Low Testosterone: How Do You Know When Levels Are Too Low?Low testosterone low-T facts. What is low testosterone low-T? Low testosterone is signs and symptoms of low testosterone levels term used by doctors to describe an abnormal level of the hormone testosterone. Other terms for low-T include hypogonadism primary, secondary and tertiary, depending on the cause of low-T and testosterone deficiency TD. Propionate acid fermentation is a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal glands of both sexes and in the testes of males and the ovaries of females.
Low-T (Low Testosterone) Symptoms, Treatment & Risk
Low testosterone low-T facts. What is low testosterone low-T? Low testosterone is a term used by doctors to describe an abnormal level of the hormone testosterone. Other terms for low-T include hypogonadism primary, secondary and tertiary, depending on the cause of low-T and testosterone deficiency TD. Testosterone is a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal glands of both sexes and in the testes of males and the ovaries of females.
Testosterone is largely responsible for the formation and maintenance of male sex characteristics, including both the larger bone and muscle development seen in males. The testosterone levels in humans are regulated by hormones released from the brain; in males the hypothalamus and pituitary glands in the brain increase testosterone during puberty and male characteristics develop for example, penile enlargement, facial hair, interest in sex.
Although the large majority of low testosterone problems centers on adult males, low-T is not confined to male adults. However, the definition and characterization of low-T in women is less clear than for adult men. Testosterone is a steroid hormone which is made in the testes in males and in the ovaries in women a minimal amount is also made in the adrenal glands. Menopause itself does not seem to play a role in a reduction of testosterone levels in women. With advancing age, in both men and women, the body produces decreasing amounts of testosterone over time.
What causes low testosterone? The causes of low-T are many and can be separated into three categories: Primary types of low-T or primary hypogonadism refer to the injury or failure of organs that are the main producers of testosterone, the testes and ovaries.
Causes of primary low-T include scrotal or testicle injuries, undescended testicles, mumps , orchitis , chemotherapy or radiation therapy, chromosomal abnormalities, ovarian failure or surgical removal, and aging. Causes of secondary low-T or secondary hypogonadism are related to the pituitary gland regulation of testosterone, while tertiary low-T or tertiary hypogonadism is related to the hypothalamus a gland within the brain that regulates the pituitary and other glands regulation of testosterone.
Most causes of secondary and tertiary low-T are the same for the pituitary and hypothalamus; in addition, the causes may affect both at the same time. Causes of secondary and tertiary low-T include:. There are other causes that reduce testosterone that do not fit well into the above categories.
Most notable is obesity , in which fat cells enhance conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Diseases such as diabetes , renal disease , COPD , high blood pressure , and lifestyles that include smoking and drug abuse also contribute to low-T. Other less frequent causes are modified cell receptors for testosterone and unusual cell mechanisms that are rarely identified.
What are the symptoms of low testosterone? There are many signs and symptoms of low-T. The most common sign and symptoms that bring males to their doctors is erectile dysfunction poor or no erection of the penis. However, there are many other signs and symptoms that also may occur:. Many of the above may be see in women with low-T except for the male specific symptoms.
When should a person seek medical care for low testosterone? A person should seek medical care if they notice any of the symptoms as previously discussed that are associated with low-T. Males that have erectile dysfunction should seek medical care and not rely on medications or cures advertised on TV or the internet, or from anywhere else to self-treat the problem.
How is low testosterone diagnosed? Low-T is presumptively diagnosed by the person's history of signs and symptoms see low-T symptoms previously and by physical examination. For males , a blood test is available that can detect testosterone levels and provides the basis for a definitive diagnosis for low-T. Most blood test measurements are done in the morning because that is when the daily production of testosterone in males is highest.
Blood tests for female s are more variable in results some researchers suggest females have about one-third to one-eighth the male level of testosterone so the diagnosis is more difficult and often based on symptoms and physical findings. In addition, other tests blood, imaging may be done to diagnose if the low-T has secondary or tertiary causes or if underlying diseases are contributing to symptom development or inhibiting testosterone production.
What is the treatment for low testosterone? However, some doctors may still prescribe some form of testosterone to females, but the efficacy and safety of this treatment has not been proven. Use of topical hormones should be done with care. Women should not come in contact with the skin area treated with the absorbable testosterone as the hormone may be absorbed through their skin, too.
This could cause women to develop male characteristics. What are complications of low testosterone? Complications of low-T vary among individuals. For adult males, the most common symptom of erectile dysfunction can lead to stress , depression, or marital discord and low sex drive and except for penile erectile dysfunction; similar complications can occur in women.
In addition, muscle mass, bone density, and fertility may be reduced. Recent studies suggest a link between testosterone therapy and an increased risk in heart disease. For example, a study reported that testosterone therapy might increase the risk of a heart attack in men aged 65 and older, as well as in younger men who have a history of heart disease.
The use of testosterone should be discussed with your physician. What is the outlook prognosis for a person with low testosterone? In adult males , the outlook for a patient with low-T may range from good to fair; depending on the person's response to treatment and their age older patients may not respond as well to treatment.
Those patients diagnosed and treated late in the disease process may suffer muscle loss and osteoporosis. How is low testosterone prevented? Low-T that is caused by genetic factors cannot be prevented, nor can low-T be prevented if the underlying cause is a disease caused by inherited genetic factors or necessary treatments such as chemotherapy. However, some causes that can result in low-T such as obesity, smoking , and drug abuse may be avoided by changing a person's lifestyle.
These changes may prevent or delay the onset of low-T. In addition, early diagnosis and treatment may prevent muscle and bone loss. Testosterone Deficiency in Men: Low testosterone low-T facts What is low testosterone low-T? Low Testosterone Pictures Slideshow. Testosterone is a chemical found only in men. Menopause is responsible for low testosterone in women. Readers Comments 2 Share Your Story. Cancerous Tumors Multiple Sclerosis. Manage Diabetes in 10 Minutes Erectile Dysfunction.
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