Home Men's Health COMMON CAUSES OF LOW TESTOSTERONE: What it is, causes and how, symptoms/effects What is testosterone?

COMMON CAUSES OF LOW TESTOSTERONE: What it is, causes and how, symptoms/effects What is testosterone?

by Mark Griffin
male mental health problems



Testosterone is the anabolic steroid hormone that plays a major role in stimulating the development of secondary sexual characteristics and in the development of reproductive tissues in males, mainly in the testes.


Testosterone promotes the following:


Development of sexual characteristics such as; muscle and bone mass, facial and body hair growth, etc.


Maintaining healthy levels of red blood cells


Healthy reproductive and sexual functions including sperm production


What is low testosterone?


elder man inspecting his medicine

Now, low testosterone also known as testosterone deficiency or male hypogonadism is a condition of the testes/testicles (male reproductive gland) not producing enough testosterone needed by the body.


The most common and natural cause for low testosterone levels in men is aging, as a man ages the first decline in the production of this hormone is from 30/40 years of age, depending on your lifestyle or probably genetics, thereafter continues to decline typically 1% per year.


The diagnosis for low testosterone levels is through a blood test.


What are the possible causes of testosterone deficiency?


These include the following:


Alcohol abuse- alcohol damages Leydig cells in the testes which is the production house of testosterone.


Interrupting blood supply to the testes due to injuries or an illness- the blood is a transport system for nutrients and hormones needed by various parts of the body. Therefore, if this process is interrupted the reproductive system is deprived of these hormones and nutrients.


Infection of the testes (orchitis)




Kidney failure


Presence of too much iron in the body


Delay of puberty


Excess estrogen


Medication for cancer or diabetes- the side effects of some medications used to treat cancer or diabetes might include low testosterone.


Medical conditions causing inflammation of organs


Obesity- having excess fat in the pubic area can cause the temperature to increase to high levels where it hinders sperm production as well as reducing the protein that carries the testosterone in the blood.


Extreme weight loss- losing weight from obesity is good for increasing testosterone, however, losing weight should be done cautiously and not depriving the body of the essential nutrients needed for development because that will become unhealthy and easily result in low testosterone levels.


Aging- this is the most natural cause as testosterone levels vary according to the various stages of a man’s life whether it is before, during, or after puberty.


Cancer chemotherapy- according to research, due to the radiation therapy undergone by cancer patients or survivors, a percentage of about 15%, have shown late side effects of testosterone deficiency.


Sleep disorder- proper sleep means balanced melatonin levels that participate in regulating blood pressure and circulation in all systems of the body. Now a sleep disorder will disrupt this balance.


Anabolic steroid abuse- the excess intake of these steroids reduces the body’s natural potential to produce the testosterone hormone.


Kallmann syndrome- is a genetic disorder that causes abnormal development of the gland in the brain responsible for hormone activities and the process of puberty.




testosterone and virility 

Testosterone levels vary according to body mass, medication, alcohol intake, nutrition, age, or certain medical conditions. The symptoms of low testosterone include:


Body fat increase; this is because a healthy testosterone level regulates body fat


Reduced sex drive


Lack of strength




Mood swings


Reduced muscle mass


Loss of body hair


Reduced energy levels


Lesser spontaneous erections; for example- during sleep or at the moment of waking up




Swollen breasts or development of breasts (gynecomastia)


Sleep disorders or insomnia


Reduced bone density (osteoporosis)


Reduced sexual performance


Reduced reproduction functions


Distracted thinking




Reduced levels of red blood cells


As most of the conditions mentioned are caused by testosterone deficiency, they can also be the cause of testosterone deficiency themselves. Examples of these conditions are sleeping disorders or unhealthy sleeping habits, depression, etc.


About 40% of men are affected by low testosterone. A visit to the doctor is advised as soon as any of these signs are observed to know exactly what is the cause or issue.


Some medications and therapies could raise your testosterone levels back to normal and should certainly be undergone according to prescription only.


Endeavor to live a good lifestyle involving regular cardiovascular exercises and consumption of healthy foods that maintain healthy levels of testosterone.


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