Testosterone is the male hormone that is responsible for developing the testes during puberty. It contributes to male attributes such as facial hair and a deepened voice, while affecting a man's libido and even his mood.
After the age of 30, a man's testosterone levels naturally begin to decrease. This regression is usually gradual and spread out over the rest of his life. In some cases though, the levels drop rapidly, which leads to a host of symptoms. Some of these may include:
Among the known causes of low testosterone, medical experts have defined three main factors. They believe the condition originates either in the testes, pituitary gland, or the hypothalamus of the brain.
Low testosterone in relation to the testes can occur due to a number of reasons:
When low testosterone is a result of a condition in the pituitary gland or hypothalamus, doctors may seek out one of the following:
We may also ask if you've used anabolic steroids or have been battling with obesity, because both factors can interfere with the body's natural production of testosterone.
The first test our doctors will perform when you come into the office is a blood screening to determine where your testosterone levels are at. In some cases they may be already be dangerously low before any of the more serious symptoms have become apparent.
Whether your symptoms have begun to impair your quality of life or not, we always recommend that you pursue some type of treatment plan. Ignoring low testosterone can lead to more serious conditions over time such as a weakening of bone and muscle mass.