Low testosterone symptoms may include impotence, decreased libido, and a reduced amount of sperm.
Testosterone is an important hormone in males. It’s mostly responsible in maintaining distinctive attributes and characteristics of males. When a child turns into an adult, there are certain physical features that change. These include: deepening of the voice, increase in the amount of muscle mass, and enlargement of the penis. However, because of low testosterone levels, these features may not develop.
Low Testosterone Symptoms
Low testosterone symptoms may not be visualized in the early years of low testosterone levels. Like some of the medical conditions, this is slowly progressing. These symptoms may be observed several months or years later since the onset of the condition. In adults, the most common problems for males with low testosterone levels are a reduced libido and impotence. A decrease in libido means that the sexual drive of the male is decreased. In relation to that, impotence also occurs. The male experiences a poor erection of the penis to nothing at all.
Even if he can maintain that slight erection, the amount of sperm he releases is also reduced. Devastatingly, in some men, growth of the breasts may also be observed. Fertility may also be affected. Aside from the physical symptoms he experiences, psychological problems may also arise. Depression, irritability, and poor concentration are also some of the low testosterone symptoms. In severe cases, the body build and muscle mass of the individual are also reduced. In addition, bones become more prone to breakage. The testes also become smaller. A decrease in the amount of body hair may also be perceived.
Causes of Low Testosterone Levels
There are a number of medical conditions that may lead to low testosterone levels. These conditions are usually related to the problems in the pituitary gland, testes, and hypothalamus. Rarely, some men experience low testosterone symptoms due to genetic factors. Certain problems come with age. These problems include the production of a lower amount of testosterone and an exhibition of low testosterone symptoms. These are cumulatively known as andropause, the male counterpart of menopause.
Moreover, aside from age, abnormalities in the testes may lead to low testosterone levels. These abnormalities may be acquired by inflicting trauma to the organ. Surgical removal of the testes may also pose the same problem. Similarly, patients currently undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy may also have low testosterone levels.
Furthermore, diseases of the pituitary gland or hypothalamus also have the capacity to lower testosterone levels. These diseases include pituitary tumors and hypothalamic tumors. In addition, according to statistics, 50 per cent of men who are infected with human immunodeficiency virus claim to be experiencing low testosterone symptoms. Lastly, there are certain genetic conditions that also lower the levels of testosterone in the body. These include hemochromatosis, Klinefelter’s syndrome, Kallmann’s syndrome, and myotonic dystrophy.
Diagnosis of Low Testosterone
It is the duty of the medical practitioner to know if the individual either has an underlying disease causing the problem or it is mainly due to aging. Through comprehensive analysis of the medical history, physical examinations, and laboratory tests, a diagnosis can be definitive.
Detailed discussions of the medical history are a good beginning. The individual should be honest and open to discuss sensitive topics such as libido and impotence with the medical practitioner. All medications, whether prescribed or not, should also be presented to the doctor. Physical examinations include examination of the penis, scrotum, testes, and body hair distribution. The examiner will also check for signs of breast enlargement. The individual is also subjected to undergo the visual acuity exam.
Testosterone levels are then measured through the utilization of laboratory tests. The levels of testosterone are assessed early in the morning because this is the period of the day where their levels are highest. The acceptable amount is 300 to 100 ng/dl.
Treatment of Low Testosterone Levels
The treatment for this medical condition is mainly by undergoing the hormone replacement therapy. It is a treatment procedure wherein the body gets the testosterone hormone from an outside source. The testosterone may be in the form of pills and taken orally. However, taking pills for treating low testosterone symptoms is not advisable. This is mainly due to the fact that the dosage of the pills cannot be controlled. When taken in large amounts, it can cause serious, irreversible damage to the liver.
When in the form of a fluid, it is introduced into the body through deep muscle injections. The testosterone is introduced into the body every one to three weeks. One of the disadvantages in taking this form is that testosterone levels frequently vary in-between injections. It may also be in the form of gels and patches. These are applied on the skin every day. It doesn’t cause the testosterone levels to vary. However, it may cause allergies or blisters.
As a whole, the main goal of hormone replacement therapy is to reduce and eliminate low testosterone symptoms. This therapy may increase the individual’s libido and produce more erections. It may also have a positive impact on the mental state of the individual.