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Low Testosterone (Low T)

👤by MedicineNet.com 0 comments 🕔Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Low testosterone (Low-T) definition

Testosterone is a hormone required for male development and is produced primarily in the testicles. It is responsible for building muscle and bone mass as well as sperm production and sex drive. It influences male pattern fat distribution, bone density, and red blood cell production.

Lack of or underproduction of testosterone either directly due to decreased production in the testes or indirectly due to lack of stimulation of the testes to produce testosterone by the pituitary gland is called hypogonadism and is a medical condition requiring treatment.

In the normal developing male, testosterone peaks during early adulthood. Once you reach age 30, testosterone levels slowly decline by approximately 1% a year. This is a normal part of aging.

What are the "normal" levels of testosterone in men?

The low limit of testosterone levels in men is about 300 nanograms per deciliter and the upper normal limit is approximately 1000-1200 ng/dl. A low level needs to be investigated further to distinguish it from normal aging.

What causes low testosterone (Low-T)

Some of the conditions that can lead to a low level are:

Obesity Diabetes (type 2) Chronic medical conditions (especially liver or kidney disease) Hormonal disorders Infections

What are the symptoms of low testosterone (Low-T)?

It is important to distinguish between a normal decline of testosterone levels and hypogonadism.

Signs and symptoms of low testosterone include:

Change in sleep patterns: insomnia or sleep disturbances Physical changes: increased body fat and reduced muscle bulk Sexual changes: reduced sexual desires, sexual dysfunction, or infertility Emotional changes: decreased motivations, depression Worsening of sleep apnea Worsening of congestive heart failure

Although testosterone therapy helps with hypogonadism, whether it helps in the reversal or slowing of normal effects of aging and lower testosterone levels is unclear. Several published research articles have conflicting results and more research is needed to make a final determination about the use of testosterone for healthy aging males.

Reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP on 9/26/2013

Low Testosterone (Low T) Index Find a Local Doctor

Medical Author:

Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

Medical Editor:

John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Patient Comments Viewers share their comments

Low Testosterone (Low T) - Causes Question: What caused your testosterone levels to decrease?

Low Testosterone (Low T) - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience when your testosterone levels dropped?

Low Testosterone (Low T) - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with low-T.

Low Testosterone (Low T) - Treatment Question: How was your case of low testosterone treated?

Low Testosterone Symptoms Low Testosterone Symptoms in Men & Women

Symptoms of low testosterone in males depends upon when the low levels occur. In men, low testosterone may lead to:

infertility, decrease sexual function and desire, erectile dysfunction (ED), hair loss, decreased muscle mass, and osteoporosis.

Symptoms of low testosterone levels in women include:

hot flashes, irritability, loss of sexual desire, sleep disturbances, loss of muscle mass, and decreased bone density (osteoporosis).

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