Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome (Hypogonadism)

Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome, or Hypogonadism, is a condition in which a man’s body does not make sufficient testosterone, the main male hormone. This condition usually affects older men, but younger individuals can also be affected for a variety of reasons.

While the term “andropause” is sometimes used for this condition, it is inaccurate. Unlike menopause, testosterone deficiency syndrome is not an inevitable result of aging.

Testosterone plays a key part in a man’s sex drive, muscle mass, and mental and physical energy.

Symptoms

There are a number of symptoms that are associated with a deficiency in testosterone in men:

Causes

Sometimes, a specific cause for testosterone deficiency might be discovered. An example would be excess secretion of one or more pituitary hormones that then disrupt testosterone production or availability.

In most people, though, no cause for testosterone deficiency can be found. In these situations, testosterone replacement therapy is generally an effective treatment.

Effects

Beyond the symptoms that many men experience, testosterone deficiency syndrome can also contribute to the beginning or worsening of various illnesses:

Diagnosis

Testosterone deficiency is typically diagnosed with a basic blood test.

Treatment

When a specific cause for testosterone deficiency can be identified, treatment can be focused on that cause. In the case of excess pituitary secretion of hormones, for example, medicine or surgery might be used to fix the underlying problem.

In cases where no specific cause can be determined, testosterone replacement therapy is the most common treatment option.

Testosterone replacement therapy increases the body’s testosterone levels with regular administration of testosterone. This therapy can take several forms:

There are two other forms of testosterone therapy that are either not available in the U.S. or not recommended:

Risks

Before beginning testosterone therapy, patients need to know that it is a life-long commitment. Testosterone supplementation causes a reduction in the amount of testosterone that is naturally produced by the body.

Testosterone replacement therapy can also increase a patient’s red blood cell mass, as shown in a test called the hematocrit. As a result, careful monitoring of hematocrit levels is important.

For further information about Dr. Stengler’s practice and his clinic in Carmel Valley, California, please visit our website at MarkStengler.com or give us a call at (760) 274-2377