What Is Hypogonadism?
Hypogonadism is the medical term for a reduction in the hormonal activity of the testes in men ( and the ovaries in women), it generally results in reduced sex hormone levels such as testosterone.
It can also have detrimental effects in the production of other hormones including progesterone, DHEA, activin and inhibin. It can also reduce the production of healthy sperm in men and ovulation in women.
Table Of Contents
- 1 What Is Hypogonadism?
- 2 Causes And Symptoms Of Low Testosterone
- 3 Side Effects Of Low Testosterone Production
- 4 Low Testosterone And Its Effects On Your Health
- 5 The Link Between Testosterone And Sex Drive
- 6 Is Testosterone Therapy The Right Treatment For Me?
- 7 The Best Natural Testosterone Boosters Of The Year
Hypogonadism can usually be identified by a blood test, it is best to have such test in the morning as and when the levels are generally at their highest.
Healthy levels of total testosterone are generally considered between 300 ng/dl at its lowest and 1000ng/dl at the maximum.
Tests may also be carried out to check the levels of SHBG levels, this is the protein that carries testosterone around the bloodstream.. Even if the testosterone levels are at the lower end of the scale, if the SHBG levels are of sufficient amounts, the man should not experience any real drop in libido.
Treatments for low testosterone caused by hypogonadism are usually recommended when levels are found to be between 230 ng/dl and 350 ng/dl
Treatment may even be required in younger man even if the reading is found to be in the lower end of the ‘normal’ range. As an example a 27 year old man who had a reading of 380ng/dl would be considered to be i the lower regions of ‘normal, but could well be experiencing symptoms associated with hypogonadism, these can include:
- Lack Of Energy
- Poor Sleep Quality
- Reduced Libido And Sexual Response
- Reduced Muscle Tone
- Increased Body Fat
Treatment options can include the use of transdermal patches, injections ( in extreme cases) and also the use of testosterone boosting supplements. Oral medications that deliver actual testosterone into the body are now no longer used in most countries as this method has been found to cause liver damage.
It can take between 2 and 3 months to reverse the effects of hypogonadism.
Natural Testosterone boosting supplements can be very effective in helping to promote the renewed production of testosterone in the body without the risk of any side effects associated with direct hormonal replacement.
Testosterone And Longevity
It has been thought that sufferers of low testosterone aged over 50 have a generally reduced life expectancy.
An 18 year study carried out by the Endocrine Society looked at the causes of death of 800 men aged between 51 and 91 years old, it was found that a third of these men had lower than average levels of testosterone.
The study concluded that men with low testosterone levels that were left unchecked had a 33% increased chance of death within 18 years, when compared to men with high or normal testosterone levels.
Causes And Symptoms Of Low Testosterone
Testosterone is essential for a man’s complete development, it is made by the testicles and is responsible for the development of muscles, strength, bone density, fertility and sex drive.
It also has a direct affect on male pattern fat distribution, red blood cell count and bone mass.
The reduction of testosterone production by the testicles is called hypogonadism and is generally caused by the lack of stimulation by the pituitary gland on the testes.
In a normal, healthy man, his testosterone levels are at their peak during his 20’s, by the time he reaches 30, the levels will start to naturally reduce by around 1% a year
Correct Or ‘Normal’ Testosterone Levels
An average testosterone level in men should be between 300 and 1000 nano grams per decilitre (ng/dl), any lower than 300 ng/dl is generally considered to be low testosterone and should not be considered normal even when taking the ageing process into account
Causes Of Low Testosterone
Some conditions responsible for low testosterone levels include
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Hormonal Conditions
- Chronic Medical Conditions
It is crucial to determine if your low testosterone levels are simply the result of getting older or if you are suffering from hypogonadism
Symptoms Of Hypogonadism include
- Changes In Sleep Patterns, Quality – The Onset Of Insomnia
- Increased Body Fat
- Reduced Muscle Tone
- Sleep Apnea
- Reduced Libido and Sexual Response
It has been proven that taking a natural testosterone boosting supplement can certainly help improve the symptoms of Hypogonadism.
Wether it can actually help reverse the normal declining levels caused by the ageing process is unclear, some suffers have reported some good improvements in sex drive along with a reduction in body fat..
Research continues…. source – http://www.medicinenet.com/low_testosterone_low_t/article.htm
Side Effects Of Low Testosterone Production
A reduction in a mans natural testosterone production is largely a function of the ageing process.
From its highs during puberty and through his 20’s, a mans testosterone production will gradually diminish by around 1% each year after he reached 30 and beyond. (source – The Mayo Clinic )
In the USA the American Diabetes Association (ADA) tells us that around 13 million men have low testosterone levels..
What Does Low Testosterone Mean To Me??
