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Lack of Energy. Low Sex Drive. Depression-Anxiety. Low Testosterone?
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Lack of Energy. Low Sex Drive. Depression-Anxiety. Low Testosterone?

Hello,

I am a 20 year old male. I've been having a problem for at least 5 years, its basically a lack of energy in every aspect of my life.

Every day I feel tired. I don't sleep well but even on the weekends when I can get a lot of sleep I feel tired. I would say I feel depressed at least 4-5 days a week. I don't really care about a lot of things. I have like 0 motivation to do anything, even things I really like doing I do kind of half-assed. Its hard for me to focus and just get work done, to the point where I occasionally take ADHD meds my friends give me. I'm always quiet. I have a lot of social anxiety and i'm really bad in certain social situations. But its not because I do stupid things or anything, I just get a feeling like... I'm too tired to really get into the conversation and be enthusiastic about it. Like when I talk to someone usually its hard for me to seem interested, even if I am. I don't really show a lot of emotion, people even tell me that. But probably the worst part of it a low sex drive/libido. To the point where its difficult for me to make my girlfriend happy without using a kind of Viagra like pill I got from GNC. The thing I take works really well but I really don't want to have to take it anymore. I AM 20 YEARS OLD, WHY DOES THAT HAPPEN? And my girlfriend is hot, that isn't the problem! I'm a healthy man. I eat healthy food, I go to the gym 2-3 times a week WHY?!...


I hadn't really been concerned with this until the past couple years. My whole life I have been a quiet kid, maybe a little shy. I used to smoke pot fairly regularly throughout high school and was just thinking that was why I had less energy. But I stopped smoking it for over a year and it didn't really help me, besides making me a bit sharper. (I only mention that because its one of the only "unhealthy" things I do.) Now that I'm in college... I really just need to not have these problems anymore. It makes it really hard to enjoy my life during what should be the best time of my life.

So I had thought that it was just a depression/anxiety thing and I actually talked to my parents about seeing a doctor but haven't taken them up on the offer yet because its awkward to talk to them about. Another reason I haven't done that is because I've read that many of the common depression medications can decrease sexual function, which is not what I want. Also they tend to have dietary restrictions including no alcohol.

I also thought it might be a result of my sleep habits. It normally takes me at least 2-3 hours of laying in bed before I can fall asleep and when I do fall asleep I can't sleep very long. Due to my schedule I end up getting around 5-7 hours of sleep on week days and as much as I want on the weekends. I've read that bad sleep can also cause depression in addition to the obvious tiredness and lack of energy. But during the summer I get plenty of sleep, consistently but I still feel tired, low energy, and have the depression/anxiety problems so maybe this isn't it.

The other day I stumbled upon the symptoms of low testosterone and it seems to match my problems very well. Symptoms are: depression, mental fogginess/fuzziness, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, loss of energy, loss of muscle, increased weight gain, decrease in libido, decrease in erectile strength, decreased facial hair and a general feeling of not caring about anything. Its the only condition that seems to be able to cause every problem i'm experiencing.

I'm aware that this generally happens in older men but I was wondering if its possible for a 20 year old male to have low testosterone and if yes how common is it? Is it at all likely that this is the problem or is it more likely a anxiety/depression problem or simply a sleep issue? Maybe there is yet another possible cause?

Thank you for your time!
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11 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
     Your long term smoking habit during the adolescent period must have severely affected your nervous system. As you have rightly guessed, you should be suffering from a total hormonal imbalance. You should also stay away from alcohols. Better to get your whole health check up  done by a good physician. Tell him all your past history. Do not take any medications without a doctor's prescription.
Good luck.
Solace
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Thanks for your suggestions,

I really doubt that smoking marijuana is the cause. The majority of my friends smoke much more than I did and there is nothing wrong with them. Also studies have shown that even heavy marijuana use does not affect hormones. And since I've quit for a year now, if there was any affect caused by that, it would have stopped by now.

