Low Testosterone

Low serum testosterone, also called Hypogonadism or Andropause, severely affects around 39% of men over the 45 years of age. The incidence of low testosterone generally increases with age.

Symptoms

Symptoms related with low testosterone could be either sexual or non-sexual. Sexual symptoms usually include weak erectile function, low libido and decreased sexual activity. Nonsexual symptoms often include increase in body fat, fatigue, decrease in muscle mass, and depression.

low-testosterone

Causes

  • Small atrophic testis due to failure to descend in to the scrotum, genetic conditions, loss of testis due to injury, torsion leading to loss of function
  • Following chemotherapy for cancer 
  • Endocrine disorder
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Men who have a history of chronic opium  use

Treatment options for Hypogonadism

  • It is essential to treat correctable causes
  • Testosterone. Gel therapy
  • Testosterone injections and testosterone patches.
  • Oral testosterone or implantable testosterone pellets

Diagnosis

Blood tests to measure total and free testosterone will clinch the diagnosis

During and before treatment :

  • PSA test (a screening test for diagnosing prostate cancer).
  • Hematocrit (measurement of red blood cells in the body).

Men who have undergone testosterone replacement are often vulnerable to the risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH.

Patients who have kidney, liver, or heart problems may tend to develop edema, or water retention. Testosterone replacement may also result in sleep apnea. Long-term treatment with testosterone may even reduce or completely impair a man’s fertility.

Authored by Dr N Anandan