Testosterone is a hormone produced by the testicles, and it plays a critical role in male sexual development, health, and well-being. It is a steroid hormone that helps build muscle mass and strength, among other things. It also regulates bone density, sperm production and function, fat distribution (especially around the waist), red blood cell production—and just about everything else for men.
While there may be other factors in low testosterone (like genetics or alcohol consumption), many common causes of low testosterone levels can be avoided or treated with lifestyle changes. In the United States, the average male testosterone levels range from 300 to 1,200 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). Testosterone deficiency is diagnosed when a man’s blood level falls below 300 ng/dL. That being said, many situations may contribute to low testosterone levels.
Thanks to modern sciences, many ways to identify and treat low testosterone, including lifestyle changes and medical treatment. Let us look at the causes of low testosterone and how to treat it.
Testosterone levels decline with age. The rate of testosterone decline is not the same in all men, but it typically becomes more rapid after 40. Testosterone levels also decline more rapidly in overweight men than in normal-weight or lean men.
Low testosterone can be caused by hormonal imbalances such as pituitary gland disorders or adrenal gland disorders. These result in insufficient production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and more.
These hormones regulate testosterone production by signaling the testicles to produce more hormones, which can lead to lower levels of overall testosterone production if there is inadequate stimulation from these three hormones. In addition to low T levels resulting from a disorder, other factors affecting T production include lethargy, stress, and obesity, on top of the patient’s age.