Testosterone is present in both sexes, It is men however that it has the most noticeable effect, it is essential to maintain healthy:
- Sex Drive
- Sperm Production
- Fat Distribution
- Bone Density
- Muscle Mass/Strength
- Red Blood Cell Production
Because of its many functions, any reduction can cause significant changes that are both physical and emotional.
Reduced Sex Drive
The biggest and most noticeable effect of reducing testosterone levels is reduced sex drive and response…
As they get older, many man find that they are unable to become aroused, or have limited desire for sexual contact.
Some of the symptoms include
- Reduced Sexual Desire
- Weak or Infrequent Erections
- Reduced Semen Production
It has been shown however in studies carried out by the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio that Erectile dysfunction is not necessarily caused by reduced testosterone levels…
The ADA themselves go further and tells us that 70% of men with reduced testosterone levels also suffer with erectile dysfunction and further to this, 63% of men also have low sex drive.
Although not necessarily the only cause for erectile dysfunction, low testosterone levels are without doubt linked to reduced sex drive and poor sexual performance, something that experts do agree can be rectified with the correct supplementation…
Low Testosterone And Its Effects On Your Health
Doctors have carried out many studies into the effects and links between low testosterone and your general health..
Low testosterone has been linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity.. while it DOES NOT cause these conditions, its links and associations do make interesting reading.
If My Testosterone Levels Are Low, Do I Have Poor Health?
In recent years, the links between low testosterone and certain health problems have been determined..
One recent study concluded that in 2,100 men aged 45 and over, the odds of having low or reduced testosterone levels were:
- 1.8 times higher in men suffering with high blood pressure
- 2.1 times higher in men suffering with diabetes
- 2.4 times higher in men who are obese.
There is no evidence that low testosterone actually causes these problems, in fact, it could well itself be caused by suffering with one or more of these problems.
Low testosterone and obesity are very closely linked, those men who are considered obese are very likely to have decreased testosterone levels.
The opposite applies too, if you become obese, there is every chance that your testosterone levels will reduce as a direct result.
Increased fat cells within the body generally tend to change testosterone into oestrogen, this has a direct result of lowering testosterone levels.
It also reduces natural levels of the sex hormone binding globulin SHBG, this is a natural protein that carries testosterone in the blood.. Reduced SHBG generally means reduced testosterone in the body.
Exercising can help boost testosterone levels, men who are overweight can also reduce their body fat even further by using a testosterone boosting supplement.
There is a well established link between low T and diabetes, men with diabetes are commonly diagnosed with low testosterone levels, it also works the other way in that men who suffer from reduced testosterone levels are likely to develop diabetes.
Testosterone helps the body’s tissues to take on more blood sugar in response to insulin, men suffering with low testosterone tend to have an increased insulin resistance, which means that they need to produce increased amounts of insulin to help maintain normal blood sugar levels.
It has been shown that around 50% of men with diabetes have low T levels.. it has not actually been determined whether low testosterone causes diabetes or the other way round.. Short term studies have indicated that testosterone boosting supplements may help improve blood sugar levels and reduce obesity in men suffering with low testosterone.
Metabolic syndrome is a condition that includes certain health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. It has also been linked to increased chances of strokes and cardiac arrest
Studies have shown that men suffering with low testosterone are quite likely to develop metabolic syndrome, these same studies have also shown that testosterone supplementation can help reduce the chance of this developing.
The Link Between Testosterone And Sex Drive
Testosterone is the key male hormone, it makes a man exactly what he is…it is responsible for many aspects of his development including the development of muscles and strength, body and facial hair, his deeper voice and the development and ongoing function of his sexual organs.
At its peak during puberty and into his 20’s, a mans natural production of testosterone slows and then slowly but surely decreases as he goes through his 30’s and into middle age and beyond…
Although its not the only reason for a reduced sex drive ( stress, insufficient sleep, depression and/or anxiety, as well as diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure problems are all main causes) any drop in testosterone can have a marked effect on sex drive.
Libido does vary between men, what one man considers low sex drive, another will be perfectly happy with his sexual responses and performance, for this reason its very hard to identify a ‘normal sex drive’.
Usually its the man who identifies that he has a problem, for some, his partner could be the one who raises the concerns.
Erection Problems And Testosterone
Low Testosterone levels can themselves cause a distinct lack of energy and a reduction in sexual response along with a general disinterest in sexual contact..
The fact is that on its own a reduced level of testosterone should not generally cause too many cases of erectile dysfunction.. a health problem that is experienced (to varying degrees) by around 40% of men over the age of 45.
This is often caused by blood pressure problems and the aforementioned diabetes and high cholesterol… being overweight can also be a factor when identifying erectile dysfunction.
Saying this however, any of the above conditions can cause atherosclerosis ( a hardening of the blood vessels in the penis) this is often found in men suffering with low testosterone levels, and in studies it has been shown that 1 in 3 men with erection problems do in fact have low testosterone levels alongside any of the aforementioned conditions.
