What is testosterone and what does it do for the human body?
Testosterone is a sex hormone that the body produces, but that production can slow as a person ages. Testosterone has many important functions. These include:
- The development of bones and muscles
- The deepening of the voice, hair growth, and other factors related to appearance
- The production of sperm
What are the symptoms of low testosterone?
There are many signs and symptoms that someone might be experiencing low testosterone. A few of the important ones include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hair loss
- Reduction in testicle size
- Reduction in amount of semen
- Difficulty sleeping
- Decreased sex drive
Can low testosterone affect both men and women?
Yes! Testosterone is often thought of as a “male” hormone, however, women also have testosterone in their bodies. While it is much more common in men, testosterone production in women is often age-dependent and by the time a woman is in her 40’s, her levels of testosterone have decreased by half.
How common is low testosterone?
Low testosterone affects about 4-5 million men in the United States alone. It is very common, especially as a man ages. However, young men, older men, women, and even young children and babies can experience low testosterone.
What is causing my low testosterone?
There are a few important causes other than age that can lead to low levels of testosterone. These include:
- Emotional stress
- Inflammatory diseases such as tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, and histiocytosis
- You may be affected by primary, secondary, or a mixed hypogonadism. Mixed hypogonadism is more common with increased age. People undergoing glucocorticoid therapy can develop the condition. It also can affect people with sickle-cell disease, thalassemia, or alcoholism.
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