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Low testosterone (low T) is a condition in which your body does not make enough of testosterone. After age 30, testosterone levels start declining in men by 1% each year. It is a natural decline, and it is linked to ageing.

However, sometimes, men under 30 also notice a reduction in their testosterone levels for various reasons. It can cause symptoms like lack of energy, loss of muscle mass, difficulty with erection and low sex derive. These symptoms can negatively influence your life; therefore, it is better to get low T treated so you can enjoy your life once again.

This article explains common symptoms and causes of low T. In it, we have also talked about how to diagnose low T and get it treated on time.

The connection between low testosterone and age

Testosterone is produced in both male and female, but it is called male sex hormone because they produce it many times more than females. A male starts producing testosterone after seven weeks of birth and keep on producing throughout life with fluctuations in its level.

Testosterone levels start increasing during puberty. Its physical signs include the appearance of hair on the chest, maturation of sex organ, broadening of shoulders, and voice deepening. Testosterone levels reach their maximum at age 18 and 19. The level stays the same until age 30. After that, it starts decreasing 1 per cent per year.

But sometimes, due to a medical condition or some other reason, testosterone levels may start declining even before 30. You should know that it is not a natural drop in levels, and your doctor can treat it after finding out the underlying cause.

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Symptoms of low testosterone in men under 30

Some ads for testosterone treatments often misguide people by saying that simply feeling cranky shows you have low testosterone. However, that is not always true. There are many signs of low testosterone that you may feel regardless of your age. You need to have a testosterone test to find whether these signs are because of low testosterone or some other reason.

Decrease in the semen volume

Semen is the whitish fluid that helps in the transfer and movement of sperms in the female reproductive tract. Testosterone controls the synthesis of semen. Therefore, its deficiency causes a reduction in the semen volume.

Loss of facial and body hair

Even though balding is natural for older men, men under 30 may also experience it due to low testosterone. It is because testosterone plays an important role in hair production. When you have low testosterone, your body does not get the required amount of testosterone that it needs to make hair. As a result, you start losing your body and facial hair.

Lack of energy

Men suffering from low testosterone often feel tired, fatigued, and exhausted even after sleeping 8 hours at night. They simply don’t feel as energetic as they used to feel.

Reduction in muscle mass

Testosterone is involved in the muscle-building process. So, when your body does not produce enough testosterone, you start losing muscle mass. Various studies prove the connection between testosterone and muscle mass.

Low libido

Testosterone is very important for sex drive (libido) in men. A decrease in the sex drive with age is natural in men. But if you have low testosterone, you may notice a drastic reduction in sex drive.

Trouble getting an erection

As testosterone is required for libido, it is also very significant for attaining and maintaining an erection. Testosterone is involved in the production of chemicals that cause an erection. So, lack of testosterone can cause difficulty in getting an erection.

Loss of bone mass

Testosterone strengthens bones and helps bone production. So, when the body fails to produce the normal concentration of testosterone, your bones start losing their mass and become more prone to breakage. That is why many older men have bones issues. But if you have low testosterone at a younger age, you will too have low bone mass.

Increase in body fat

Men with low testosterone have more body fat. It often leads to gynecomastia which is a condition in which your breasts become enlarged.

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Causes of low testosterone in men under 30

Low testosterone is more common in older men than men under 30. It can occur due to multiple reasons.

Some men under 30 have low testosterone if they are born with the following medical conditions.

  • Noonan syndrome
  • Klinefelter syndrome
  • Ambiguous genitalia

You can develop it when you are under 30 if:

  • You have high blood pressure.
  • You have diabetes.
  • You have a pituitary gland disease which is affecting hormonal production.
  • You are overweight or have high cholesterol levels.
  • You take anabolic steroids or illegal drugs.
  • You drink alcohol excessively.
  • You are having cancer treatment.
  • You have injured your testicles during an accident.
  • Your testicles were removed due to cancer or some other reason.

How common is this condition in men?

Since data regarding low testosterone is scarce, so it is hard to tell how many men around the globe have this issue. However, around 2% of men have testosterone deficiency, and less than 1% of younger men have this condition.

This percentage increases as the age increases. Around 20% of men older than 60 have testosterone deficiency, and 50% of men aged 80 plus have this problem. Men with certain medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity are at a higher risk of developing testosterone deficiency.

One study found that men over 45 are 2.4 times more likely to have testosterone deficiency. Similarly, men with diabetes have a 2.1 times more chance of having low testosterone and men with high blood pressure are 1.8 times more prone to low testosterone.

What is considered a low testosterone level?

In men, the normal range of testosterone level is from 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). If your testosterone is lower than 300 ng/dL, then you have low testosterone. Your doctor will conduct a testosterone test to identify whether you have its deficiency or not.

If you are suffering from the symptoms described above, then you may have low testosterone. Talk to your doctor to get the best advice and suitable treatment.

Check your testosterone

Sex:
Age:
Tick all that apply:
I have the following symptoms:
Total Testosterone (nmol/L e.g. 22.5): Testosterone conversion tool
Order testosterone blood tests

Quick Low Testosterone Test

If you know your total testosterone reading from a previous blood test input the results to the left above to see if your testosterone levels are normal.

Low Testosterone Levels

You may have low testosterone depending on the symptoms you have, please contact us to find out how we can help.

Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

Please Retry

The Total Testosterone Level You Entered Is Incorrect. Figure Must be in nmol/L you can use our converter here.

Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

Normal Testosterone Levels

Your testosterone levels appear to be in the normal range.

Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

Further testosterone tests not necessary

You must be over 38, have had your ovaries removed or have suffered with premature menopause to warrant further hormone tests.

Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

Further investigation needed

Please contact us to discuss your hormones, we need your total testosterone levels to validate your hormone deficiency. You can order a blood test here.

Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

Low Testosterone Levels

You may have low testosterone depending on the symptoms you have, please contact us to find out how we can help.

Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

High Testosterone Levels

You appear to have higher than normal testosterone levels, please contact us for further investigation.

Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

Normal Testosterone Levels

You appear to have normal testosterone levels. Contact us if you have any concerns.

Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

How is the testosterone test performed?

A testosterone test is like a normal blood test. It is done in the morning when you have high testosterone levels. Then your blood sample is sent to the laboratory, where testosterone concentration is determined. If you are taking medicine, then inform your doctor about it before the test. Some drugs can cause fluctuation in testosterone levels.

Before testing, your doctor may also have a physical examination. During it, he can calculate your body mass index (BMI), check hair pattern and location, check whether you have gynecomastia (enlarged breasts) or not, your testicles size, and any prostate abnormality.

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What to do if you are diagnosed with low testosterone?

If you are diagnosed with low testosterone, and this deficiency is influencing your life negatively, then it is advised to get a treatment done as soon as possible. After diagnosing testosterone deficiency, your doctor will conduct a few more tests to find the real cause behind this issue.

Then he will recommend you the suitable treatment options you have. He may also tell you to change your lifestyle. One of the popular low testosterone treatments is testosterone replacement therapy. Many people notice its results within a few weeks. However, you should always discuss the health benefits and side effects of medications or treatments before starting them.

Testosterone replacement therapy

As the name suggests, testosterone replacement therapy is about restoring testosterone levels to normal. It is offered in various forms like injections, skin patches, and gels. Many men report that they feel more energetic and younger after having it. This treatment shows quick results, and it is safe if you get careful monitoring. It has helped many men by improving their sex, depression, and other symptoms. However, you should know that there are some risks associated with it.

Testosterone replacement therapy may increase red blood cell count. It may also cause breast enlargement and prostate growth. That is why men with breast cancer and prostate cancer are not recommended this option. Discuss everything related to the treatment with your doctor before starting it.

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Conclusion

Low testosterone is common among older men, but men under 30 can also develop this condition due to various reasons. Having low testosterone can influence your life negatively; therefore, getting an appropriate treatment on time is the best option. Testosterone replacement therapy is one of the popular treatments that have helped many men regain happiness, energy, and sex drive. You should talk to your doctor about its effects before opting for this treatment option.

References

Testosterone deficiency in the aging male (nih.gov)

Lowered testosterone in male obesity: mechanisms, morbidity and management (nih.gov)

Testosterone Replacement Therapy: Testosterone Injections, Patches, Gels, and More (webmd.com)

An update on the role of testosterone replacement therapy in the management of hypogonadism (nih.gov)

Treatment of Men for “Low Testosterone”: A Systematic Review (nih.gov)

Evidence Based Research

This article has been researched and written based on scientific evidence and fact sheets that have then been crossed checked by our team of doctors and subject matter experts.

References, sources and studies used alongside our own in-house research have been cited below, most of which contain external clickable links to reviewed scientific paper that contain date stamped evidence.

Our team of healthcare experts and GMC registered doctors are licensed to UK GMC standards. We strive to provide you with the latest evidence based, researched articles that are unbiased, honest and provide you with accurate insights, statistics and helpful information on the discussed topic to ensure you gain a better understanding of the subject.

We value your feedback on our articles, if you have a well-researched paper you would like to share with us please contact us.

Check your testosterone

Sex:
Age:
Tick all that apply:
I have the following symptoms:
Total Testosterone (nmol/L e.g. 22.5): Testosterone conversion tool
Order testosterone blood tests

Quick Low Testosterone Test

If you know your total testosterone reading from a previous blood test input the results to the left above to see if your testosterone levels are normal.

Low Testosterone Levels

You may have low testosterone depending on the symptoms you have, please contact us to find out how we can help.

Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

Please Retry

The Total Testosterone Level You Entered Is Incorrect. Figure Must be in nmol/L you can use our converter here.

Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

Normal Testosterone Levels

Your testosterone levels appear to be in the normal range.

Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

Further testosterone tests not necessary

You must be over 38, have had your ovaries removed or have suffered with premature menopause to warrant further hormone tests.

Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

Further investigation needed

Please contact us to discuss your hormones, we need your total testosterone levels to validate your hormone deficiency. You can order a blood test here.

Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

Low Testosterone Levels

You may have low testosterone depending on the symptoms you have, please contact us to find out how we can help.

Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

High Testosterone Levels

You appear to have higher than normal testosterone levels, please contact us for further investigation.

Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

Normal Testosterone Levels

You appear to have normal testosterone levels. Contact us if you have any concerns.

Take our ADAMS low testosterone questionnaire.

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About the Author: Mike Kocsis

Mike Kocsis has an MBA with a focus on healthcare administration and is an entrepreneur and medical case manager for Balance My Hormones Ltd which offers medical services in the UK and Europe. Mike has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare sector, much of that working with people who have hormone imbalances. Mike has appeared on podcasts and radio and is an expert speaker on the subject of hormone imbalance. He specialises in Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and has helped thousands of people suffering from hormone imbalances recover and regain control of their lives. You can follow him on LinkedIn and on the Balance My Hormones YouTube Channel.

Learn More About Us

Last update: July 29th, 2021

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