Low Testosterone has in fact been linked to many conditions that are responsible for erection difficulties, these also include:
- Endothelial Dysfunction
- Metabolic Syndrome
Although these conditions are not directly caused by low or reduced testosterone levels, there is a proven and significant link between low T and both these and other medical conditions.
If the man in question is reasonably healthy and not suffering from these or other associated health conditions, he would almost certainly benefit from testosterone supplementation therapy, with increases in energy, sleep quality and sex drive all resulting from the treatment.
Is Testosterone Therapy The Right Treatment For Me?
The increase in TV advertising highlighting the effects of low testosterone and the benefits of treatment has led to a massive number of men seeking treatment from their doctors.
Symptoms such as poor moods, gains in body fat along with a noticeable drop in sex
drive are all suffered if your testosterone is low… but low Testosterone is not the only reason for those problems.. so go see your doctor first and if they think that low T could be the problem, they will take a blood test to confirm the diagnosis.
Testosterone therapy can be highly effective, but it is not without risks and the potential for side effects…This is the reason why you should never buy prescription type testosterone treatment drugs online without speaking to your doctor… there have been cases of men suffering heart attacks and even deaths after taking T boosting drugs unsupervised.
The Symptoms Of Low Testosterone can be hard to spot, as the levels naturally reduce over time.. experts tell us that after the age of 30, our natural testosterone levels drop by 1% a year.
Low Testosterone Symptoms Can Include
- Reduced sex drive
- Erection problems
- Reduced energy/fatigue
- Lack of concentration
- Poor moods
- Increased anger
Doctors will usually perform a blood test and if the results indicate low testosterone levels alongside some or all of these symptoms, they will usually recommend a course of testosterone replacement therapy.
The Different Types Of Testosterone Therapy
Drug based Testosterone Therapy is available in several forms:
Testosterone Patch – Adhesive patch that is stuck to the skin ( usually the upper arm, or shoulder) it contains testosterone that is absorbed directly through the skin and into the blood stream. Patches are usually changed daily.
Testosterone Gel – Testosterone is absorbed through the skin when the gel is applied once a day….
Mouth Patch – A small patch or pill that is stuck to the inside of the gum, allowing testosterone to be absorbed directly through the oral tissues and into the bloodstream.
Injections and Implants – Testosterone can be injected directly into the muscles where it is slowly absorbed into the blood stream, and pellets that are placed just under the skin release testosterone gradually..
Testosterone Pills – Prescription drugs and testosterone in pill form are available, but many experts feel that taking testosterone this way can possibly cause harm to the liver…. the other methods bypass the liver, putting testosterone directly into the bloodstream are generally preferred by the medical community…
Natural testosterone boosting supplements – ( available to buy without prescription ) are often found in pill form and instead of actual testosterone contain natural nutrients that help encourage your body to make more of your own testosterone and these are generally considered to be safe and for most users quite effective.
Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy Safe For Me
Overall, taking TRT is generally considered safe as long as its used strictly under doctors guidance and prescription… most users do feel the benefits and most experience only mild side effects such as irritation or rashes at the site where the testosterone is administered..
The long term risks of TRT are still largely unknown, the lack of clinical trials leaving a few doubts in many doctors minds.
There are a few health conditions that it is known that Testosterone therapy can make worse… these include
Prostate Cancer – testosterone can make the prostate (And the cancer if present) grow
Sleep Apnea – Has been known to be increased while using testosterone therapy
Erythrocytosis – High Red Blood Cell count – can cause thickening of the blood and increase the risks of strokes and heart attacks
Heart Disease/Failure – Men with heart problems should not take TRT as it could make the problem worse
It will be some time before studies determine whether the long term treatments involving actual testosterone are safe.. your doctor will consider and advise you if it is the right thing for you.
The Best Natural Testosterone Boosters Of The Year
Discover The Natural Testosterone Supplements That Really Work
After many years of intensive research into low testosterone, reading countless clinical studies and trying and reviewing both drug based and natural testosterone treatments, I have compiled my list of the natural testosterone boosting supplements that I believe ( based on my independent experiences) are the best around today.
The products listed are proven to be 100% safe, delivering maximum results without any risks, they use clinically approved formulas and also offer full cash back guarantees to protect their customers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR –
I am 60 years old, I currently live in London. I have one married daughter aged 35
I have always had a passion for fitness, In my younger days I was a keen swimmer and competed at county level both at home and abroad. I am also a keen squash and tennis player and have always been a keen gym goer.
I have a CPD accreditation in Sports Nutrition and am a published author with my articles featuring in some popular publications.
Over the past 13 years I have studied the effects of testosterone both in the younger man and as we get older, the effects of low or reduced testosterone and how increasing its production can really improve your health.
On a personal level, a number of years ago, I was diagnosed with Low-T myself, and my own in-depth research has helped me to redress my own health concerns.