Testosterone is a natural substance responsible for several crucial metabolic functions in humans. Secreted by the testicles and the adrenal glands, the steroid hormone has a significant role in the formation and activity of male sex organs, as well as secondary sexual characteristics, like facial hair and muscle strength.
It is estimated that more than 4 million American men have low testosterone levels. In addition to erectile dysfunction, reduced muscle mass and low energy, abnormally low testosterone is associated with other health issues, such as fractures, depression and infertility, as well as cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative disorders. There are several causes of low testosterone levels in men.
As you age, the production of testosterone declines. Although most men do not notice the symptoms of low testosterone, or hypogonadism, until their 50s or later, the body gradually reduces the production of this hormone decades earlier. There is also a strong correlation between low testosterone and obesity, as well as metabolic syndrome, which are associated with lifestyle factors, like poor diet and insufficient exercise.
Other potential causes of low testosterone include chronic health conditions, such as noninsulin dependent diabetes and liver or kidney disease. Low testosterone levels can worsen in men with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who are treated with oral glucocorticoid medications. Taking prescription narcotics or undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer also increases your risk for experiencing low testosterone.
The condition can occur because of mumps, and physical injury to the testicles can decrease your body’s ability to produce testosterone. Men with Northern European ancestry can inherit the gene responsible for hemochromatosis, a genetic iron storage disorder that increases the risk for hypogonadism.
If you are experiencing classic low testosterone symptoms, such as sexual dysfunction, mood disturbances and low energy, do not worry. In most cases, the symptoms of low testosterone can be managed or eliminated with the proper treatment. Based on your unique health profile, our experienced physicians at Advanced Skin & Vein Care Centers can create a customized treatment plan that will address any underlying health conditions. Our doctor may recommend hormone replacement therapy and lifestyle changes, such as exercise, weight loss and a healthy diet.