What Causes Testosterone to Drop?
Low testosterone levels can have a significant impact on a man’s health, affecting various aspects of his life. In addition to causing problems with sexual function, it can also affect muscle strength and overall well-being. [link to men’s health page here:
Because testosterone levels are influenced by several factors, we wanted to provide this extensive information about what causes testosterone levels to drop, the symptoms, and what treatment is available.
What Causes Testosterone to Drop?
These levels can be influenced by several factors, including age, lifestyle choices, underlying medical conditions, and medications. Let’s delve into some of the primary causes:
As men age, testosterone levels naturally decline. After the age of 30, testosterone production gradually decreases by approximately 1 percent each year. By understanding this natural process, it becomes evident that low testosterone affects nearly 40 percent of men aged 45 and older.
Underlying Medical Conditions:
Various medical conditions can contribute to low testosterone levels. These include:
- Cancer treatment involving chemotherapy
- Testicular injuries or infections
- Problems with the pituitary gland
- Certain medications, such as steroids and hormones used in prostate cancer treatment
- Kidney failure
- Untreated or uncontrolled Type 2 diabetes
- Opioid use
- Genetic conditions
- Steroid abuse
- Severe hypothyroidism
Certain lifestyle choices can also impact testosterone levels. Factors that can contribute to low testosterone include excessive alcohol use and a sedentary lifestyle. You can help maintain normal hormone levels by:
- Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Getting regular exercise
How Common Is Low Testosterone?
According to information from Harvard Medical School, roughly one third of men older than 45 may have levels that are considered lower than normal.
Because normal levels can vary depending upon nutrition, body mass index and how much alcohol a man consumes, it can be difficult to determine what a “normal” level should be. According to the Cleveland Clinic, testosterone levels even vary throughout the day. Because of this, your provider may have you draw routine blood levels and one first thing in the morning to get an accurate level of the amount of testosterone your body is making.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
The symptoms of low testosterone can vary depending on age, but common indicators include:
- Decreased libido (sex drive)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Memory and concentration problems
- Muscle weakness
- Reduced body fat
- Larger breasts
- Loss of body hair
- Hot flashes
Diagnosing and Treating Low Testosterone
To diagnose this disorder, it is essential to consult with one of our internal medicine doctors in Cary who can evaluate your hormone levels and determine if treatment is necessary. We will consider factors such as your age, symptoms, and medical history to establish a baseline for what a “normal” testosterone level should be for you.
What Are Some Problems Associated With Low Testosterone?
While problems with sexual function are one of the main issues, there are other complications as well. This can include:
- Decreased bone density
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Metabolic syndrome
- Insulin resistance
Relationship Between Testosterone and Mental Health
Research suggests that low levels may contribute to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Testosterone plays a role in regulating neurotransmitters and affecting brain function. In addition, changes in hormones can have a big impact on your overall mental health.
However, it is sometimes difficult to determine if a mental health issue is caused by low testosterone or something else. That’s why it’s important to speak with one of our internal medicine specialists in Cary.
Impact on Body Composition
Testosterone plays a crucial role in regulating muscle mass and body fat distribution.
Problems with these hormonal levels can lead to decreased muscle mass, increased body fat, and a decrease in overall strength and physical performance.
Testosterone and Sexual Health
One of the most well-known effects of low testosterone is its impact on sexual health. It can lead to reduced sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, and difficulties in achieving or maintaining erections.
How is Low Testosterone Treated?
Treatment options may include hormone replacement therapy (HRT). However, before initiating treatment, it is crucial to weigh the potential benefits against the risks and side effects. We’ll take time to explore this option in light of your overall health to see if this is right for you.
Long-term use of supplements may increase the risk of cardiovascular issues like strokes and heart disease, especially in older men. Regular monitoring and follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider are vital to ensure the treatment’s effectiveness and minimize any potential risks.
Side effects can range from acne to an increase in prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which could place you at risk for developing prostate cancer. Therefore, if you’re on hormonal treatment for low testosterone, it’s very important to schedule regular appointments with our doctors in Cary & Raleigh.
Prevention and Lifestyle Strategies
While some causes cannot be prevented, adopting a healthy lifestyle can help maintain optimal hormone levels. Consider the following strategies:
Living a healthy lifestyle
Focus on a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients, maintain regular sleep patterns, and manage stress effectively. If you need help in establishing a healthy diet, we encourage you to speak to our dietitian, Nicole Matala.
Maintain a healthy weight through regular exercise and a balanced diet. Obesity has been associated with lower levels.
Engage in regular physical activity, including both aerobic exercise and strength training, to promote testosterone production.
Avoiding excessive alcohol use
Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to decreased levels. Moderation is key.
Cary Medical Group: Helping You Understand the Causes and Symptoms of Low Testosterone
By recognizing the potential factors that contribute to this condition, we can work with you to provide a plan tailored just for you.
Take charge of your health today and experience personalized, comprehensive care at Cary Medical Group. Our dedicated team of healthcare professionals is committed to providing you with exceptional medical services in a compassionate and patient-centered environment.
Whether you’re seeking preventive care, managing a chronic condition, or in need of specialized treatment, our experienced physicians and staff are here to support you every step of the way. With a focus on evidence-based medicine and the latest advancements in healthcare, we strive to deliver the highest quality of care tailored to your unique needs.
At Cary Medical Group, your well-being is our priority. Don’t wait any longer to prioritize your health and partner with a trusted medical practice. Contact us today for an appointment.