Testosterone is a very important hormone to men; this hormone has very vital functions to all men and helps their development. It steroid hormone is responsible for sustaining masculine characteristics – helping men in the development of muscles,strength and hair. The level of testosterone in humans is controlled by other hormones released by the brain. Though it is produced in females in smaller amounts,in males it a prominent hormone. In males both the hypothalamus and pituitary glands increase the level of testosterone in puberty promoting the development of masculine characteristics as men attain puberty.
This important hormone is also important in maintaining healthy sex drive, mood, and strong bones. It is very important in the production of sperm, regulation of fat around the body and assists in the production of red blood cells.
What is Low Testosterone
Low testosterone is a medically known as Hypogonadism. It is a condition used to describe thelow production of testosterone. When the level of testosterone falls below 300 ng/dl, such a person may be considered to be suffering from low levels of testosterone though the normal level of testosterone range is 270 – 1070 ng/dl. A blood test known as serum testosterone level is used to know the testosterone levels in the human body.
What Is The Causes of Low Testosterone
Low level of testosterone can be traced to three main causes.
- Tertiary causes.
Primary causes of low level of testosterone
In primary hypogonadism,injuries to organs involved in the production of testosterone cause a low level of testosterone.
It includes injury to the scrotum,testicles,mumps,orchitis, and aging. It could also arise from chemotherapy or radiation.
Secondary causes of low level of testosterone
Secondary hypogonadism occurs when the pituitary gland’s ability to regulate the production of testosterone is affected.
Tertiary hypogonadism occurs when the glands and hormones that regulate the production and regulation of testosterone is affected.
Both secondary and tertiary causes arise from the pituitary and hypothalamus. It occurs when:
- Blood reduces its flow to the glands
- When the glands are malfunctioning or deformed
- When the glands are inflammated( caused by diseases like HIV, Tuberculosis or Sarcoidosis )
- Steroids intakes affect the gland and hormones
- Chemotherapy of tumors close to the glands
- Tumors that affect the pituitary or hypothalamus are formed.
More on Low level of Testosterone
Testosterone levels reach its peak when a male reaches the age of 30, and as men grow older, it gradually declines at a rate of 1% as every year passes. It is important to remember that aging causes low levels of testosterone naturally. As men grow in age,the levels of testosterone decline consequently. Low level of testosterone occurs when the body cannot produce the right amount it needs but can be reversed by therapy. Low levels of testosterone can be treated with the use of testosterone therapy. These therapy work by stimulating the body to increase its production of testosterone and can be administered through injections or pills.
Symptoms of Low Levels of Testosterone
Low level of testosterone can be observed with a variety of symptoms. They include:
Reduced Sexual Desire
Since testosterone plays a vital role in sexuality, low levels of testosterone causes reduced sexual interest in both male and female. In men, it causes lesser spontaneous erections during sleep and can cause infertility. It is natural that anyone dealing with this condition will experience a decline in sex interest.
Testosterone levels impact on the sexual desire and performance in men. It is also involved in promoting erection in men. It doesn’t work alone in promoting erection; it works by stimulating the brain to produce nitric oxide an important substance required to trigger an erection. When low levels of testosterone occur in men, it causes them to experience weak erection or difficulty in achieving erection before sexual activity or sudden erections like in sleep. Though other health conditions may be responsible for erectile dysfunction,it is crucial to undergo a medical examination to determine the real cause of a weak erection.
Small Quantities of Semen
Testosterone is actively involved in the production of semen,the milky substance that promotes the movement of sperm. The lesser testosterone, a man, has in his system,the lesser the quantity of sperm he produces. It is easy to notice reduced quantity of semen during an ejaculation.
Loss of Hair
Hair production can be affected by low testosterone levels. When this starts to occur balding can be observed,although the loss of facial and body hair could be experienced with low testosterone levels.
Weakness and Lack of Energy
Men who have low testosterone levels will experience weakness and a decline in energy. Anyone with this condition is likely to experience weakness most of the time even though plenty of rest is observed. When the motivation for activities one loves to engage in normally arises,then the serum level in the blood needs to be examined.
When testosterone is inadequate in the body,in many cases this hormone has been converted to fat that is stored around the abdomen. This is why when testosterone therapy is administered it leads to a reduction in fat and an increase in muscle mass because the conversion to fat is inhibited.
Reduced Muscle Mass
Testosterone levels is important in the development of muscles in men. Low levels mean lower strength and muscle mass. In a research carried out on 1000 people over 80% experienced an increase in their muscles mass and strength after undergoing testosterone therapy. More muscle mass automatically means increased strength.
Reduced Bone Mass
Men with low levels will experience loss of bone because testosterone is involved in bone production and strengthening. Men with low testosterone levels who have had this problem for a long period are prone to bone fractures.
Emotional swings are associated with low levels of testosterone. It is a contributing factor in decreased self-confidence and depression in men. When it occurs, it causes mold alteration and reduced focus.
Sleep Cycle Disruption
Sleep pattern can be affected by low levels of testosterone occasionally insomnia could result from it. People who have low T levels have experienced a disruption in their sleep cycles.
Although some of these symptoms could arise from other underlying factors like side-effects from drugs, sleep apnea, thyroid malfunction,diabetes, and depression.
On the other hand, these conditions could also be the reason behind low level of testosterone. A medical examination is required when these symptoms are observed to determine if low levels of testosterone is the main problem.
Thanks to innovation,therapy can be used to treat low levels of testosterone, but before making any assumptions, it is important to consult your doctor to carry out a test to ascertain if your concerns may be associated with low levels of testosterone. Your doctor will also provide expert recommendations and help in regaining healthy testosterone levels.