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What You Need To Know About Low Testosterone

Genetic Diagnostic Center | 19 Aug 2022Total Views : 890
What You Need To Know About Low Testosterone

What is testosterone?
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone produced by the testes. It is responsible for developing male characteristic features like facial and body hair, muscular strength, deep voice, etc. Moreover, testosterone is needed to produce sperm. Although testosterone is a male sex hormone, it is produced in small amounts in women’s ovaries. It combines with oestrogen to help in bone mass and maintenance and growth of reproductive tissues.

What is low testosterone?
The average testosterone levels vary depending on factors like protein levels, thyroid functioning, etc. However, the AUA (American Urological Association) has fixed 246-836 ng/dL as the normal level for a man. Normal testosterone levels in men are different from that in women. The average testosterone levels for women vary from 15-70 ng/dL. Testosterone levels below this are said to be low levels of testosterone.

Testosterone levels are at their peak in adolescents and young adults. Then they start declining at 1% every year after 30 years of age. This is natural. However, too low levels of testosterone can cause undesired effects. So, it is better to test your testosterone levels if you suspect deficiency and decide if you need treatment for low testosterone.

How do you test testosterone levels?
To determine if you have testosterone deficiency, your doctor will ask you to measure the hormone levels in your blood. The hormone levels are usually high in the morning. So, it is generally recommended to take the test before 10 am for young adults and before 2 pm for men of age 45 and above. You should mention your medications because some may affect hormone levels. Your doctor will ask you to stop taking them before testing. It is a simple test, and there are no risks involved. Measuring total testosterone is usually sufficient for diagnosis. However, in cases of mild abnormalities total testosterone and bioavailable/ free testosterone should be measured

What are the causes of low testosterone?
Causes of low testosterone in men include:

Injury to the testicles
Infection in testes
Trauma leading to head injury
Medications like corticosteroids and pain meds like opioid
Obesity and high body fat
Extreme weight loss
Overconsumption of alcohol
Drug abuse
Treatments for cancer, including radiation and chemotherapy
Emotional stress
Chronic illnesses including liver cirrhosis, hypothyroidism, uncontrolled type 2 diabetes mellitus, and kidney failure
Pituitary gland diseases like tumour and dysfunction
Genetic reasons like Klinefelter syndrome
Sleep apnea