Testosterone Deficiency

What Are the Symptoms of Low Testosterone?

Without adequate testosterone, a man may lose his sex drive, experience erectile dysfunction, feel depressed, have a decreased sense of well-being, have difficulty concentrating, gain weight, lose muscle and bone mass.

What Adverse Changes Occur in a man’s body due to Low Testosterone?

Low testosterone can cause the following physical changes:

    * Decrease in muscle mass, with an increase in body fat.
    * Changes in cholesterol levels and metabolic rate.
    * Decrease in hemoglobin and possibly mild anemia.
    * Bone density loss (osteoporosis).
    * Decrease in body hair.
    * Changes in lipid levels.
    * Muscle loss
    * Low libido

How Do I Find Out If I Have Low Testosterone?

The only accurate way to detect the condition is to have your doctor measure the amount of testosterone in your blood. Because testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day, several measurements will need to be taken to detect a deficiency. Doctors prefer, if possible, to test levels early in the morning since this is when testosterone levels are at their highest.

What is Low Testosterone?

Low testosterone is defined as less than 300 nanograms per deciliter of blood. The symptoms of low testosterone include low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, mood problems, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. Of all men with below-normal testosterone levels, about one-half to two-thirds report symptoms.

Unlike a woman’s menopause, when estrogen levels plummet over months to very low levels, men’s “andropause” is a gradual decline of testosterone levels over years. The effects of low testosterone can be insidious, even go unnoticed.

Some men with low testosterone levels have symptoms without recognizing them, Herbst says. “They may still have a sex drive, but not realize how much it’s declined,” she says.

Men with symptoms of low testosterone can have significant impairment in quality of life. Current medical thinking is “these men should be treated with testosterone replacement,” Herbst says.

Low testosterone can be replaced by using a daily skin gel, patches worn on the skin, orally disintegrating tablets, or injections. The general recommendations are to raise the blood testosterone level only into the mid-normal range.


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