Low T is a condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough testosterone, the hormone that plays a key role in masculine growth and development during puberty. Primary hypogonadism or Low testosterone (Low T) has become an issue of increased concern among the middle aged and elderly male population with advent of mass media advertising the advantages of hormone replacement.

The brain regulates Testosterone production. The hypothalamus produces a hormone that travels through the blood to the testes where it stimulates the production of Testosterone. It has two main functions in the body.

1. Form and maintain male sex organs.
2. Facilitation of muscle growth, bone development/maintenance.

Signs/Symptoms

In adult males, Low T may alter certain masculine physical characteristics and impair normal reproductive function. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Infertility
  • Decrease in beard and body hair growth
  • Decrease in muscle mass
  • Development of breast tissue (gynecomastia)
  • Loss of bone mass (osteoporosis)
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Hot flashes

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based on blood tests as well as clinical signs/symptoms. The blood tests should be fasting and in the morning.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

There are many options for Testosterone replacement. They are all effective and all have advantages and disadvantages. The most popular include:

  • Injectable Testosterone
  • Transdermal Patch
  • Transdermal Gel

Assessing Efficacy

The goal of Testosterone replacement is improvement in a patient’s symptoms not just blood levels. Since many of these are subjective, blood test are performed to assist with overall monitoring and evaluation after 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months.

Low T is a growing problem due to an aging population. It is easily diagnosed and can be easily treated. Hormone Replacement Therapy has been proven to be effective in treating Low T with remarkable improvement in the quality of a patient’s life.

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