Arguably one of the most sought-after questions that guys ask is – what causes low testosterone in men? And since low T is undoubtedly one of the worst things that can happen to a man (apart from listening to J. Bieber), we as men absolutely need to know what the reason for that condition is in the first place.
Thankfully though, I’ll give you an answer to this question and more, including what the signs of low testosterone are and how to give it a boost, so don’t go anywhere!
What Could Actually Cause Low T In The First Place?
It’s called hypogonadism and this term stands for decreased function of your gonads i.e. testicles. Or in other words, this is when your balls decide to call it a day and pretty much give you the finger in terms of producing sufficient amounts of testosterone.
When your nuts are under hypogonadism’s spell they tend to produce unsatisfactory amounts of our favorite hormone. Unsatisfactory in every possible meaning, because of neither you nor your girlfriend/lover/wife/
sister/ pet/etc. would be satisfied with the end product! Now that you have an idea what this condition is, let me dig further and explore the kinds of hypogonadism:
- Primary hypogonadism
- Secondary hypogonadism
You can look at them as two sides of the same coin. Doesn’t really matter which side you’re given, you’ll be pretty much screwed anyway! But hey it’s getting more and more interesting and I don’t want to leave you on a low note… Do I?
Types of Hypogonadism Explained!
There’s a sequence to everything and our arch enemy here, knows that all too well. For this reason, the hypo condition can be split into two main sections or parts, whichever you prefer fellows!
As the name suggests it’s the primary one. You know, if there are two and one is primary then it means it’s the first one, right? Got it? Ok, I promise – from now on I will view you guys at the top of the top when it comes to intelligent human beings!
For this one, we should focus on your nuts entirely – the primary hypogonadism basically means faulty testicles. This quite clearly translates to your testosterone production being boned, like totally boned! This situation can be BOTH inherited or acquired. Perplexed by what I mean by that? Let me further elaborate!
Inherited hypogonadism is when:
- You have the Klinefelter syndrome
- Yours have cryptorchidism
- You are “blessed” with hemochromatosis
The Klinefelter thing is not a positive feature to have, for sure! It’s when you have an extra X chromosome and that my friends mean that you MIGHT possess some not-so-manly attributes such as wider hips, enlarged boobs, narrower shoulders and what not.
Cryptorchidism‘s a fancy, sophisticated in an unwanted manner kind of word, don’t you think? It stands for testicles that haven’t descended… from your abdomen that is when you were inside your mother’s belly! While undescended balls may sound harmless and hilarious – trust me, it’s the polar opposite of that.
As for the last of the bunch, hemochromatosis (another overly complicated word) is not your friend, nor it needs to be. It’s responsible for your body utilizing more Iron (the mineral, of course!) than it needs from the stuff you consume. What does that mean? Too much of this mineral can brutalize your nuts and/or mess with your pituitary gland!
As unfortunate as all of this is, the primary variation of this condition is a great excuse to blame your genetics (didn’t want to say, parents, really). So we’ve got the initial hypogonadism all covered, cheers! Now it’s time for the more spicy information, it’ll be about:
This is completely caused by external factors. Here you can safely blame yourself or someone/something else for your impaired testosterone production. Yep folks, be it the famous pituitary gland or even the hypothalamus (parts of our brain where T production is controlled), any harm done to any of these and your in for some TROUBLE!
As I don’t want to sound too pessimistic, let me throw some conditions connected to the function of the pituitary gland and/or the hypothalamus. These fall under the second-ish hypogonadism problem:
- Inflammatory processes – sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, and histiocytosis are all rather nasty and have the naughty ability to interfere with the functions of the hypothalamus and the… yes, you know which gland!
- Immunodeficiency viruses – say hello to HIV (or AIDS) and just keep in mind that this atrocity of a virus could potentially also affect your testicles or the GLAND (not sure how many more times I’ll repeat this word) plus the… aye, h-y-p-o-t-h-a-l-a-m-u-s!
- Pituitary gland problems – such as caused by kidney malfunction, certain tumorous overgrowth etc. and such issues are able to mess your whole endocrine system up, big time.
You’re probably scared to death now, you probably assume that it’s game over after reading such, how to put it… discouraging info. But I’m here to save the day and tell you that NO, not all is lost. It’s more than possible to treat low testosterone naturally, without injecting your butt with synthetic crap!
Okay, How Can I Raise Testosterone Levels Then?
