Hormones are substances produced by living organisms that regulate physiological activity and prescribe our cells and tissues to perform certain actions.
Testosterone is a sex hormone produced by male gonads called testis. The hormone testosterone is also a steroid.
Testosterone hormone helps in the development of secondary sexual characters in men.
What is Low Testosterone?
Normally, the testosterone level ranges from 280 nanograms per deciliter to 1,100 nanograms per deciliter. If the testosterone level decreases below 280 nanograms per deciliter, this is called low testosterone state.
The level of testosterone generally decreases due to aging but some other factors like high amount of fats in the body, any problem related to male gonad, cancer treatment, genetic syndromes like Klinefelter’s syndrome.
AIDS can also decrease the amount below the minimum. Also, the people who are suffering from high blood sugar (diabetes) also sometimes show a low amount of testosterone. This condition can be treated but cannot be cured completely.
Low testosterone level leads to hypogonadism, a condition causes due to the absence of sex hormones or due to the very low production of testosterone which results due to the failure of gonads.
Some hypogonadism patients are also unable to produce sperms and in some people, both low amounts of sperm and testosterone are associated with this condition. This condition may also be caused by other problems which are not associated with the gonads.
Based on the cause of hypogonadism, whether it is originating from testicles or from other problems of organs and glands, hypogonadism can be classified into two major classes
Primary hypogonadism – Due to glands, the function of testicles.
Secondary hypogonadism – Caused by the problem lies in the hypothalamus or pituitary gland.
Hypothalamus or pituitary gland make an axis with the gonads and produce hormones which signal the testis to produce testosterone. If in this process of signaling if any interruption occurs, testosterone is produced in low amount and leads to secondary hypogonadism.
Hypogonadism may be congenital or acquired.
If the condition present at the time of birth then it is said to be congenital and it occurs any time in life after birth, then it is acquired hypogonadism.
Primary hypogonadism is congenital or sometimes will be acquired also. Secondary hypothyroidism is acquired.
Hypogonadism can occur during the development of the fetus or during puberty. It can also occur during adulthood, seen in many cases.