Testosterone is a natural hormone produced by the testes in men; it is also produced in small amounts by the ovaries in women. Having low levels of testosterone is a condition that has been described in both men and women. Low testosterone levels can be caused by problems with the testes and ovaries themselves or conditions that affect the pituitary gland and hypothalamus of the brain. Aging is also a known cause of low testosterone in men, and obesity can also lower testosterone levels.
Symptoms of low testosterone in men can include
Men with low T can also show a loss of muscle mass, hair loss, and low bone density (osteoporosis). Increased body fat, depression, mood changes, lack of energy, and sleep disturbances have also been linked with low levels of testosterone. If low T occurs prior to puberty, sexual maturation can be affected. Symptoms of low testosterone in women can include
- a decrease in libido,
- hot flashes,
- sleep disturbances,
- loss of muscle mass,
- loss of body hair,
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Tartavoulle, Todd M., and Demetrius J. Porche. "Low Testosterone." Journal for Nurse Practitioners 8.10 (2012): 778-786. <https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/775165>.
Main Article on Low Testosterone (Low T)
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Other Causes of Low Testosterone (Low T)
- Abnormal Pituitary Development
- Certain Medications (Including Some Cancer Chemotherapy, Hormones, and Opiate Pain Medications)
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Hormonal Disorders
- Kallmann Syndrome
- Pituitary Tumor
- Primary Hypogonadism
- Radiation Therapy
- Trauma or Injury to the Testes
- Undescended Testicles