Low hormone levels can cause a significant impact on everyday life and may result in complications including poor physical growth, infertility and mental health disorders. Fortunately, low hormone levels can be treated by a doctor, such as an endocrinologist, with the use of prescription synthetic or naturally derived hormones.
Klinefelter syndrome, Kallmann syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome and hemochromatosis are genetic conditions that may cause men to have abnormally low testosterone levels. Congenital hypothyroidism is a cause of low hormone levels that results from being born with no thyroid gland or a defective thyroid. Myotonic dystrophy, the most common type of muscular dystrophy can also be a cause of low hormone levels.
Low levels of testosterone in men may be caused by infections, including HIV or infections of the testicles that damage the testes. Bacterial meningitis of the brain can cause low hormone levels, especially if the pituitary or hypothalamus become infected. Tuberculosis can invade the brain and cause damage to the pituitary gland, which results in low hormone levels.
Men who have injuries to the testes, including trauma or castration may develop low testosterone levels after the injury. People with a past head injury may have low hormone levels if the pituitary gland was damaged. Women with uterine hemorrhage or other childbirth-related injuries may develop hypopituitarism after giving birth, which can cause low hormone levels.
Men with medical disorders including liver or kidney disease, type 2 diabetes or high levels of body fat may have low testosterone levels. People, who have had a stroke, especially during childhood, may suffer damage to the pituitary gland that may result in low hormone levels. Rare conditions, such as sarcoidosis and histiocytosis X, can cause inflammation and scarring in hormone-producing glands, resulting in low hormone levels.
Pregnancy causes women to have changes in hormone levels that can lead to a loss of interest in sexual activity. After pregnancy, hormone levels drop to low levels within a few hours of birth, and miscarriage may also cause lowering of hormones, such as progesterone. Women who breast feed their babies often maintain low levels of estrogen and progesterone due to high levels of prolactin, which allows the body to produce milk.
People with tumors of the thyroid gland, pituitary gland or hypothalamus may have low hormone levels. Tumors of the ovaries or testis may cause low hormone levels and lead to infertility and sexual dysfunction. Treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation for malignant tumors, may also be a cause of low hormone levels.