Low testosterone, also known as hypogonadism, is more common in men as they age, but can be secondary to issues with the pituitary gland or testicles, as well as lifestyle factors. Low testosterone may cause no symptoms or may cause low energy, decreased sex drive and erectile dysfunction. Testosterone may be increase with lifestyle changes, but also may require supplementation or further evaluation from an endocrinologist.
Symptoms of low testosterone include
These symptoms can be caused by other factors as well, including medications, thyroid problems, depression and alcohol or drug use.
A diagnosis can be reached with a blood test taken in the morning, the most accurate time to measure testosterone levels.
Testosterone replacement therapy can improve symptoms of low testosterone, improving energy level, sex drive, erections, sleep, mood and muscle mass. It may help with weight loss and sharpen memory and focus. It is most often used in the form of a gel, although it is also available as injections, patches or pellets.