Reasons We Lose Testosterone With Age
It’s a known fact that we lose testosterone with age. It is normal for your body to gradually decrease or even stop the production of vital hormones over time. With that said, it’s important to remember that we are at our healthiest when our hormones are at natural, optimal levels.
Losing Testosterone is Natural & Happens to Almost Everyone
The next time your friends joke about who “peaked” in high school, you can hit them with this fun fact: everyone did– medically speaking, anyway. Testosterone levels reach their peak during adolescence and early adulthood, which may explain why some of you were at the height of your sports careers back in high school and college. It also can explain the decrease in sex drive, libido, erectile dysfunction and sexual satisfaction for men as they age behind their “peak” years.
When Do We Start to Lose Testosterone?
Testosterone is an important hormone in the human body. We start to lose testosterone year after age 30 and/or 5 years before men hit Andropause–which is the male version of menopause. At this point, your natural testosterone level begins to dip. In some men this can be substantial, and your body begins to suffer. In medical terms this is known as male hypogonadism. This is a medical condition in which the testicles, male reproductive glands, do not produce enough testosterone in the body.
As we start to lose testosterone and our hormones become imbalanced, the following symptoms can occur:
- Hot flashes or night sweats
- Poor sleep
- Lack of energy
- Inability to lose weight
- Weight gain or muscle mass loss for no apparent reason
- Mood swings, depression, or anxiety
- Decreased sex drive, vaginal dryness, or erectile dysfunction
- Osteoporosis or joint pain
- Loss of focus or chronic fatigue (leading to lots of afternoon naps or relying on caffeine)
Some scientist claim that this natural decline starts after age 30 and continues with a 1% drop each year throughout the rest of their life. While this decrease in sex hormone is most likely due to the natural process of aging, there are some other potential causes of low testosterone.
- Injury (trauma, interrupted blood supply to the testes) or infection of the testes (orchitis)
- Chemotherapy for cancer
- Metabolic disorders such as hemochromatosis (too much iron in the body)
- Pituitary gland dysfunction or tumors
- Alcohol abuse
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Chronic renal (kidney) failure
- Obesity or extreme weight loss
- Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Estrogen excess (usually from an external or environmental source)
- Previous anabolic steroid abuse
There are a few examples of genetic disorders that limit or disable the body’s ability to produce testosterone. They include:
A genetic condition in which a male is born with an extra copy of the X chromosome. Also called XXY syndrome. Klinefelter affects approximately 1 in 450 males and can be determined with genetic testing. It is not typically diagnosed until puberty or time after puberty. It is the most common form of hypogonadism and results in the underdevelopment of typical male characteristics. As adults, men with Klinefelter’s syndrome are not able to produce children and may experience low libido and depression. Other symptoms associated with Klinefelter’s syndrome include:
- Lack of facial, pubic and underarm hair
- Enlargement of breast tissue (gynecomastia)
- Decreased muscle development and typically have longer arms and legs
- There is a potential for learning and language disabilities.
This is another rare genetic disorder that commonly presents with a delay/absence of puberty development and an impaired sense of smell. Kallman syndrome often presents itself in adolescence as a delay in normal developments during puberty.
What Can You Do?
The good news is that whatever the cause may be for low testosterone, Hormone Replacement Therapy is here for you to bring your testosterone level back to an optimal range. We are always adding new patients to our wellness family.
To get started with our hormone replacement program, we start with a simple blood draw. This will determine where your hormones are compared to the healthy range. Our providers then meet with you in a one-on-one consultation to discuss your symptoms and create a plan. Please fill out our online consultation form to start, and we will contact you to schedule the blood draw.