Men are programmed from their teenage years onwards to be on the prowl for a sexual partner. Any guy will understand the pure power of testosterone and how it fills many with an almost unstoppable sexual appetite. However, in a man's late twenties and early thirties, thyroid and testosterone production slows. Hormone levels may not drop enough to notice any significant symptoms at first, but they may become more and more apparent over time. But what causes low testosterone in men?
The Causes of Low Testosterone in Men?
Testosterone production in men never truly stops, unlike in women whose ovaries stop producing progesterone and estrogens in their later years. Nevertheless, men's testosterone production tends to fall around 1-2% each year from their early 30's onwards.
With current technological advancements, we all now live longer, yet our bodies have not 'caught up' in terms of evolution. If you consider historically, men rarely lived beyond their 40's. It is as if nobody updated our genetic makeup, and we are losing hormones based on a life expectancy of 200 years ago! When your body's testosterone production slows, you don't just curl up and die. You have another 50 or so years ahead of you to enjoy. This 'extended' life span is when the process of aging becomes such an issue.
Around the age of 40, most guys start to see and feel the effects of diminishing testosterone. Middle-age spread, drop in energy, decrease in libido, harder to maintain muscle mass, and lack of motivation, all in all, the inability to compete! All of these factors can potentially leave you exposed to an increasingly higher risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and even diabetes.
Given all this, it is no wonder some athletes turn to hormone replacement therapy to their advantage. It has the potential to prolong their careers, giving them an unfair advantage over their competition. It can help decrease fat, help with improved sleep and recovery times, increase libido and memory, and also prevent the deterioration of muscle, ligaments, joints, tendons, bones, and skin.
Testosterone is pretty potent stuff, and when used correctly, it can help guys avoid the downward spiral into old age. So why shouldn't men use this therapy as well to give themselves the advantage? Why grow old gracefully when you can Excel?
Are Falling Testosterone Levels Always Due to Getting Older?
Lifestyle factors can also be a significant cause of declining testosterone levels in men. In a study by the Endocrine Society. "Declining testosterone levels in men not part of normal aging" ScienceDaily, 23 June 2012. They claimed the fall in testosterone levels was due to behavioral and health changes later in life rather than aging.
This study involved the blood data of over 1500 men collected periodically for five years. Testosterone levels didn't fall drastically; however, factors other than age were the likely cause for those whose levels did fall. They noted that issues like obesity and depression had the most significant impact on T levels.
Interestingly they noticed single guys had lower T levels than married ones. They concluded that married men tend to be happier, healthier, and have constant, active sex lives. "Regular sexual activity tends to increase testosterone," Gary Wittert, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Adelaide in Adelaide, Australia.
For whichever reason you take as gospel, the fact remains that testosterone levels decline likely to a combination of factors, whether it be due to the natural aging process, external factors, or other health conditions.
What Else Causes Testosterone Levels to Drop in Men?
- Radiation treatment or chemotherapy for cancer
- Pituitary gland tumors
- Metabolic disorders such as hemochromatosis (where too much iron builds in your system)
- Damage to the testicles or other testicular issues
- Myotonic dystrophy
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD
- Alcohol/Drug abuse
- Suppressed immune system (HIV/AIDS)
- Chronic kidney failure
- Certain medications such as (not exclusively) Ketoconazole (Extina, Nizoral, Ketoderm), Cimetidine (Tagamet), Opioids, and Spironolactone (Aldactone).
- Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes
- Underactive Thyroid
What are the Optimum Testosterone Levels?
Testosterone levels do fluctuate during the day but are usually highest in the morning. The normal range is between 300ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter) to 1000ng/dL with an average level of 679 ng/dL, anything below 500, and you could be experiencing symptoms. It is impossible to say what the perfect T level is because everybody is biologically unique; however, around 800ng/dL would be a good target.
Only you will know when you reach what level is best for you and your body. You will most likely feel better than you have felt in years, and many of the annoying symptoms you were suffering will fade if not disappear.
How Do You Test Testosterone levels?
We use a dried blood spot test, a form of collection where patients place blood drops on a filter card after a finger prick with a lancet. Once dry, blood spot cards are incredibly stable for shipment and storage, and the dried blood format offers excellent correlation with serum tests.
Why Measure in Blood Spot?
A blood spot test is ideal for measuring hormones and other analytes such as insulin, blood lipids, Vitamin D, thyroid hormones, and elements like lead and magnesium. It offers distinct advantages over serum because it eliminates the need for a blood draw - saving patients time and money.
Our partner laboratory developed the science for accurately measuring hormones in the dried blood spot test and is currently one of the only labs to offer this method commercially.
No Needles, No Office Visit
This convenient blood spot test eliminates blood draw needles, blood draw fees, and the need to see a phlebotomist. Patients can collect their samples at home at a time that suits them. Research also shows that blood spot is more accurate than serum for measuring blood hormone levels in patients supplementing topically.
Unlike other labs, patients do not need to stop hormone supplementation to use this type of testing. Dried blood spot tests are the ideal method for tracking the effectiveness of hormone treatments.
Enhance yourself with the power of testosterone, maintaining optimum levels before the natural decline begins.