Testosterone deficiency or male hypogonadism is a condition wherein your body fails to manufacture adequate amounts of testosterone, the hormone which plays an important part in masculine growth and development during puberty.
The condition could be since birth or may develop later due to infection or injury. The manifestations depend upon the cause and at what point in life it develops.
What Causes Testosterone Deficiency?
The causes could be primary or secondary:
- Primary: This originates from a disorder in the testicles.
- Secondary: There is a disturbance in the hypothalamus or the pituitary which signal the testes to synthesize testosterone.
Common causes of primary hypogonadism:
- Klinefelter syndrome, a congenital abnormality of the sex chromosomes.
- Undescended testicles is another cause. Before birth, the testes develop inside the abdomen and then descend into the scrotum. Sometimes one or both of the testes may not descend at birth. Consequently, there is a malfunction of the testicles and diminished production of testosterone.
- Mumps orchitis causes long-term testicular damage. This impacts testosterone synthesis.
- Trauma to the testes affects testosterone synthesis.
- Chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer interferes with testosterone and sperm production.
Secondary hypogonadism – common causes are:
- Pituitary disorders. An abnormality in the pituitary, such as a tumor, affects the release of hormones from the pituitary to the testicles, thus impairing testosterone synthesis.
- Certain inflammatory diseases, like sarcoidosis and tuberculosis, involve the hypothalamus and pituitary gland and impair the production of testosterone.
- Use of certain medicines and drugs, such as opiate pain medications and some hormones, reduce testosterone manufacture.
- Obesity is linked to hypogonadism.
- Older men generally have low levels of testosterone than younger men. With age, there is a slow and constant reduction in the production.
Deficiency Of Testosterone Symptoms
Fetal development: If the body fails to synthesize enough testosterone during fetal development, there will be impaired growth of the external sex organs. A child who is genetically male may be born with:
- Female genitalia.
- Genitalia that is neither clearly male nor clearly female.
- Poorly developed male genitals.
Puberty: During puberty, a deficiency of the hormone could result in:
- Poor development of muscle mass.
- Impaired growth of body hair.
- No deepening of voice.
- Impaired growth of testes and penis.
- Undue growth of arms and legs in proportion to the trunk.
- Development of breast tissue.
Adulthood: In adults masculine physical characteristics get altered and reproductive function gets impaired.
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decrease in beard and body hair growth
- Reduced muscle mass
- Development of breast tissue
- Poor concentration
- Diminished sex drive
Natural Remedies For Testosterone Deficiency
- Yohimbine: It is an extract from the yohimbe tree which has since long been used as an aphrodisiac. It helps deal with impotence. When taken, it takes about 30 minutes to act and can last for around 3 hours.
- Ginseng: It is considered excellent in boosting vitality, endurance and longevity in men. It is highly recommended by doctors especially for patients over 40.
- Horny goat weed or epimedium grandiflorum extract is known to raise testosterone production, which enhances sex drive.
- Confer with your health care provider about how you can reduce stress and anxiety that often go with these conditions. You will definitely benefit from psychological counseling.
- Give time to adjust. Adolescents with hypogonadism feel as if they do not fit in. In some cases, testosterone therapy is required. Testosterone replacement therapy triggers puberty. When administered at a gradual pace it provides time for adjustment to physical changes and emotional alterations.