You can do that through a number of very effective ways, but in my opinion (and based on science), the top 5 methods for giving more oomph to your natural T production are:
- Get more vitamin D – Either by using a supplement or by directly exposing your skin to sunlight e.g. sunbathing (1)
- Exercise – Weightlifting is your best bet if you want the most bang for your buck when it comes to increasing your testosterone (2)
- Use testosterone boosting supplements – There are lots of great options out there, like my personal favorite TestoGen (I’ve tried it myself)
- Reduce your alcohol consumption – Consider throwing drinking alcohol out the window, since the intoxication that results from drinking booze will lower your plasma T levels (3)
- Eat the right foods – Foods like pomegranates, eggs and olive oil are superb for optimizing your primary male hormone levels (check the top 5 T boosting foods)
And while increasing your masculinity in a natural way is both possible and completely harmful (as opposed to using things like steroids), doing a blood test is always a sound plan in order to get an accurate reading of the amount of testosterone that’s coursing through your veins.
What Diseases Can Cause Low Testosterone?
These are the most common diseases that may the reason why your T levels are on the lower end:
- Sarcoidosis, histiocytosis, and tuberculosis – These 3 are inflammatory diseases and they can have a negative impact on T production by affecting the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. And Sarcoidosis seems to be the most unpleasant one with 46.7% of patients (men) who suffer from that disease have decreased T concentrations (4), (5).
- HIV a.k.a. AIDS – Apparently, having HIV more often than not means that you also have insufficient amounts of testosterone in your body. Studies show that the vast majority of men who are infected with AIDS have to deal with low testosterone (6).
And please, if you’re dealing with any of these awful diseases, take my advice – go see a doctor, don’t just try to come up with your own ‘unique’ alternative treatment method or something!
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Testosterone In Males?
Here are five of the most prevalent and noticeable symptoms when it comes to low T:
- Decreased libido and/or sex drive
- Increased body fat levels
- Sleep disturbances (e.g. insomnia)
- Reduced lean muscle mass
But in case you’d like to read more about the nasty symptoms associated with having insufficient amounts of your primary male hormone, then head over to my ‘low T and symptoms‘ article right away!
Are You Sure That You Have Low Testosterone Though?
Just by looking at Arnold in Conan and immediately concluding that you’re a tiny shrimp compared to him is of no use. Yeah, during the shooting for this movie he was more than likely walking around with 20x the amounts of testosterone that any regular Joe would carry in his system.
Or simply “guessing” that you could very well be one of those unfortunate guys that have been cursed with below normal levels of our primary male hormone, is plain and simple… unwise (to put it mildly)!
If you catch my drift or if you don’t, to put it super-simply-simple (yay for triple ‘s’):
You need a blood test to determine your testosterone levels!
You need to do a blood test to ACCURATELY determine your testosterone levels!
And no, saliva or urine tests are nowhere near as accurate, so don’t even think about half-arsing it bro! Be a man, stand strong, roll up your sleeves and let the nurse do her job. I know, there are nurses that you’d prefer to do a different kind of service for you, but come on … we’re using our main heads now!
Before ANY kind of assumptions, please, pretty please – go to a lab in your town/city/village/camp/underground base/whatever, ask for testosterone level test and voila or as the Heineken commercial goes – “and now we wait!”. So, time to ask a closely related question, no?
So What’s Considered Normal When It Comes To Testosterone?
First and foremost, normal is when something is right between below-normal and above-normal. It’s the golden standard, the perfect equilibrium, the ideal utopia… you get my point!
As a rule of thumb, it’s been accepted that this is the range that’s considered normal:
280 – 1,100 ng/dl
If you’d like to dive into the subject of what the normal range of T is, then feel free to check my thematic article. There you’ll find more info that’ll help you figure out whether or not you’re on the lower side of the spectrum!
One thing’s for sure though, it’s a damn WIDE range. Almost as wide as the cape cod canal (widest in the world, for your info). Yet, anything below the 300 mark is and even should be considered tiny, miniature, puny… microscopic amounts of testosterone!
The main antagonist here goes by the name of hypogonadism – no more, no less. In this article, I’ve outlined the main causes for your below-the-norm values of our favorite hormone. Well, practically not just outlined, because I went deeper (ha-ha) into the subject by giving you a more sophisticated approach.
Remember that going for a blood test is always preferred if you think about doing one. Excluding all the warning signs of low T, this has to the best option to go for when you’re in doubt of your alpha male status. And basically always aim to be at the higher end of the spectrum – we want to be as manly as possible, now DON’T WE?
I pray that this post of mine was an eye-opener to you. Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of which aspects are the true origin of the most dreaded condition for every single man out there.
Got a question or want to tell me how much you enjoyed reading this? No worries, drop me a comment in the space below!
Founder of Testosterone Nerd