Testosterone Deficiency

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a male sex hormone that plays a major role in their sexual development and fertility. Varying levels of testosterone within a man’s body will affect many bodily functions, including:

  • The production of both body and facial hair
  • Muscle strength
  • Sexual drive

If you have low testosterone, or believe you do, be sure to schedule an appointment with Siouxland Urology today.
Schedule A Consultation for Low Testosterone

Causes of Low Testosterone

It is completely natural for testosterone levels to decrease with age, leaving approximately half of men over the age of 80 with low testosterone (Low-T). Other common factors that lead to Low-T include:

  • Obesity
  • Side effects of certain medications
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Injury or infection of the testes
  • A congenital condition
  • Side effects of chemotherapy or radiation treatments
  • Issues with the pituitary gland
  • An existing autoimmune disease
  • A prior diagnosis of HIV or AIDS

Typical Symptoms of Low-T

We have already discussed how testosterone levels contribute greatly toward a man’s sexual health, which is why it makes sense that low testosterone levels would result in impaired sexual function.

In addition to a decrease in sexual desire and problems with erectile dysfunction, individuals with Low-T will also often experience:

  • Loss of body or facial hair
  • Constant fatigue
  • Decreased amounts of lean muscle mass
  • Signs of depression
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty in articulating their speech

Testosterone Deficiency

Testosterone production declines naturally with age. Low testosterone, or testosterone deficiency (TD), may result from disease or damage to the hypothalamus, pituitary gland or testicles that inhibits hormone secretion and testosterone production, and is also known as hypogonadism. Depending on age, insufficient testosterone production can lead to abnormalities in muscle and bone development, underdeveloped genitalia and diminished virility.

Testosterone is the androgenic hormone primarily responsible for normal growth and development of male sex and reproductive organs, including the penis, testicles, scrotum, prostate and seminal vesicles. It facilitates the development of secondary male sex characteristics such as:

  • musculature
  • bone mass
  • fat distribution
  • hair patterns
  • laryngeal enlargement
  • vocal chord thickening

Additionally, normal testosterone levels maintain energy level, healthy mood, fertility, and sexual desire.

The testes produce testosterone regulated by a complex chain of signals that begins in the brain. This chain is called the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. The hypothalamus secretes gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) to the pituitary gland in carefully timed pulses (bursts), which triggers the secretion of leutenizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland. Leutenizing hormone stimulates the Leydig cells of the testes to produce testosterone. Normally, the testes produce 4 – 7 milligrams (mg) of testosterone daily.

Incidence and Prevalence of Testosterone Deficiency

Testosterone production increases rapidly at the onset of puberty and decreases rapidly after age 50 (to 20–50 percent of peak level by age 80). Recent estimates show that approximately 13 million men in the United States experience testosterone deficiency and less than 10 percent receive treatment for the condition.

Studies have shown that obesity, diabetes, and hypertension (high blood pressure) increase a man’s risk for low testosterone.

Treatments for Low Testosterone

There are a wide variety of potential solutions to a person’s low testosterone. Depending upon the particular patient and their case, natural options such as supplements or a new diet plan may be sufficient in boosting these hormone levels.

Some form of hormone replacement therapy is another popular option when it comes to treating Low-T. These may be in the form of an oral/intranasal medication, injection, or as hormone pellets. Different patients will have different techniques for testosterone administration based on their personal preferences and lifestyle.

The best way to begin treatment for low testosterone is to see a specialist, and to discuss your options with them. To schedule an appointment with one of our providers from Siouxland Urology, please call our office today at 1 (605) 217-7000.

COVID-19 Updates

Beginning on 5/26, our office will be making a few changes for precautions against COVID-19:

We will still be strictly following CDC guidelines to always keep our patients safe.

Telehealth

Other patients can be seen with Telehealth services. This service allows patients to be seen via an internet connection. The connection will require a camera, which is a common feature on your computer, phone, laptop, or tablet. Please call our office if you would like to make a telehealth appointment at (605) 217-7000

For patients that call for a telehealth appointment, we will verify that your insurance will cover the visit, and then set a time for you to log into https://sxlandurology.doxy.me. Once you are into this website, you will need to select the name of your provider. This will place you in a wait area, where the provider will join you for your session.

For more information about our Telehealth services, click here.

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