Testosterone deficiency seems to becoming more & more common place & that is in men across the globe. So today we are going look at the main causes of testosterone deficiency.
As this issue isn’t going away, I’d even go as far to say we are on the edge of an epidemic & that the number of men suffering from testosterone deficiency is likely going to grow significantly as the years go by!
Did you know, the average man today has testosterone levels that are approximately 20% lower than men of the same age just a decade back. This is a major issue & not one that seems to be going away, in fact the numbers of those suffering from testosterone deficiency seems to be growing if anything!
Now you may actually be wondering why rates of testosterone deficiency growing is an issue & what it may mean in terms of your health. Evidence suggests that men with low levels of testosterone/ testosterone deficiency are more likely to suffer from chronic ill & serious health issues such as
- Heart attacks
- Type 2 diabetes
- Dementia (later in life)
Then on top of that, testosterone deficiency leads to other “less serious” health issues such as:
- Loss of muscle mass
- Osteoporosis/ weak bones
- High body fat
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Gynecomastia/ Man boobs
- Brain Fog
A big issue when it comes to testosterone deficiency is that a lot of men are totally oblivious to the fact they are suffering from it. Sadly a number of the symptoms are so common place now, that many men are unaware that these symptoms aren’t in fact normal & that it may be down to them suffering from testosterone deficiency.
As we covered above, not believing it’s a problem or ignoring the problem in the long term can lead to a serious decline in physical, sexual, mental & emotional health and premature death if testosterone deficiency is left unaddressed.
So now we know that testosterone deficiency is becoming far more common & can cause some major health issues the question becomes, why are so many men now suffering from testosterone deficiency. The reality is that there probably isn’t one single answer to that question.
There a number of different factors that can lead to & are causes of testosterone deficiency & a number of these factors can be compounded which is probably what has led to the excessive numbers of men we see with testosterone deficiency today & will see that number increase in the future.
So lets now take look at what the most common causes of testosterone deficiency are:
- Metabolic syndrome
- Anabolic steroid abuse
- Nutritionally deficient diet
- Exposure to environmental toxins
- Pituitary tumors
Now we know what the common causes of testosterone deficiency are, lets look at why they cause testosterone levels to be lowered.
Obesity is one of the most common causes of testosterone deficiency, when you have testosterone deficiency, you are also far more likely to suffer from obesity. In fact, you don’t even need to be obese, even if you are just carrying excess body fat, it can be enough to considerably lower testosterone production.
Being obese, carrying high body fat can lead to testosterone deficiency for a few different reasons, but the key one is, the more excess body fat you carry the higher your aromatase activity will be. For those of you who don’t know, the aromatase enzyme is responsible for the conversion of testosterone to estrogen.
Now your body does need estrogen, so aromatase activity in itself isn’t an issue, but it does become an issue when it’s excessively high & that is precisely what happens when you carry excess body fat. In fact, I’d go as far to say unless you are a man with a body fat below15%, your aromatase activity will be too high!
The wider issue with high aromatase activity is as your estrogen increases, it leads to more body fat, this in turn leads to high aromatase activity & more testosterone being converted into estrogen. So it becomes a vicious cycle, with testosterone deficiency becoming just one part of the issue.
Needless to say that losing excess body fat, is a great way to lower your risk of testosterone deficiency. If you want to learn more about how excess body fat impacts testosterone production, you can check out the below article.
A lot of people will confuse metabolic syndrome with obesity, but they are two different things. Metabolic syndrome is a condition where someone has abnormally high blood sugar, blood pressure & cholesterol levels.
Now it does often go hand in hand with obesity, as people who suffer from metabolic syndrome frequently excess body fat around the waistline, but it is perfectly possible to suffer from it, without being obese!
The above individual characteristics can contribute to testosterone deficiency, but when you combine them together & especially with being overweight as well. It’s clear how it can cause testosterone deficiency.
As we already mentioned, excess body fat leads to the excessive conversion of testosterone to estrogen. High blood sugar levels reduce the production of the lutenizing hormone, which is the hormone responsible for signaling for to the testes to produce testosterone.
The final thing is that metabolic syndrome can also lead to secondary hypothyroidism, this can limit the bodies’ ability to produce thyroid hormones, this can negatively impact the production of testosterone & multiple other hormones.
Anabolic steroid abuse is probably one of the causes of testosterone deficiency that you are already aware of, but despite that, it’s still worth covering as part of the article. As you are probably aware, most men take anabolic steroids as a way to increase muscle mass gains or give themselves a form of competitive edge in sports.
