Testosterone is a hormone made by the body and is responsible for the normal growth and development of the male sex organs and for maintenance of other sexual characteristics. In men, testosterone is produced in the testes, the reproductive glands that also produce sperm. The amount of testosterone produced by the testes is regulated by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland.
Hypogonadism is commonly referred to as low testosterone, or low-T. Low-T can cause a range of symptoms including lack of libido (loss of sex drive), fatigue, low energy, sleep disturbances, difficulty losing weight and depression. Long term effects can include night sweats and osteoporosis.
In healthy men, testosterone levels between 350 ng/dL and 1,000 ng/dL are referred to as normal. Normal physiology allows the brain and the testes to work together to keep testosterone in this range. The brain produces “signal” hormones that are responsible for stimulating testosterone production. These “signals” are periodically released, which in turn stimulates testosterone production. When levels of testosterone are in an acceptable range, the production of the “signal” hormones is slowed, which in turn allows the testosterone levels to decrease.
What causes low T?
The loss of testosterone, as a man ages, is a regular finding in medicine. Many men experience an average loss of 1% of their testosterone per year, simply from factors associated with the production. This percentage does not take into account other factors that may affect the production of this hormone.
First your testosterone levels are tested to see if they are in normal range. If your test indicates your testosterone levels are below clinically acceptable, the medical professionals at the Uro Center will discuss your individual treatment options.