begin until around 30 years of age.

      It may be time for a second opinion.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  11. LouAnn on 04/18/2017 at 5:09 pm

    My husband is 23 and has recently been diagnosed with depression. He’s been mean and having terrible mood swings as well as being tired and having a low sex drive. He has a half brother (different dads) who shared with me that he has similar symptoms caused by low testosterone and that he discovered it in his twenties also. I took my husband to his pcp and had labs drawn and his testosterone came back 168. We have an appointment scheduled with urology, but I’m curious if there could be some hereditary disease causing it?

    • Augie Galindo on 04/24/2017 at 4:27 pm

      LouAnn,

      Hereditary issues are possible causes, but not “probable”. Some of those issues include hemochromatosis, Marfan syndrome, and Klinefelter Syndrome. That being said, the treatment is the same.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  12. Wes on 04/20/2017 at 8:07 pm

    I am 37 yrs old and have recently been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I am currently taking Beta Seron for my MS. I recently had my T checked because I have been feeling so awful and lab results showed total T of 295 and free T of 7. I have read that TestosteroneTherapy has shown promise with MS patients. My Neuro Dr. is okay with Teatosterone treatment but my primary care Dr. is apprehensive about going down that road.
    What are your thoughts about Teatosterone treatment with MS?

    • Augie Galindo on 04/24/2017 at 4:58 pm

      Wes,

      There is nothing in the literature that talks about MS being a contraindication for TRT. You may want to ask your PCP what their specific concerns are, and what information he/she is using for validation of their trepidation. You can also seek a second opinion from someone familiar with both MS and TRT.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  13. Andy Liu on 05/30/2017 at 2:20 am

    Hello,

    I am 24 years old male. I had few sexual encounters and most of them failed because I was unable to achieve erection at the moment. In fact, I haven’t had any thought of having sex before age 19, which I am convinced is abnormal because all of my male friends had them and I could never relate. Since then I suspected that I might have lower testosterone levels than most men around my age but I didn’t stress too much about it. In fact, I experience moderately low mood during winter months which is accompanied by inability to focus on intellectual tasks, mood swings, chronic tiredness, sleepiness and bad memory. However, during summer months I feel better but not quite as good as what it should be. From physical side I have poor beard growth and my face looks a lot younger than I really am. Most people give me 15-17 years of age. At times people mistake me for a young woman because my body is small (I’m 5’9 and 121 lbs) and my face is feminine. I suspect that I’m not as developed as I should be. I went to a doctor to get blood work done and it came out that thyroid hormones are normal but my total testosterone level is 265 ng/dl, free testosterone is 10 ng/dl. My doc said it’s normal and that there’s nothing to worry about, but I know that it’s on the bottom of the normal and it shouldn’t be like this for a guy of my age. I have no idea what could be done. Will my testosterone just naturally increase or should I do something about it?

    • Augie Galindo on 06/19/2017 at 9:48 pm

      Andy,

      Obviously, I am limited on information here, but neither your clinical presentation nor your labs sound normal to me. I would definitely recommend getting a second opinion rather than just waiting to see if your symptoms disappear naturally.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  14. Luke on 06/10/2017 at 12:38 pm

    Hi, I’m a 35 year old male with diagnosed ptsd and panic disorder. I take a number of meds (sertraline, clonazepam, lisinopril hcl, and prazosin). I recently saw the doc for extreme fatigue throughout the day and and got my total T back as 179. I am about 50 lbs overweight, and recently quit smoking. My wife also had a miscarriage about 6 months ago that really hit me hard. Any thoughts on potential causes of such low T while I wait to see my pcp about what to do next? Thank you! Any info helps.

    • Augie Galindo on 06/24/2017 at 7:26 pm

      Luke,

      The medications you are on can certainly contribute to your levels being low, but there probably won’t a “smoking gun” found. While this is all multifactorial, at the end of the day, this is usually pinned on environmental factors over which we have no control.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  15. Vikram on 08/14/2017 at 3:00 pm

    Am 20 years old boy who had strong sexual life(pennis). Suddenly 5 days ago, I started observing weak and unstiff pennis; sexual unfit that is not responding to sex activities. It had never happened me before.
    Important thing to share with You is I don’t master bet And started Gym week ago and did hard exercise there. So I left Gym yesterday.

    • Augie Galindo on 08/17/2017 at 8:09 am

      Vikram,

      I would suggest to try to not let yourself be too concerned with short-lived, likely transient symptoms. If it persists, then it may be time to see your primary care provider.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  16. Salman on 10/05/2017 at 2:36 pm

    Hi,
    I am 28 and I have been experiencing low libido and fatigue for 5 months, got tested and made a shocking discovery, testosterone levels at 218. The previous year i used minoxidil and Azelaic acid for my hair the entire year, i am not entirely sure if that is what caused it. I still have to visit a urologist, waiting for my appointment. Never in my wildest dreams did i think i would suffer from this problem. Feeling devastated.

    Not sure if its secondary or primary. I keep thinking i have a tumor in my brain, although i dont have any symptoms. I do have dull pain in testicles with no other symptom at all. The cause of which the doctor could not figure out, i am not sure if it might be linked. Any tips from your end would be highly appreciated.

    • Salman,

      Just let the facts from labs and an objective history and physical guide you. Secondary hypogonadism is rare, so pituitary tumors would not be my first guess.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

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