Low Testosterone, known as Hypogonadism, is a condition associated with low serum testosterone levels. Hypogonadism is a disease in which the body is unable to produce normal amounts of testosterone due to a problem with the testicles or with the pituitary gland that controls the testicles.
As you age, testosterone levels naturally decline so it is important to determine in older men if a low testosterone level is simply due to the decline of normal aging or if it is due to a disease (hypogonadism).
What are the Symptoms of Low Testosterone?
Some of the symptoms you may experience due to low testosterone include:
- Low sex drive
- Poor erections (weaker and fewer)
- Wanting sex less often
Non sexual signs include:
- Increase in body fat
- Lower energy
- Reduced muscle mass
- Feeling depressed
- Anemia (low iron)
- Loss of calcium from bone
How is Low Testosterone Diagnosed?
The only way to diagnose low testosterone is with a blood test. In general, a diagnosis of low testosterone is made if your hormone level is below 300 ng/dL.
How is Low Testosterone Treated?
Men with confirmed low testosterone levels may be advised to begin a testosterone replacement regimen. If you have signs and symptoms of low testosterone that bother you, there are several choices for raising the levels. Not everyone chooses treatment. Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can be given using:
- Skin gel
- Long-acting pellets
Discuss the benefits and risks of taking testosterone replacement therapy with your doctor. You should not be taking TRT if you do not have low levels of testosterone.