Low testosterone can be caused by primary hypogonadism, which is when the testes don’t produce enough hormone, or secondary hypogonadism, which is when the pituitary gland doesn’t signal the testes to produce hormone. Low testosterone can also be caused by damage to the testes, such as infection, injury, or cancer treatment. Hormone therapy is the most common treatment for low testosterone levels.
The leading cause of primary hypogonadism is underactive testes. This can happen because they don’t produce enough testosterone, which leads to decreased growth and health in males. It may also come from a genetic trait or illness that reduces production slowly over time.
Inherited conditions include:
- Undescended testicles: Occurs when the testicles fail to descend from the abdomen before birth
- Klinefelter’s syndrome: A situation in which a man is born with three sex chromosomes: X, X, and Y.
- Hemochromatosis: Results from too much iron in the blood, which can cause testicular failure or pituitary damage
Some testicle damage that can lead to primary hypogonadism include:
- Physical injury to the testicles: An injury must occur to both testicles to severely affect testosterone levels.
- Mumps orchitis: An infection, like mumps, can injure testicles.
- Cancer treatment: Treatments like chemotherapy or radiation can damage testicles.
The brain controls hormone production by the testes, and secondary hypogonadism can result when the pituitary gland or hypothalamus is damaged.
Inherited and disease conditions in this category include:
- Pituitary disorders, which are often caused by drugs, kidney failure, or small tumors
- Kallmann syndrome, which is a condition connected to abnormal hypothalamus function
- Inflammatory diseases like tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, and histiocytosis can impact the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus
- HIV/AIDS can often affect the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and testes
Some circumstances that can lead to secondary hypogonadism include:
- Normal aging: Aging affects the production and response to hormones.
- Obesity: If you have a high body fat percentage, this can affect hormone production and response.
- Medications: If you’re prescribed opioid pain meds or steroids, this can affect the function of the pituitary gland and hypothalamus.
- Concurrent illness: If you’re suffering from severe emotional stress or physical stress from an illness or surgery can cause the reproductive system to shut down temporarily.
You may be affected by primary, secondary, or mixed hypogonadism. Mixed hypogonadism is more common with increased age.
We are committed to helping you live your best life here at Revive Wellness. If you are struggling with low testosterone, we can help. We offer hormone therapy and other treatments that can help improve your symptoms and quality of life. So if you think you might have low testosterone, schedule a consultation today!