This is a condition where a man's testosterone level is below the normal range. Testosterone is a hormone important for male growth and development.
Low testosterone is a condition in which the body's testosterone level is below the normal range. Testosterone is a hormone that is important for male growth and development, as well as the maintenance of some of the body's important tissues and functions (e.g., bone and muscle mass, the production of red blood cells and sperm, and regulation of a man's sex drive). This care path focuses on low testosterone that occurs during adulthood.
As men age, it is normal for their testosterone level to decrease. However, this rarely causes symptoms. How rapidly the levels go down, and the need for treatment, varies among men. Most men have minimal or no symptoms, and need no treatment at all. Also, the degree of symptoms doesn't always correlate well to the actual testosterone level. As a result, some men may have low testosterone levels but no symptoms at all. Some symptoms that can occur with a low testosterone level include:
A decrease in bone mass (osteopenia or osteoporosis) can also occur in men with low testosterone levels. It is also very important to note that a man may have one or more of the symptoms above and the symptoms may have nothing to do with testosterone levels.
Contact your healthcare provider if you have any of the above symptoms. They will perform a physical examination and may recommend some blood tests to find out the cause. These tests can include a testosterone level, which is usually best done first thing in the morning when levels are highest. It is important to remember that not all men with low testosterone levels have symptoms and need treatment. Also, many men with symptoms that frequently occur with low testosterone levels actually have normal levels when tested. Two separate low blood testosterone levels are necessary to diagnose low testosterone.
Treatment for low testosterone in adult men is usually provided to treat symptoms and typically involves hormone replacement therapy. This can be done through an injection, a patch that is changed each night, a gel that you apply to your body (typically under the arms), a putty-like substance you place under your upper lip or inside your cheek, and pellets that are placed under the skin.
If you have symptoms of low testosterone, you should see your healthcare provider.
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