Testosterone is the male sex hormone that is made in the testicles. Testosterone hormone levels are important to normal male sexual development and functions.
During puberty (in the teen years), testosterone helps boys develop male features like body and facial hair, deeper voice, and muscle strength. Men need testosterone to make sperm. Testosterone levels generally decrease with age, so older men tend to have low blood testosterone levels.
Some men have low testosterone levels. This is called Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome (TD) or Low Testosterone (Low-T). Deficiency means that the body does not have enough of a needed substance. Syndrome is a group of symptoms that, together, suggest a disease or health condition.
The American Urology Association (AUA) identifies low blood testosterone (Low-T) as less than 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). These symptoms or conditions may accompany Low-T:
There are many signs and symptoms of Low Testosterone. Some are more closely related to Low-T levels (specific signs and symptoms). Others may not necessarily be linked (non-specific signs and symptoms). Your doctor will help you make sense of your own situation.
Specific symptoms are those more likely or directly linked to TD such as:
Non-specific symptoms are those that may or may not be linked to TD such as:
Having any one of the specific or non-specific symptoms may not mean that you have TD. But if you have a mix of symptoms, for instance, if you start to feel very tired and sad over a period of time and this is a change for you, you may want to check for TD.
Low sexual desire alone may not mean that you have TD. But if you have a combination of low sexual desire, reduced erectile function, and feelings of sadness and tiredness, you should talk to your doctor.
Some persons are born with conditions that cause Testosterone Deficiency (TD) such as:
Some men may develop Low-T because of conditions like these:
Basically, if your testicles keep making less testosterone than normal, your blood levels of testosterone will fall. Many men who develop TD have Low-T levels linked to:
Although many symptoms may be tied to Low Testosterone (Low-T), total blood testosterone level is the most important measure of testosterone deficiency. To make a diagnosis, your doctor will use other specific signs and symptoms in addition to your testosterone blood level.
At your medical visit, your health history will be taken, and the doctor will do an exam and look for some of the signs and symptoms mentioned in this article.
Your doctor may order these blood tests:
The following also may be done to help with further diagnosis:
Make a list of:
Consult your doctor soon
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