What Causes Low Testosterone?

Low testosterone is not uncommon, especially in older men, as testosterone levels decrease with age. This is not the only cause for low T, however. Men of all ages can be affected, and there are a number of different factors that can influence these hormone levels – as well as treatment options.

Most causes of low testosterone, or hypogonadism, fall into three categories:

Primary Hypogonadism

Testosterone is created by the testes, and regulated by the pituitary gland. In primary hypogonadism, low testosterone is caused by an issue with the testes, such as:

  • Chromosomal abnormalities like Klinefelter syndrome, where a male is born with an extra X chromosome
  • Injury or illness (like mumps), which can affect testosterone production during adolescence or adulthood
  • Cancer treatments, which can interfere with normal functions of the testes

Secondary Hypogonadism

On the other side of testosterone is the pituitary gland. Conditions affecting the pituitary gland or hypothalamus fall into the category of secondary hypogonadism, and can include:

  • Abnormal development of the pituitary gland or hypothalamus (Kallmann syndrome)
  • Tumors or disorders that impair the release of the hormones that signal testosterone production
  • Inflammatory diseases or diseases like HIV/AIDS that impact the pituitary gland or hypothalamus
  • Conditions that affect blood flow to the pituitary gland

“Other” Factors

These factors may not originate in or target the testes or pituitary gland specifically, but do impact them. These other factors include:

  • Various medications and hormone supplements
  • Opiate, tobacco, or steroid use
  • Obesity or high blood pressure
  • Illnesses or surgeries that cause significant physical stress
  • Conditions like diabetes or chronic liver, kidney, or lung diseases
  • Normal aging

If you are concerned about low testosterone or see low T symptoms in your life, talk to the doctors at EveresT men’s health clinic. We can help pinpoint the cause of your low testosterone and create a custom treatment plan based on your specific risk factors and needs.