Testosterone is the primary male hormone that is responsible for all the normal masculine features in men. This hormone is responsible for proper development of the male reproductive system (including related organs) and sperm and semen production.
Other features that depend on testosterone for normal development are voice quality (heavier and huskier than women), large muscle mass, body hair growth etc. Even things like sexual arousal and libido depend on this important hormone.
A man can suffer from various types of problems if his body produces inadequate amount of testosterone. Like any other hormone, the main organ behind testosterone production is the pituitary gland.
This small gland exists in the brain and is signaled by the hypothalamus to produce certain chemicals that induce the scrotum or the testicles to produce the desires amount of testosterone. Any problem in this precise chain of signals and triggers can lead to deficiency of this all-important hormone. We will now learn about the basic signs and effects of testosterone deficiency which is called Hypogonadism is medical terms.
People at Risk of Testosterone Deficiency
Testosterone production shoots up the moment a young boy enters the years of puberty. Many changes start taking place in the male body like change of voice, appearance of facial hair etc.
It has been observed that men over the age of 55 are at risk of having low testosterone levels. Medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus can also increase the risk of this problem.
Signs and Symptoms of Testosterone Deficiency
This is a common sign of low testosterone. Men with this problem complain of the inability to get a penile erection even when they are sexually aroused mentally.
Men with this type of deficiency find that they are not aroused in a sexual manner even though they had no such difficulty before.
The problem may that there is lack of arousal or that they do not find sexual intercourse pleasurable any more.
A common complaint in such cases is the feeling of extreme fatigue and tiredness. Affected men also find themselves sluggish and unable to carry out strenuous tasks.
Low male hormone levels can have some visible effects as well. Some men may find that their chest seems to grow and start looking like small female breasts. This problem is referred to as Gynecomastia in medical terms.
Testosterone is the main hormone responsible for production of effective sperm.
A man can become infertile or have low quality sperm in case of hormonal deficiency.
This is a rare symptom but not unheard of. Patients report that they are unable to fall asleep or sleep for long periods of time. This contributes to the already existing feelings of fatigue and tiredness.
Concentration and Memory Problems
This disorder also affects a man’s mental condition as well. Such men tend to have issues like inability to focus on one thing for too long, lapses in short term memory and recall problems.
The easiest way to determine this problem is by a normal blood analysis. The man’s blood is tested for testosterone levels and also of other related hormones. There is a preset standard of desired testosterone level that a man needs to have. The test results will be compared to the standard levels to determine whether there is a deficiency or not.
Treatment for Testosterone Deficiency
Thanks to modern medicine there is a wide range of treatment options available to remedy testosterone deficiency. The treatment most favored by doctors due to its effectiveness is HRT or Hormone Replacement Therapy. Testosterone is introduced into the body to make up for low internal production.
This is done with the help of injections, tablets or patches (like nicotine patches). This is usually enough to correct the problem. The only issue with this method of treatment is that it cannot be used in people who are trying to have a baby. Direct testosterone introduction into the body can lead to infertility.
Some doctors have also found that injecting a man with HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is also effective in treating hormone deficiencies. This can be used in case the patient s planning to start a family. HCG is an indirect way of enhancing testosterone production in the body.
Clomifene therapy is a relatively newer method of treating testosterone deficiency. This medication induces the body to go into overdrive in terms of testosterone production. But it is important to refer to a reputed and knowledgeable doctor before undergoing any of the above treatment options.
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