Testosterone deficiency affects male sexuality adversely because of the important roles that androgenic hormones play in the body. For instance, normal levels of testosterone help in maintaining a healthy mood, sexual desire, fertility and normal energy levels. Depending on age, low testosterone levels can lead to male impotence, bone and muscle development abnormalities and underdeveloped genitalia. Testosterone deficiency has been reported in alarmingly high numbers of males. In the United States alone, over 13 million men experience testosterone deficiency, but less than 10% of these men receive treatment for the disorder. Many studies have revealed that diabetes, hypertension and obesity increase the risk of testosterone deficiency in men.
What are the common causes of testosterone deficiency? Generally, testosterone secretion diminishes with age. The hormone’s production increases significantly during the onset of puberty and falls rapidly after 50 years of age. It is only at 20-50% of the peak level when a man reaches 80 years of age. Though the disorder may be present at birth, such cases are rare and the most common cause of low testosterone production is damage or a disease affecting the hypothalamus, testicles or pituitary gland that triggers diminished hormone secretion. Therefore, testosterone deficiency is divided into primary (failure of testicular secretion) or secondary (hypothalamic or pituitary gland failures).
The common causes of primary deficiency include undescended testicles, testicular injuries, mumps infection that affects the testicles, overproduction of iron, Klinefelter’s syndrome (a congenital anomaly in which one or more additional X chromosomes is present in a male) and radiation or chemotherapy for cancer. Men with diabetes (both types) commonly suffer from the disorder. Secondary causes of testosterone deficiency include HIV/AIDS, hormonal medications, obesity, inflammatory disease, disorders of the pituitary, injury of the hypothalamus and certain forms of pain. Prompt treatment of the disorder is necessary in order to stem problems with the development of male sexuality and secondary characteristics and to prevent male impotence. Visit this page for further information, guidance, diagnosis and treatment of testosterone deficiency.