Low testosterone (Low-T) facts
- Low testosterone (low-T) is underproduction or lack of production of testosterone.
- Causes of low-T include chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, infections, obesity, or other hormonal conditions.
- Symptoms of low-T include:
- change in sleep patterns,
- reduced sex drive (low libido),
- sexual dysfunction,
- infertility, and
- emotional changes.
- Low-T testing includes linking symptoms with testosterone blood levels.
- Treatment options for low-T include different forms of testosterone therapy.
Low testosterone (Low-T) definition
Testosterone is a hormone required for male development and is produced primarily in the testicles. It is responsible for building muscle and bone mass as well as sperm production and sex drive. It influences male pattern fat distribution, bone density, and red blood cell production.
Lack of or underproduction of testosterone either directly due to decreased production in the testes or indirectly due to lack of stimulation of the testes to produce testosterone by the pituitary gland is called hypogonadism and is a medical condition requiring treatment.
In the normal developing male, testosterone peaks during early adulthood. Once you reach age 30, testosterone levels slowly decline by approximately 1% a year. This is a normal part of aging.
What are the normal levels of testosterone in men?
The low limit of testosterone levels in men is about 300 nanograms per deciliter and the upper normal limit is approximately 1000-1200 ng/dl. A low level needs to be investigated further to distinguish it from normal aging.
What causes low testosterone (Low-T)
Some of the conditions that can lead to a low level are:
- Diabetes (type 2)
- Chronic medical conditions (especially liver or kidney disease)
- Hormonal disorders