Testosterone is a male sex hormone. Healthy levels of testosterone are required for normal development of male sexual characteristics. It is also an important hormone fort the maintenance of muscle mass, healthy growth of bones, healthy sexual functioning and also for general health of an individual.
What Causes Testosterone Deficiency?
The amount of testosterone naturally decreases as a person ages. This usually happens after the age of 30 and continues like that throughout life. However, some of the other causes of testosterone deficiency can be as follows-
Some injury or infection may cause deficiency of testosterone.
Loss of testicles is an important reason.
- Some genetic abnormalities can be the reason
- The deficiency may also be due to chemotherapy, radiation therapy which is carried out as a part of cancer treatment.
- Excess levels of iron in the body, known as haemochromatosis can also be a reason.
- Abnormalities in the functioning of the pituitary gland may be one of the reasons.
- Hypothalamus dysfunction may also be a cause of testosterone deficiency
- Certain inflammatory diseases.
- Testosterone deficiency may also be due to adverse effects of certain medications. These may include cancer treating drugs or corticosteroids.
- The deficiency may result due to a chronic illness.
- Cirrhosis of liver may be responsible for the deficiency.
- Chronic kidney failure may also be the reason.
- Alcohol consumption and smoking are also important causes for testosterone deficiency.
- obesity is also one of the reasons for testosterone deficiency.
- Mental stress is also considered as a reason for testosterone deficiency.
Symptoms of Testosterone Deficiency In The Body
If the testosterone levels in the body decrease, one may experience signs and symptoms like reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction, feeling of depression, concentration difficulties and a general feeling of being unwell.
Additionally, following changes can happen in the body-
- The muscle bulk may decrease.
- Body fat may increase
- Hemoglobin may be decreased and as a result mild anemia can be seen in some males.
- Osteoporosis is seen as the bones become fragile.
- Body hair may decrease.
- Cholesterol and lipid levels may show changes
Treatment For Testosterone Deficiency
There are many methods of treating a testosterone deficiency. These methods can be chosen according to one’s preferences and estimating the side effects. Also, cost is a considering factor when it comes to the choice of the treatment.
Injection- injections are considered a safe and a very effective way of delivering testosterone. The injections are given in the muscle (intramuscular). How many times the injection is delivered and what is the dose of the hormone will be a deciding factor for reduction in symptoms.
Patch- a patch which contains testosterone is applied on the body at any of the places out of these-back, thigh, abdomen or upper arm. The site of the patch is changed so that there are no adverse signs of attaching the patch to the same place of the skin again and again.
Gel- these gels contain testosterone. They are administered through different methods like applying or pumping etc. after the gel dries, the testosterone gets absorbed in the body. However, there is one hitch- there is a risk of transfer of gel to another person through contact.
Nasal- a gel containing testosterone can be pumped in the nostrils. A little inconvenience can be seen in this method.
Gum And Cheek- in this method putty like substance delivers testosterone in the buccal cavity. This substance very quickly gets attached to the gum-line and the testosterone is then absorbed in the body.
Pellets- in this method, pellets containing testosterone are implanted in the body through a surgical method and this method is carried out every three to six months. Testosterone is an important male sex hormone and is responsible for development of male characteristics. Its deficiency can cause many serious problems like improper development of male sexual characteristics, low sexual drive and a general feeling of being unwell.
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