What Causes Low Testosterone in Young Men?

What Causes Low Testosterone in Young Men?

You’re a young man in your 20s or early 30s and your in the prime of life. You feel energetic, motivated, positive and your sex drive is great. You’re ready to take on the world.

But there’s something that’s holding you back. Although you’re not quite sure what is. You’ve done plenty of reading and conclude that it could have something to do with low testosterone.

Low testosterone, also known as hypogonadism or low T, can turn even the most enterprising young man into a hollow shell of his former self.

The symptoms of low testosterone include: tiredness, depression, anxiety, low libido and decreased enjoyment of life. Testosterone is demonized to great extent by the mainstream media. Yet as a man, testosterone is your life blood.

Among other things, testosterone is vital to the cardiovascular system, bone health, cognition and immune system function. Therefore in light of this, every man should ensure he has optimal testosterone levels.

What is Low Testosterone?

Before we talk about the causes of low testosterone in young men, let’s clarify by talking about what low testosterone actually is.

Simply put, low testosterone is a condition where you are unable to produce sufficient levels of testosterone. As a result, you may have one or more of the following symptoms:
man depression low testosterone
In addition to these symptoms, to classify as “low testosterone” you must have blood tests that show your total or serum testosterone levels are outside the “normal range” for men.

For most labs, this range is typically between 250 – 1000 ng/dl, or 8.7 – 34.5 nmol/l for the UK. In other words, you would have to have total testosterone of 250 ng/dl or lower to be diagnosed with low testosterone.

However, this traditional method of diagnosing low testosterone is inherently flawed.

In fact, it’s a joke.

Most doctors simply chase lab numbers when it comes to diagnosing low testosterone. Therefore, if you present to them with symptoms, if your blood test says you’re normal then there is nothing wrong with you.

Even if your doctor is sympathetic to you, then what? Your only option is to undergo testosterone replacement therapy. And while I am a big advocate of TRT because it changed by life, it’s not for everyone.

Your best bet is to find out what caused the hormonal imbalance in the first place and take steps to fix it. But this begs the question:

What is the cause of low testosterone in young men?

Although I believe real question here is: Why would a young man have low testosterone in his 20s? You’re in your physical prime. So in theory your testosterone levels should be as high as they’ll ever be right?

Unfortunately, we live in an environment that is toxic to our bodies. We are under daily assault from chemicals that disrupt our health; not least testosterone production.

In my experience, the following are the main causes of low T in young men:

Poor Lifestyle

It was normal to spend all day outdoors when I was growing up. I would play football (soccer) for hours on end, cycle around, and simply enjoyed being outside. And most kids my age were the same way.

But a lot has changed since then. Technology has advanced at breakneck speed, making our lives easier and more efficient.However, this has come at steep cost.

We live increasingly sheltered and sedentary lifestyles. We can do almost anything with the click of a button. In my opinion there is one type of technology that is more responsible for low testosterone among young men than any other: Video games.

In fact, there are so many men in western society in their 20s and 30s playing video games, I worry how the future will look.
video games
Look, say what you want about gaming. But sitting in the house all day long looking at a screen and not doing exercise isn’t helping your hormone levels.What’s more, I suspect the constant dopamine hit from video games wreaks havoc with brain chemistry.

As a result of all this is that young men are getting fatter by the day. Obesity is bad news for testosterone production. And the excess estrogen produced from fat tissue actually disrupts testicular function. This leads to lower testosterone levels.
It was normal to spend all day outdoors when I was growing up. I would play football (soccer) for hours on end, cycle around, and simply enjoyed being outside. And most kids my age were the same way.

But a lot has changed since then. Technology has advanced at breakneck speed, making our lives easier and more efficient. However, this has come at a steep cost.

We live increasingly sheltered and sedentary lifestyles. We can do almost anything with the click of a button. In my opinion, there is one type of technology that is more responsible for low testosterone among young men than any other: Video games.

In fact, there are so many men in western society in their 20s and 30s playing video games, I worry how the future will look.

Bad Diets

The typical western diet is rich in processed meats, refined sugars and low in fruit and vegetables. This type of diet is devoid of vital micronutrients such as zinc and magnesium. These are essential not only to testosterone production, but to overall health. In short, it’s trash.
western diet
The western diet lacks saturated fats vital for health; including those found in avocados and olive oil. Research indicates these fats can have a positive effect on hormone production.

One study looked at the effect of virgin Argan oil (a type of oil found in Morocco) and olive oil on the hormonal profile of healthy adult men. The study took a group of 60 male volunteers aged 23-60 years and divided them randomly into two groups. One group consumed virgin argan and the other virgin olive oil for three weeks.

Testosterone levels were measured before and after. The researchers saw a 19.9% and 17.9% increase in testosterone levels in the respective groups! Those are BIG increases. So what can we conclude from this? That virgin olive oil and Argan oil are the magic elixir we’ve all waiting for to boost testosterone? No, it simply means you need to get quality fats and stop being afraid of them.

Most people use vegetable oils, such as sunflower and palm oil for their cooking. However, vegetable oils are like kryptonite to your testosterone levels. So make sure you avoid them.

Endocrine Disruptors (EDCs)

Endocrine disruptors can be defined as anything that disrupts normal endocrine function. In other words, things that lower your testosterone production. These usually come in the form of man-made chemicals such as phthalates found in plastics, or pesticides used to kill insects.Endocrine disruptors can be found virtually everywhere you look.

Indeed, research suggests that 93% of Americans have BPAs – a powerful endocrine disruptor – in their bodies. And much like the rest of the population, young men are exposed to these endocrine disruptors every day.

It still amazes me to come across so many young men with low testosterone. It truly is an untold epidemic. Often times, these men are living a “fit lifestyle.” They look after their health; they train diligently and diet consummately.

Yet they still suffer with testosterone in the 200 or 300 ng/dl range. The issue? I believe it’s down to endocrine disruptors.

Where possible, (and it’s almost impossible today) aim to avoid products are free of synthetic chemicals, or that have a minimal amount. That includes household items such as detergents, or toiletries such as deodorant and shampoo.

Products free of harmful toxins tend to be few and far between and more expensive. But for the positive effect it can have on your health and testosterone levels, the investment is worth it.

Hormone optimization physician, Dr Keith Nichols, believes that endocrine disruptors are a leading cause of low testosterone in young men. He has even coined a term for it: “Testosterone Resistance Syndrome” (TRS).

Final Thoughts

In this article, we’ve only scratched the surface on what causes low testosterone in young men. The entire situation is complex and multifaceted. I go into greater depth on it in my upcoming book, Optimized Under 35. And inside the book, I give you concrete strategies on what you can do to combat low testosterone.

In some instances – as in my case- the only solution to your low testosterone may be a medical intervention. That means you need to undergo testosterone replacement therapy.

However, in my experience, the primary cause of low testosterone in young men is poor lifestyle choices. If exercise and eating clean are not high up on your priorities right now, you need to change that quickly.

Otherwise, you’re likely to become a victim of low testosterone and live a life of quiet desperation. Sadly, this is exactly the kind of life most men live.

They become locked in their own self-made prison. One that they created through their own lifestyle choices. But here’s the thing. If you created it, then you can get yourself out of it.

As a young man, you still have plenty of time to address this. That means taking action right now.

Don’t delay.

P.S. If you’re suffering with the symptoms of low testosterone and need advice on getting your lifestyle and diet in order, get in contact with me about my coaching.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Ancient Chinese proverb

P.P.S And if you’re looking for an exercise program to boost your testosterone with a straightforward diet and exercise program, check out my 28 Day Transformation Bootcamp.