What are the causes of low testosterone in males?

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What are the causes of low testosterone in males?
Optimum hormone levels equal optimum health. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of D. Sinclair Terrasidius)

A primary concern in men's health involves the causes and treatments of low testosterone levels. Optimum testosterone levels contribute to a man's overall health.

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Importance of Testosterone

Testosterone, the primary male hormone, contributes to the overall physical, sexual and emotional health of a man. Levels of testosterone often decrease with age, but other factors can also contribute.

Symptoms of Low Testosterone

The most obvious symptoms of low hormone levels are a decreased interest in sex and a lack of erections. Additionally, men may see a decrease in body mass and strength, as well as a loss of muscle tissue and an increase in body fat. Changes in mood and emotions can also result.

Physical Causes for Low Testosterone

The most common cause of lower levels of testosterone is ageing. Infection and disease of the testes, as well as toxin exposure, can also affect these levels.

Brain Disorders

Kallman's syndrome, pituitary glad tumours/treatment and benign tumours of the brain can cause testosterone levels to drop as well. Genetic disorders can also affect testosterone levels.

Other Factors

Major trauma and chronic disease can also affect testosterone levels. Likewise, alcohol abuse, drug use and smoking can cause reduced levels.

Treatment of Low Testosterone Levels

The most common treatment for low testosterone levels is testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). A blood test can determine if TRT is necessary. Other treatments might include improved diet and increased exercise in order to treat the obesity and malaise that often accompany low testosterone levels.

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