Low testosterone in men, otherwise referred to as male hypogonadism, is a condition wherein a male’s testicle fails to generate sufficient testosterone. Male hypogonadism may be congenital or develop later in life, commonly due to an accident or illness. The consequences—and what you can do about them—are determined by the reason and the stage of your life at which male hypogonadism manifests itself. Male hypogonadism may be treated with testosterone replacement therapy in certain cases.
What Is Low Testosterone in Men, and What Are Its Symptoms?
Male hypogonadism is when the body does not generate enough of the hormone (testosterone) essential for manly growth and development throughout puberty, or enough sperm, or both.
Low testosterone symptoms may vary greatly, especially depending on age.
Symptoms that strongly imply low testosterone in men include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decreased desire for sex
- Reduced sex drive
- Loss of hair in the pubic area and armpits
- Hot flashes
- Infertility in males
Other symptoms include:
- Memory and concentration difficulties
- Decrease in muscle strength and mass
- Depressed mood
- Increased body fat
- Decrease in endurance
- Enlarged male breast tissue
Low Testosterone in Children
Low testosterone levels before or throughout puberty in children assigned male may result in:
- Reduced pubic hair development
- Less voice deepening
- Slowed growth in height
- Reduced penis and testicles development
- Lower-than-normal strength and endurance
Are There Any Lifestyle Factors That Can Contribute to Low Testosterone in Men?
Various factors may cause low testosterone, some of which you are born with and others that are influenced by your lifestyle or changes in your health over time. The following are some of the most prevalent reasons for low testosterone in men:
Alcohol is a deadly poison. As blood alcohol levels rise, testosterone levels decline. Consuming enough alcohol to cause a hangover reduces testosterone levels by 20% for 10 to 12 hours. And today’s life burners, who like spending time in bars, will be impotent, unwell, and insufficiently masculine tomorrow.
Obesity and being overweight are associated with reduced testosterone levels. There are many systems at work.
Leptin, a hormone in fat cells, is hypothesized to limit testosterone synthesis. Excess fat deposits also raise estradiol (an estrogen hormone), leptin, and adipokines (molecules generated by fat cells), all of which influence the pituitary gland, which instructs the testicles how much testosterone to release.
Divorce, unsolved issues, financial difficulties, and unemployment cause testosterone levels to drop. According to one study, noise from aircraft engines suppresses testosterone levels in young men twice!
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Testosterone levels in men with typical sleep habits peak between 3 and 8 a.m. Your testosterone levels might drop when you don’t get enough sleep, which many people do regularly.
One tiny study of ten healthy young men discovered that not getting enough sleep for one week had a detrimental effect on testosterone levels. Five hours of sleep daily reduced their T by 10 to 15%. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep every night.