What is Low Testosterone?

Hypogonadism is a disorder resulting when testosterone levels fall below normal in the male body. Hypogonadism (hÎ-põ-gõ-na-dizm) — or low testosterone — is a common problem, occurring in up to one-third of all men over the age of 45 and especially among older men, but often goes undiagnosed and untreated.

This condition occurs when the body is unable to produce an adequate amount of testosterone. In some cases, a signaling problem between the brain and the testes causes a drop in the amount of testosterone being produced. Also, if the brain feels that there is too much testosterone in the body, it can signal the testes to cut production.

Men can experience many signs and symptoms that may occur as a result of lower testosterone levels, including:

Changes in Sexual Activity

  • Reduced sexual desire and function
  • Reduced erection firmness
  • Fewer spontaneous erections
  • Infertility

Physical Changes

  • Decreased energy
  • Increases in body fat
  • Reduced muscle bulk and strength

Emotional Changes

  • Decrease in motivation or self-confidence
  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Difficulty concentrating, focusing
  • Memory seems less effective

Changes in Sleep Patterns or Insomnia

Some of these signs and symptoms might be a normal part of aging. In other cases, symptoms can be attributed to circumstantial factors, such as excessive alcohol use, depression, side-effects of medication or thyroid dysfunction. A comprehensive blood test is the only way to diagnose a low testosterone level.



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