What Causes Low Testosterone In Men? Read This At All Costs!

Oh boy, tell me what DOESN'T cause our testosterone to plummet these days...

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Man wearing a hoodie with arms crossed

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 the 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:

  1. Primary hypogonadism
  2. 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?

Man drawing and explaining something on whiteboard

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!

  • Primary Hypogonadism

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!

Pair of nuts hanging on a tree
This is an artistic representation of… gonads (testes)!

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:

  • Secondary Hypogonadism

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!

Be A Man, Get The Girl: Testosterone & Success With Women

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 (read more about my experience with it in my TestoGen review)
  • 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 testosterone 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?

What causes low testosterone in men, diseases

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)
  • Depression
  • 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 testosterone 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?

Tablet and a laptop showing some graphs
The exact range for normal testosterone levels is somewhere in there!

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 article about the normal testosterone levels for men. 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!

What causes low testosterone. a man with long hair in a forest
This bro looks like he’s wondering whether or not his T levels are within the normal range… just do a bloody BLOOD test mate, doh!

Conclusion

The main antagonist here goes by the name of hypogonadism –  no more, no less. In this article, I’ve outlined the main causes of 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 section below this post!

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Founder and author of Testosterone Nerd. A man with addiction, testosterone addiction. From captivating metaphors, humoristic approaches and scientifically-backed research, there's something for every man seeking optimal male hormone levels. Now give me five and rev up that T of yours!
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25 COMMENTS

  1. H Simon, I am happy to say my testosterone levels are good and strong.I think!! I love oysters and eat them pretty regularly.

    We have a local oyster festival every year too. Testosterone levels rocket that weekend and wow I did’t think mint would be a no no for testosterone.

    Great subject and reading.

    • Hey,

      Always a pleasure mate, glad you found it helpful.

      Cheers to you for feeling great and confident about your state of manliness. If you have any testosterone in excess, you are free to send me some!

      And wow, having oyster festival sounds amazing! Should be the manliest festival of them all – enjoy.

      Cheers and God bless,
      Simon | Author of Testosterone Nerd

  2. Hey Simon! First of all.. WOW.. you scared the f out of me at first man! However, I was relieved at the end. I really enjoyed reading your post. You have a truly one of a kind way to express what you want to say 😀
    Keep writing with the same passion! Can’t wait to read your next post.

    • Bonjour Dimitar (or should I say “zdravei”)!

      Never lose your faith, never enter the desperation zone! Everyone can reclaim his manhood… no doubt.

      I’m rather pleased that you found my piece of writing entertaining – I hope the Lord will give me strong health so that I’d able to help you guys! And possibly entertain you as well, because hey – positive vibes and laughter are good for us.

      Cheers and God bless,
      Simon | Author of Testosterone Nerd

  3. Hello

    Very interesting article on the causes of low testosterone in men, this is becoming a very common issue for many men and what I am wondering are there any symptoms to warn you to get tested to check for this problem ?

    What about our diets, can our diets improve this problem like many other health problems we are finding that diet changes are the best way to improve our health

  4. Thank you for this free education for all us men; What Causes Low Testosterone In Men. Can the type of food you eat affect our Testosterone levels? I heard those rumors while I was out shopping in my town. How can you assist my cousin who has been complaining that her man can’t satisfy her in bed?

  5. Hey Simon,
    I just stumbled across your post and I have to say that it’s one of the best reads I’ve come across in a long time. I found your post to be truly informative and helpful and I must say that my time spent reading it was worth every second.

    I’ll be sharing it in my circles and I’m bookmarking the page to come back once again.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this.

    Keep writing.
    Cheers!

    • Howdy, howdy!

      I’m honestly super pleased that my piece of writing was both useful AND intriguing to you as a reader, it means a lot!

      Don’t hesitate to share the information found here at T.N. with anyone you think will benefit from it. It’s all free for you to digest and utilize in order to achieve your ultimate manliness.

      Cheers,
      Simon | Author of Testosterone Nerd

  6. As a young male who is in very much into achieving an active lifestyle and good physique I really appreciated this info so I know what causes Low T so I can plan ahead for my later years. I’ve seen the commercials and I know it’s very common as you get older. I also appreciated the humor throughout this article, as we all know, talking about your balls is funny

    • Hi, Tom.

      You’ve got my applause for being active and staying healthy! Too many folks these days remain sedentary as their butts become numb from sitting all day.

      Low testosterone is common, true. Mainly because we live in the age of emasculation as men are constantly under attack. Blame all those feminizing things that we face daily!

      Cheers and God bless,
      Simon | Author of Testosterone Nerd

  7. Nice post, in fact i think this is the most comprehensive breakdown of why certain men have lower or higher testosterone then others. Personally my balls have always been producing loads of Testosterone so I’ve never had concerns about low testosterone, but either way this was really informative, so i will definitely be directing more people here.