One of the biggest issues of anabolic steroid abuse (on top of it being illegal) is that it usually causes testosterone deficiency. This is due to it causing your bodies’ own testosterone production to shut down. That is usually why people can’t come off steroids once they have started, as they not only lose the benefit of the excess T but will no longer produce any.
If you think about sports people who have been caught “doping”, you will often notice that once they had to go “clean”, they look like “shadows” of their former selves. This is partially because they no longer have the added advantage of the anabolic steroids, but likely also because their own hormone & testosterone production has been severely impaired.
The main problem is, that more often than not, a period of anabolic steroid abuse can damage your endocrine system (your hormone production system). Once this happens, it is pretty much irreversible & you won’t be able to produce testosterone naturally.
Then on top of that you have the other potential side effects & health risks associated with steroid use! If like me, you know anyone who has abused anabolic steroids, you will also know that once they are done their body tends to “backwards” & very quickly. The endocrine system being irreversibly damaged, is the reason why!
What you eat, has a very big impact on your natural testosterone production. There are specific nutrients, vitamins, minerals etc. that you need to be getting enough of for healthy testosterone production.
With certain vitamins & minerals being vital for healthy testosterone production. You need to make sure that you are getting plenty of dietary cholesterol as that is the main building block of testosterone.
Then on top of that, you need to make sure you are getting enough of the following:
- Omega 3
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin A
Those are just the main nutrients you need to make sure you are getting enough of, if your diet is lacking in the above, chance is your testosterone levels will be inhibited quite significantly & if your diet is lacking in multiple, it can be a cause of testosterone deficiency.
There are other nutrients you need but the above are the main ones. There are also foods & properties in foods that you need to avoid as they are detrimental to testosterone production.
I won’t bore you going in to every last food & nutrient you should prioritize & avoid. I do suggest you check out the link below to several of my articles on diet & testosterone production & you can check out the ones most relevant to you.
Now this is a potential cause of testosterone deficiency you may not necessarily be aware of & may take you a bit by surprise. On a daily basis we are literally bombarded by environmental toxins. If we were to list everything we would be here forever but some of the main culprits are:
- Shower gel
- Tap water
- Bottled water
- Plastic cooking utensils
- Plastic eating utensils
- Non stick cooking items
- Plastic eating & drinking utensil
The above listed are just a fraction, of what you are exposed to daily. So should give you a good idea of just how high your exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals on a daily basis is.
We are exposed to so many environmental toxins in everyday life, that The European Union has attempted to regulate these chemicals in certain products.
When we talk about endocrine disruptors, we are actually referring to a number of different chemicals, which in studies have been linked to decreased testosterone production, endocrine hormone disruption; but the problem doesn’t stop there.
These chemicals are also linked to a multitude of other serious health issues, including certain cancers, menstrual issues, infertility, skin problems, brain & behavior problems, so very serious health impacts!
I won’t bore you here with all the different chemicals that can lower testosterone, mimic estrogen & disrupt your endocrine system. So if you want to find out more about, I would suggest you check out my series of articles below, where I cover where the chemicals that lower T are found & the chemicals & products, you need to be wary of.
For those of you who don’t know, the pituitary gland is a major part of your endocrine system. It is responsible for the production of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
These are the two key hormones in the body, that signal for testosterone to be produced. If you have a pituitary tumor, this can interfere with the signaling for testosterone to be produced & again can be a cause of testosterone deficiency.
Injuries to certain areas of the body, such as the testicles & head, can cause testosterone deficiency. The most common types of injuries that cause testosterone deficiency are injuries is sustained to the testes. So things like sports injuries, mumps & testicle cancer are common causes of testosterone deficiency, as can any condition that leads testes needing to be removed.
As mentioned above, it’s not just injuries to the testes that can cause testosterone deficiency, for example certain head traumas can damage the pituitary gland, which as we know is responsible for the signals that lead to testosterone production. So any injury to the pituitary gland can cause testosterone deficiency.
Hopefully you have found this article on the causes of testosterone deficiency useful, the root cause of testosterone deficiency is going to differ for each person. In some causes the cause of testosterone deficiency is going to fairly clear, such as a pituitary tumor or some kind of trauma to the testes.
In other scenarios it won’t be as clear what the cause of testosterone deficiency has been & could be a combination of the things we have covered. Regardless of cause, it’s important that if you suspect you have low testosterone, that you get your levels & if you do have low T that you get it addressed.
Same as always, please share this article with anyone you think may find it useful, any questions feel free to drop me a comment & make sure you follow me on my social media sites, where I will be covering more in causes of testosterone deficiency, ways to optimize T & all things related to hormonal & physical health.