Testosterone is the hormone required to make sperm and therefore is integral to sexual development, function, and interest. Testosterone also contributes to the growth of muscles and bones. It is produced by three glands: the hypothalamus, in the brain; the anterior pituitary gland, at the base of the skull; and the testicles.
As men age, testosterone levels tend to decline, which is normal. In fact, after age 30, most men begin to experience the symptoms associated with this gradual decrease. However, men of all ages may experience low testosterone due to other causes. The American Urology Association gauges low testosterone, or low T, as less than 300 nanograms per deciliter.
The most common conditions that contribute to low T, after aging, include the following :
Also, certain medications, including antidepressants and pain narcotics, as well as those prescribed to treat prostate cancer, can lower testosterone levels.
When testosterone levels decline, the effects can be both physical and mental. Here are some of the most common signs:
If symptoms of low T are detected during an examination, the physician will likely run one or more blood tests to measure the total blood testosterone level. This might include a test of the luteinizing hormone, which controls how testosterone is made. Other tests might include:
Many low T patients are prescribed testosterone therapy, or medications designed to elevate hormone levels. It can take two to three months for the benefits of these medications to take full effect.
Therapies may include:
*Patients who have been prescribed medication for low T can pick it up at The Urology Group Pharmacy in Norwood or have it shipped directly to their homes. CLICK HERE to learn more about our pharmacy.