I just came across another condition known as Hypothyroidism. Its also hormone related and its symptoms also closely match mine. Cold intolerance, Depression, Fatigue, Paleness, Dry Skin, Impaired Cognitive Function, Decreased Libido, Decreased sense of smell. Is Hypothyroidism another possibility?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Emmanuel,
                You are very right, it could be hypothyroidism as well.
Solace
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello again!

Yes, now I am confident that this is caused by some kind of hormone imbalance. I was really surprised when I saw "Cold intolerance" and "Decreased sense of smell" in the symptoms of Hypothyroidism because I've always known that I cannot smell very well and I'm very sensitive to cold temperatures. Even just drinking cold water can make me shiver. I will try to see a doctor over my winter break. Is there a special kind of doctor that would deal with this? I assume all they need to do is measure my hormones, is a simple blood test all that is needed? Can anyone tell me about the treatment for this? Do I take something that will get my hormones in balance and then its problem solved? Or is it some kind of long term therapy?

Thanks again for your input!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello Emanuel,
                     Normally a physician would be able to ask for this test. It is also better to see a physician,  as he will be dealing with the whole body and he may like to conduct some other tests also, for example liver functioning. Hormones tested are T3, T4 and TSH. Normally they prescribe  Thyroxine tablets for hypothyroidism. After a course, the hormones are evaluated again  and if improvements are seen, the dosage is slowly reduced. If the thyroid function does not pick up, they recommend to use it lifelong.For your age it may not be required for long.
How is your fat intake and fat absorption? Less of fat digestion can give similar problems. Are you having a thin body structure?

Solace  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello Solace,

I don't know what my fat intake/absorption is. I do have a thin body structure. Its interesting you mention that though because when I was younger mostly during middle school, I had a long history of gastrointestinal problems. I saw doctors three different times but no one could find the problem. It stopped being an issue and only acts up very occasionally now. What are some symptoms of bad fat absorption?
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Emmanuel,
             Fat absorption and digestion are important to keep one energetic and maintain the body temperature. In case of hypothyroidism, fat digestion is affected, so the patient puts on weight. But if the fat itself is not absorbed due to many reasons, including liver problem, the person becomes weak and suffer from Constant Fatigue and associated immune deficiency. Low fat intake and absorption can show all your symptoms. Have a look at the following article:

http://www.dietadvisor.com/papers_letters_fat_and_body_temp.htm  

Well, what I am writing is based on little bit of info that I collect from net, needless to say, there may be many other reasons, which only an experienced doctor will be able to diagnose.

By the way, where did you come to know that marijuana does not affect hormone balance, if you have any reference, I would like to look at.

Solace


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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for all your help!

The marijuana study I was referring to was a study done by the University of Iowa in the 1990's. I looked around the internet a little to try and find something about it, this is the best I can do:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T63-4BWHFC9-YB&_user=1563816&_coverDate=08%2F31%2F1991&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_origin=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1579342398&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000053744&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=1563816&md5=419bc26a0a076cc92f1dd71c8fff92bb&searchtype=a

A while ago I had found a much more thorough review of the study but I can't find that now. If I remember correctly, it was disproving another study from the 1970's that did find some connection between marijuana and hormones so possibly this topic is still up for debate.

Happy Holidays!
Emmanuel

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Avatar_m_tn
Just wondering,

are you a doctor of some sort?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello Emanual,
             Thank you for your reply posts and wish you also happy holidays.  Try to consult a good physician during the holidays, and improve your overall health. Even though the link you have given did not open, I have done some searching over the net and on the whole, it appears that Marijuana does not do long lasting harm to the body. Further, the very fact that you could come out of it after years of using it shows that its influence on our brain is not very high. But I still do not know what is its effect on an adolescent boy, as it suppresses the brain activity during the most inportant growth period of one's life.

Apart from absorption, even zinc intake and absorption is very important  for male sexual health, even poor taste and smell can be caused by low zinc in the body.In any case, for better health, you need to keep away from alcohol.

And regarding your last point, I am not a doctor, I am only interested in the subject as I believe that health is very body's business.
Good luck and good health,
Solace  
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A related discussion, 19 y/o Testosterone issue?? was started.
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