Low T is a medical condition where your body doesn’t produce enough of the hormone testosterone. Both men and women produce testosterone, but it’s called the “male hormone” because men produce a lot more of it.

It’s critical for many male characteristics, including the maturation of male sex organs, sperm development, muscle mass development, voice deepening, and hair growth. Low T can cause a variety of symptoms, including erectile dysfunction, infertility, muscle mass loss, fat gain, and balding.

If you think you might be experiencing low T, make an appointment with your doctor. In some cases, it is caused by unhealthy lifestyle habits that you can change.

In other cases, it is caused by an underlying medical condition that requires treatment. Your doctor can help you identify the cause of your symptoms and learn how to manage them.

What are the symptoms of low T?

In fact, symptoms tend to be more involved than that. Regardless of your age, low T symptoms can include:

Many of these symptoms can also be caused by other medical conditions or lifestyle factors. If you’re experiencing them, make an appointment with your doctor. They can help you identify the underlying cause and recommend a treatment plan.

What causes low T in young men?

Low T is less common among men under 30, but it can still occur. Contributing factors include:

  • high blood pressure
  • being overweight or obese
  • drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
  • using illegal drugs
  • using anabolic steroids
  • high cholesterol levels
  • taking certain prescription medications such as steroids and opiates, especially in excess

Some cases of low T may be linked to other medical conditions, such as:

  • injuries, tumors, or other conditions affecting your testicles including inflammation related to childhood mumps
  • inherited diseases, such as Kallman’s syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Klinefelter syndrome, or Down syndrome
  • diabetes, liver disease, or AIDS
  • hypothalamic or pituitary disease or tumors
  • cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy

What should you do if you think you have low T?

If you suspect that you might have low T, make an appointment with your doctor. They can use a simple blood test to determine your testosterone level.

If your doctor finds that your testosterone level is lower than normal, they may order additional tests or do an exam to investigate why. Your treatment plan will depend on your diagnosis and medical history. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes or testosterone replacement therapy.

You should talk to your doctor before taking new medications, including testosterone replacement therapy and supplements.

According to a study published in PLOSOne, testosterone therapy may improve your risk of heart attack, especially if you already have heart disease. Your physician can help you get the potential benefits and risks of different medication options.