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Men Health

Effects, Causes and Treatment of Low Testosterone in Men

low testosterone in men causes and treatment Testosterone is the hormone which is responsible for the masculine appearance of males. Underproduction or decreased level of this hormone in men affects their appearance, mind, social, sexual and mental health.
Testosterone is produced in Testes and the secretion of testosterone is under the control of hypothalamus and pituitary glands present in the brain.
ICSH (interstitial cell-stimulating hormone, which is called Luteinizing hormone in females) is released by the pituitary which stimulates testosterone production.

Effects of Low Testosterone in Men:

Individuals with low testosterone level have a girly voice, scanty facial, chest and pubic hair, tall height, soft body, weaker bones, less confidence, depressed mood, decreased libido, impotence, difficulty in gaining orgasm and premature ejaculation (Read an article on premature ejaculation)

Causes of Low Testosterone in Men:

Causes of Low Testosterone in Men are given below.
1. Age:
Testosterone Level decreases with increasing age. Testosterone level starts decreasing after the age of 40.
2. Increased BMI:
Increased Body mass index or obesity is a major cause of low testosterone. You might have seen those people who are obese since their childhood have high pitched voice and soft appearance. Some of the testosterone is converted into estrogens. Estrogens are female hormones. Most of this conversion takes place in fatty tissue. Obese people have more fatty tissue therefore, more testosterone will be converted to estrogens.
3. Direct Trauma to testicles:
Direct trauma to testicles is an obvious cause of low testosterone in males.
4. Infections and Inflammation of testes:
Bacterial infections and viral infections (mumps) may destroy those cells of testes which produce testosterone which will result in a low level of testosterone in men.
5. Drugs:
Anabolic steroids suppress testicular function and cause testicular atrophy. Atrophied testes are unable to produce a sufficient amount of testosterone.
6. Panhypopituitarism:
Testosterone is produced by testes under the influence of ICSH ( interstitial cell-stimulating hormone ) which is produced by the pituitary gland. Decrease level of ICSH in men due to any pathology of pituitary gland or hypothalamus will result in low testosterone level in men.
7. Undescended Testicles:
Testes are developed in the abdomen near birth they migrate into the scrotum. If due to any cause both of the testes can’t reach their normal place, they shrink near puberty and become atrophied. So they can’t produce enough testosterone.
8. Head injury:
Head injury may damage the pituitary gland or hypothalamus which produce ICSH which in turn stimulate testosterone secretion by the testicles.
9. Intense chemo and radiotherapy.
Chemo and radiotherapy are aimed to kill cancer cell but they may damage normal cells. If testes are involved the level of testosterone will decrease.
10. Chronic Diseases:
Chronic liver, Kidney or lung diseases decrease the testosterone level in men.

Treatment of Low Testosterone in Men:

Testosterone replacement therapy is the choice. Exogenous testosterone is given either in the form of tablets, injections or skin patches.

Side effects of Treatment:
Common side effects are, Polycythemia (increase blood viscosity), Prostate enlargement, sleep apnea and acne.

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