What exactly causes low testosterone (low T) levels?
In fact, what are the low testosterone symptoms?
Information regarding normal testosterone levels in men is an important factor of health and wellness.
Male testosterone has more to do with male health and wellness than just libido. It is manufactured in the testes, one of the many glands of the endocrine system.
It is also produced in very small amounts by female ovaries (a female hormone gland) as well as in the adrenal gland of both males and females. Buy Testo-Max online here.
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A number of factors can contribute to deficient levels of testosterone in the body.
Causes of low testosterone can range from congenital or genetic conditions to traumatic injuries.
It is also a relevant topic for steroid users, as testosterone suppression is almost a guaranteed outcome of cycling anabolic androgenic drugs.
Low T is known in medical terms as primary hypogonadism. It may be blamed on:
The Hypothalamic Pituitary Testicular Axis (HPTA) is an important part of the endocrine system.
It comprises different hormones that convey information or signal via the axis to produce testosterone.
The production of endogenous testosterone is the most important end-product.
Other hormones involved in the HPTA’s operation are vital intermediary hormones for the production of endogenous testosterone.
Understanding the production of endogenous testosterone and operation of the HPTA in testosterone production is important to the general understanding:
The HPTA can be described as an organized system of axes that determine and regulate the secretion of endogenous testosterone and the amount of testosterone that should be circulating in the body at a certain period of time.
Genetics (DNA) predetermine the maximum amount of endogenous testosterone that can be produced and circulated within the body.
Other factors that determine the amount of testosterone to be endogenously secreted include physical activity, lifestyle habits, body composition, diet, and age.
Each factor including genetics, is the major arbiter that determines the amount of endogenous testosterone to be produced.
Operation of the HPTA is possible via what is termed “negative feedback,” specifically referred to as “negative feedback loop.”
The negative feedback loop is a system that regulates itself, and it influences the HPTA’s operation to reduce changes.
This means that the production of endogenous testosterone will reduce in the body if the amounts of testosterone circulating within the body are in excess.
When this happens, the HPTA will readjust the signals or messages sent if insufficient or excessive levels of testosterone in the body are detected. This detection and adjustment process describes what the negative feedback loop does.
The hypothalamus controls the whole process as it is the principal endocrine gland for every endocrine and hormonal process in the human body.
Furthermore, it is the DNA that causes the hypothalamus to know if the testosterone circulating in the body is low or in excess. The negative feedback loop is a key process involved in the hormonal homeostasis maintenance of the body.
Homeostasis is the proper regulation of a particular system like a mechanical, computer or ecological system.
Homeostasis, in this case, is the regulation of the endocrine system.
It is initiated in the body in order to maintain stable and continuous satisfactory endocrine system conditions.
All endocrine axes and glands in their respective axis function in a way similar to the negative feedback loop and to changing degrees.
The HPTA has five hormones involved in maintaining homeostasis. They are:
The hypothalamus happens to be the leading axis point in the Hypothalamic Pituitary Testicular Axis.
The need for production of more endogenous testosterone is detected by the hypothalamus after it has monitored the bloodstream.
To initiate the production process, GnRH is released in variable amounts. This GnRH is the hormone that signals the pituitary gland to start LH and FSH production and secretion.
The gonadotropins (LH and FSH) are the hormones responsible for signaling the testes to begin testosterone synthesis and secretion.
This, however, is the last phase of the testosterone production process in the HPTA.
Two key hormones determine the inhibition, shutdown, reduction or suppression of endogenous testosterone production in the HPTA.
There are other hormones and conditions that are also capable of weakening or slowing down the operation of the HPTA, and these include hormones like prolactin and progestins and physical trauma to the testis.
However, estrogen and testosterone are the two key determining hormones when it comes to the normal feedback loop as well as how the regulatory systems of the body serve to stimulate or stop production of endogenous testosterone.
When the hypothalamus detects that the estrogen and/or testosterone levels in the bloodstream are in excess, it will hasten to initiate homeostasis by suppressing or shutting down the production and release of all signaling hormones in the axis.
Excess estrogen or testosterone that signals the negative feedback loop can be as a result of endogenous hormonal imbalances or using exogenous androgens on an anabolic cycle. This process can be affected by many factors.
The reduction or halting of signaling hormones production by the hypothalamus results in the stopping of GnRH release into the bloodstream.
This further stops LH and FSH production, and lastly, testosterone production at the Leydig cells will reduce or stop.
The production, secretion and release of all signaling hormones in the HPTA will only resume when appropriate hormonal homeostasis is restored.
However, the process can take months before the function of the body returns to normal. Exogenous testosterone stimulation compounds are often required for this.
There are many factors that determine how long it will take the body to return to normal (e.g., suppression, genetics or DNA of the individual; environmental factors)
According to the Mayo Clinic, two basic types of low T or hypogonadism are classified as either primary or secondary.
Primary hypogonadism (aka primary testicular failure) describes an issue or problem with the testicles. Secondary hypogonadism is mainly blamed on faulty pituitary or hypothalamus gland function.
These two glands are located in the brain, responsible for sending messages to the testicles to synthesize or produce the hormone.
The pituitary gland is known as a master gland of the body because it controls and oversees the production and release of glandular secretions from the endocrine glands. The pituitary gland receives its instructions from the hypothalamus gland.
The hypothalamus gland is responsible for the production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone. This hormone is the one that tells the pituitary gland to produce luteinizing hormone (LH) as well as follicle-stimulating hormone (also known as FSH).
Either primary or secondary hypogonadism can either be inherited or congenital in nature, or acquired, often caused by an illness, injury, or infection.
Primary hypogonadism may be caused by a number of factors including but not limited to:
As mentioned, secondary hypogonadism may be caused by pituitary or hypothalamus gland disorders. It may also be caused, in this category, by:
Depending on what causes lower levels in individual cases, a number of options may be available.
However, hormone replacement or hormone therapies are not recommended for everyone.
Determination of methods that can be used to increase androgenic hormone levels will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
The levels naturally decline with age, starting at about the mid 40s. This can be equated, in some terms, much the same way as menopause causes a decrease in estrogen in women.
Declines in certain hormones are natural to aging processes.
Doctors still debate whether hormone replacement therapies may provide more benefits and risks of side effects especially in older adults.
A number of treatments and drugs are available to treat primary and secondary hypogonadism depending on its cause. If causes of low testosterone are blamed by medications, for example, a doctor may consider switching medications.
Treatment may also depend on whether you’re concerned about fertility. Therapy is generally not recommended for seniors over the age of 65 because the benefits may not outweigh risks.
If you qualify, hormone therapy or TRT may be recommended to prevent bone loss, improve muscle strength, and restore a certain degree of sexual function.
Therapy comes in a variety of methods including injection, gels, patches, and implantable pellets.
When talking to your doctor about lower testosterone causes and what you can do to increase hormone levels, discuss possible benefits as well as risks that come with therapy.
Some forms of therapies, depending on the situation, age, and health status, can contribute to an enlarged prostate, decreased sperm production, increased risk of prostate cancer, increased risk of blood clots, and more.
Before you can treat low T levels, you need to know causes of low testosterone. Avoid self-diagnosing and self-medicating.
A visit to your doctor, a complete health examination and discussions are advised before starting any low T medications.Effects of Low TestosteroneFree TestosteroneFree Testosterone CalculatorFree Testosterone LevelsHigh TestosteroneLow TLow T CenterLow TestosteroneLow Testosterone CausesLow Testosterone DepressionLow Testosterone In WomenLow Testosterone SymptomsLow Testosterone TreatmentLow T SupplementsLow T TreatmentSerum TestosteroneSigns of Low Testosterone