Low testosterone (low-T) means what it says: an abnormally low level of the testosterone hormone. Approximately measured, testosterone levels below 300 ng/dl are considered to be low. Other terms for low testosterone include hypogonadism and testosterone deficiency (TD).
When testosterone levels are low, it can have an impact on day-to-day activities. Common symptoms can lead to drastic changes in everyday life, such as not having energy to take part in hobbies, play with children/grandchildren, exercise or even get out of bed. Lack of sex drive and depression can have an effect on mood throughout the day and have lasting effects on relationships, both personally and professionally.
- Reduced sex drive
- Reduced or absent orgasm
- Reduced or absent spontaneous erections
- Loss or reduction of body and facial hair
- Size reduction of testes
- Brest discomfort or enlargement
- Hot flashes or sweating
- Reduction in strength
- Sleep disturbances
- Memory reduction
- Reduced or absent sperm production (infertility)
- Increased body fat
After age 30, a natural decline in testosterone levels for men begins and continues throughout his life. In addition to the natural decline, other common causes of low testosterone include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Infection of the testicles
- Cancer or cancer treatment for testicular cancer
- Liver or kidney disease
Low testosterone is diagnosed through testing of the patient’s history of symptoms and by a physical examination performed by your doctor. The physical exam is usually in the form of a blood test that can detect testosterone levels.
Treatment for low testosterone is individualized based on the patient to treat the underlying causes of the low-T. Sometimes hormones can be supplemented and prescribed by a doctor.
The prognosis for patient’s suffering from low testosterone is good to fair. The prognosis depends upon the patient’s response to treatment. Patients treated for low testosterone at a late stage of the disease could suffer muscle loss or osteoporosis.
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