Testosterone Booklet

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Testosterone Deficiency: Causes and Symptoms

Male testosterone levels can change for a variety of reasons. Regardless of the cause for testosterone deficiency, the symptoms are fairly universal.

Symptoms of Testosterone Deficiency in Men Include:

  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Mood changes
  • Ill temper
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Poor erectile function
  • Loss of sexual interest
  • Diminished muscle strength
  • Osteoporosis
  • Anaemia

Causes of Testosterone Deficiency in Men

Testosterone levels can be affected by external factors such as:

  • Aging
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Chronic disease and the treatment of chronic disease
  • Drug use (such as opiates, glucocorticoids, anabolic steroids)
  • Acute critical illness, burns, major trauma or surgery

Testicular disorders or brain disorders can also affect testosterone levels.

Testicular disorders include:

  • Klinefelter's syndrome
  • Cryptorchidism and defects of testis development (such as twisted or strangulated testes)
  • Orchitis (inflammation of the testes that results in permanent damage)
  • Orchidectomy (the surgical removal of the testes)
  • Toxin exposure (such as radiation, chemotherapy and radiotherapy; domestic, industrial or environmental poisons)

Brain disorders affecting testosterone production include:

  • Kallmann's syndrome
  • Pituitary gland tumour and treatment (such as surgery and/or irradiation)
  • Haemochromatosis (blood iron disorder)
  • Craniopharyngioma (benign tumour of the brain)
  • Other genetic causes

The term ‘male hypogonadism’ is the medical phrase used to describe men with severe testosterone deficiency. Male hypogonadism is the most common form of hormonal deficiency in men, affecting 5 in every 1000 men.

Testosterone deficiency in men is easily treated but if must first be correctly diagnosed by an experienced doctor. Find out more about the process of diagnoses on the next page.

Next: Diagnosing deficiency

Testosterone Deficiency Symptoms and Related Conditions

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