Hypogonadism occurs when the body fails to create enough testosterone. Testosterone is responsible for the development of male characteristics, sperm production, and sex drive. There are two types of hypogonadism in males: primary, which originates in the testes; and secondary, which begins with the hypothalamus and pituitary gland in the brain. These glands signal the testicles to produce testosterone.
Hypogonadism is sometimes called low testosterone or low T, and according to ABC News, as many as 25% of men over 30 have mildly low T levels. In fact, one in 20 men has very low testosterone levels, resulting in clinical low T symptoms that affect their quality of life.
Hypogonadism may be present at birth or develop later in life, often from infection or injury. Often, it is the result of the normal aging process. The treatment depends largely on the cause of your hypogonadism, but many men opt for testosterone replacement therapy to improve levels and alleviate symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of Male Hypogonadism?
Primary and Secondary Hypogonadism
Primary hypogonadism results from a problem in the testicles. Common causes of primary hypogonadism are:
This condition is the result of an extra X chromosome. This results in the underproduction of testosterone. It is present at birth.
Testicles that failed to descend in childhood may not produce enough testosterone.
This mumps infection involves the testicles and can cause long-term testicular damage and low T levels.
This condition is the result of too much iron in the blood, affecting testosterone levels.
Injury to the Testicles
The testicles are prone to injury, which can sometimes cause low testosterone.
Chemotherapy and radiation used to treat cancer can interfere with testosterone production.
On the other hand, secondary hypogonadism results from a problem with the pituitary or hypothalamus. These are most often caused by:
Abnormal development of the hypothalamus can affect T levels.
Any abnormality in the pituitary gland can affect testosterone production.
A number of diseases such as tuberculosis, Histiocytosis, or sarcoidosis involve the hypothalamus and pituitary gland and can reduce testosterone production.
Some medications can affect testosterone production.
Obesity hurts your T levels.
There are a variety of treatment options for low T, including simple lifestyle changes, weight loss, and testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). TRT is an easy way to restore your testosterone levels and your libido. It can be as simple as applying a daily cream or managing testosterone injections. Choosing the right hormone replacement plan depends on your symptoms and health history, so it’s important to work with your doctor to create a treatment plan.
Testosterone therapy benefits include increased sex drive, increased virility, optimized bone and muscle density, and restored energy. TRT can dramatically improve hypogonadal men’s quality of life.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of hypogonadism, the first step is a proper diagnosis, followed by a personalized treatment plan. Take steps today to restore your libido and energy, and embark on a path toward health and wellness.
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