    I also agree that for anyone with low T or thinking they have low T, then comparing yourself to Conan the Barbarian will definitely not be a good idea for your confidence lol

    • Hey, Marley!

      The never-ending struggle for masculinity and alpha male status requires us to be well informed about the dreads low T and what might possibly cause it.

      Your point about comparing yourself to Conan was gold – had me chuckling! Arnold during his prime probably had at least 10 to 15 times the testosterone levels of average folks. I mean – he’s not exactly the most natural of guys out there. He probably has more testosterone than me and you combined at his current (old) age!

      Cheers and God bless,
      Simon | Author of Testosterone Nerd

  8. Thanks, this is a really interesting article. I’ve been wondering about my testosterone levels for a while now. I agree urine and saliva tests are not nearly half as accurate as a blood test.

    Is it true that a higher testosterone level can help with muscle building and are there any natural ways to increase your testosterone levels?

    Many thanks in advance!

    • Hi, Simon (from another Simon)!

      Cheers for agreeing on the saliva/urine vs blood test debate! It’s the right way to check your T, really.

      I wouldn’t create a hype if I told you that more T equals more muscles, hm? Guess what, by increasing your primary male hormone, you’ll enjoy an array of benefits – including more muscle mass.

      In terms of how and if you can up your manhood, I’ve written a particular post that tackles this.

      Cheers and God bless,
      Simon | Author of Testosterone Nerd

  9. Well, I wouldn’t mind getting a blood test one of these days to check my testosterone level. I’m still young enough though that I think It’s alright. My sex drive is still pretty decent. I would probably benefit from working out a little more as I’ve heard that helps increase testosterone level. I’ll keep an eye out though and if I think I’m on the decline, consider a few options that might help. Thanks for the post and information!

    • Hi Jeremy, and welcome aboard.

      Being young does NOT guarantee you high testosterone levels, or more precisely, it doesn’t mean you’re not on the lower spectrum. I’m not implying that you are (having a pretty decent sex drive is a good sign), but do keep an eye on it if you’re even partially concerned.

      Cheers and God bless,
      Simon | Author of Testosterone Nerd

  10. A Greate article you have here, Simon, got lots of education as a man but am a bit worried and would be needing your input here.
    Could low testosterone be attributed to being the cause of low sexual desire in men?
    Lately, my urge for sex has down so low that I am beginning to be worried.
    Waiting to hear from you, Buddy.

    • Hi there Clems!

      If I have to be the bearer of bad news for you, so be it (in the name of masculinity)! YES, low T could mean impaired libido, sexual desire, and similar, sex-oriented negative effects.

      Walking around with low sex drive ain’t normal bro, go do yourself a blood test. After that you can check my post about the normal range of testosterone levels, to see where your stand within the spectrum.

      Cheers and God bless,
      Simon | Author of Testosterone Nerd

  11. Thank you so much for this informative article! I found it extremely helpful to know that the best way to test your testosterone is through a blood test! It is always a good idea to see a doctor to run some exams before self-diagnosing oneself.

    My friends might be suffering from low testosterone and decided to self-diagnose themselves. With this newfound knowledge, I can now inform them to go get that blood test and see see if they actually have hypogonadism!

    Thanks a ton!

  12. I like the information you have provided it is very informative and one is easily able to identify a product that could be of benefit to them. I am wondering whether an athlete can take testosterone supplements and still be eligible to compete in sports?
    Or what would be your advice in this case?

    • Hi and welcome!

      Your question is pure brilliance, thanks for bringing it up.

      In all honesty, it really depends on what sport we’re talking about. Supplements are safe in general since they’re OTC (over the counter) products and these are NOT medications or drugs. However, depending on the discipline that you’re competing in, there are specific rules and even some ingredients found in supplements might not be appropriate.

      Remember the Jessica Hardy case? She was tested positive for banned substances back in 2008 and later claimed it must’ve been because she was taking “supplements.” We all know what “supplements” she was taking, but still – here’s some food for thought. Always consult with tournament officials and follow the rules and guidelines, even if you are planning only to take supplements (not steroids, obviously).

      Cheers and God bless,
      Simon | Author of Testosterone Nerd

  13. This is a very good website and full of useful information. How do you determine what is a low level of testosterone? A fairly wide level of total testosterone in males is considered normal (9-32 mmol/l). Just a thought. Great information on here, keep up the good work.

    • Welcome aboard Jason!

      If you’re unsure about the range that’s considered normal when it comes to testosterone levels, don’t waste any more time and have a look at my thematic article – here!

      You’ll find your answers there and what’s considered normal. Just keep in mind that blood tests are the most accurate if you want to test your masculinity levels.

      Cheers and God bless,
      Simon | Author of Testosterone Nerd

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