What Are the Common Causes of Low Testosterone?

Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. It is an important factor in libido and erection but also plays a role in bone, muscle, and heart health, along with fat distribution. Low testosterone, which typically falls between the range of 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL), has multiple causes and can negatively impact your health.

Common Causes of Low Testosterone


Being overweight can negatively impact your health in many ways, including lowering testosterone. Along with straining your heart and joints, obesity contributes to testosterone deficiencies that influence your energy levels.


HIV patients can live relatively normal lives when receiving proper treatment. However, if you are not receiving treatment, the infection can turn into a disease that affects the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, leading to drops in testosterone. HIV/AIDS can potentially lead to a condition known as hypogonadism, in which your testicles function below normal levels.


Opioids and steroids are especially known for impacting testosterone production because they impact the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and gonadal (testicles). They are the first of several conditions or factors to affect this trio on this list. You may want to consider alternatives to these medications or supplements if they are necessary for your health and performance.

Chemotherapy or Radiation Therapy

It is common for testosterone levels to drop if you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy to treat cancer because of how this treatment interacts with the pituitary gland. Of course, foregoing such treatments is not typically an option, but you can speak to your doctor to learn how to buffer against unwanted side effects such as a loss of testosterone.

Injuries to the Testicles

Because your testicles are critical to testosterone production, any physical injury or infection to them could result in a decrease in the hormone. Some injuries may naturally heal, allowing testosterone production to return to normal. However, it is important to seek medical guidance to ensure injuries leave as minimal lasting impact as possible.

Alcohol or Drug Abuse

Mind-altering substances can also impact the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Heavy drinking is especially likely to lead to a drop in testosterone, but even consistent light to moderate drinking may have an effect.

Explore Testosterone Treatment

If you are experiencing low testosterone levels, there are treatment options available to help. Dr. Philip Rabito has answers to your questions about low testosterone and can help you get the treatment you need to bring your levels up and within range. Call 877-703-3775 to schedule an appointment at our New York, NY, office to get started.

Philip Rabito, MD

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