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Normal Vs. Low Testosterone Levels

Posted By: Dr. Gary Bellman

What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a naturally produced androgen hormone in both males and females, and it is the primary sex hormone in men. It is primarily produced by the testicles and is regulated by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. Testosterone is the hormone responsible for the development of male sex organs during the fetal stage and it drives the physical changes and transitions that occur during male puberty. In adult men, testosterone controls and maintains typical adult male characteristics and physical features.
  • Sex hormone produced in testes (reproductive glands)
  • Participates in modulation of sperm production
  • Maintains adult male characteristics and physical features
  • Affects sex drive and feelings of sexual desire
  • Impacts mood, energy level, muscle mass, and bone strength
Identifying key low testosterone symptoms and following up with proper treatment can have profound effects on quality of life. This is mainly due to our mental, physical, and emotional health being highly dependent on adequate testosterone levels to function properly.
Testosterone deficiency can therefore cause a breakdown in bodily function, often subtly, as a man advances in age.
Physical Signs and Symptoms
  • Erectile dysfunction(impotence: inability to develop or maintain an erection)
  • Fatigue (lack of energy)
  • Muscle mass and strength (reduced)
  • Body fat (increased)
  • Back pain
  • Osteoporosis development (reduced bone mass/density and increased risk of fracture)
  • Heart attack risk (higher incidence of sudden death)
  • Cholesterol (high: especially LDL/HDL ratio)
  • Refractory period increased (time it takes to have sex again)
  • Sperm count (reduced fertility)
  • Gynecomastia (development of male breasts)
Mental Signs and Symptoms

  • Libido decreased (lowered sex drive)
  • Brain fog (difficulty concentrating)
  • Memory problems
Emotional Signs and Symptoms

  • Depression (sadness, hopelessness, despair)
  • Motivation and ambition (decreased)
  • Irritability (increased anger, agitation, or loss of patience)
What Causes Low Testosterone?
Low testosterone, confirmed through a blood test, can be caused by a variety of medical issues. Prior to beginning any treatment, your physician will attempt to rule out disease or another serious medical problem as the cause.
Testosterone Levels Can Be Lowered By:
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • History of pituitary or thyroid issues
  • Kidney problems
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pulmonary disease or asthma
  • Steroid exposure

Should you talk to your doctor about testosterone therapy?

If you wonder whether testosterone therapy might be right for you, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits. Your doctor will likely measure your testosterone levels before discussing whether testosterone therapy is an option for you.

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