Men who experience a decline in their sex drive, energy levels, and muscle strength may have hypogonadism (low testosterone). It affects all men as their hormone levels slowly but continuously declines over time. Dr. Orlando Fernandez at the Endocrinology Institute of South Florida has extensive experience identifying the underlying cause and providing customized treatment to restore testosterone to normal levels. If you have questions about hypogonadism, call one of the offices in Bonita Springs or Fort Myers, Florida, or book an appointment online.
Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in men, where it’s produced by their testicles and is responsible for male characteristics. Beyond causing the physical changes that occur in boys at puberty, testosterone affects your health throughout your life.
Hypogonadism is a medical condition in which men have a testosterone deficiency. There are two types of hypogonadism:
Primary hypogonadism occurs when there’s a problem in your testicles. Common causes of primary hypogonadism include undescended testicles, mumps during adolescence or adulthood, and high levels of iron in the body. You can also develop hypogonadism from a testicular injury and congenital abnormalities.
This type of hypogonadism arises from a problem in the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, which control the production of testosterone in the testes.
A few possible physical causes of secondary hypogonadism include a pituitary gland tumor, inflammatory disease, HIV/AIDS, severe illness or extreme stress. Certain medications and obesity are also related to low testosterone.
Aging is one of the top causes of low testosterone. While men don’t go through a change like women experience at menopause, their levels of testosterone gradually decline as they age. That's a type of hypogonadism, although it's commonly known as low-T and andropause.
Testosterone begins to decrease when you reach the age of 30, then continuously drops every year afterward. The rate at which testosterone falls is different for each man, but it ranges from 0.4% to as high as 2% annually.
When low testosterone occurs due to natural aging, a mix of problems often causes it. For example, you may have a decline in hormone production in the testicles or less activity from the pituitary gland.
Age-related low testosterone is also related to chronic health conditions such as diabetes or insulin resistance, high cholesterol, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Low testosterone may cause sexual and non-sexual symptoms, including:
Please call Dr. Fernandez or book an appointment online if you have symptoms of low testosterone.