Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Low testosterone is a term used by physicians to describe below normal levels of the hormone testosterone in individuals.
Symptoms of low testosterone include
erectile dysfunction in men as the most common symptom; there are many other symptoms that can occur in both men and women (for example, low sex drive, bone and muscle tissue loss, depression) while infants and children may not develop normal male sex organs or may not go through normal puberty.
Causes of low-T are numerous; some are classified into primary, secondary or tertiary causes while others are due to underlying diseases or conditions and/or lifestyle factors.
Medical care should be sought for symptoms of low-t; especially in infants and children.
Low-T is presumptively diagnosed by clinical signs and symptoms; definitive diagnosis is usually done in
adult males by a blood test that determines testosterone levels.
The complications of low-T are many and include erectile dysfunction, depression, bone density loss, muscle loss, and many others.
The outlook for patients with low-T may range from good to poor, depending on a
individual's sex, age, and response to treatment.
Low-T cannot be prevented in some individuals usually because of genetic or underlying diseases; however, in other
individuals, low-T can be prevented or delayed by lifestyle changes and choices.
What is low testosterone (low-T)?
Low testosterone is a term used by doctors to describe an abnormal level of the hormone testosterone. When appropriately measured, low testosterone is considered to be below 300 ng/dl in male patients, although some
doctors suggest the normal range is 270 – 1070 ng/dl. Other terms for low-T include hypogonadism (primary, secondary and tertiary, depending on the cause of low-T) and
testosterone deficiency (TD).
Testosterone is a steroid hormone made in the testes of males and the ovaries of
females and is largely responsible for formation and maintenance of male sex
characteristics, including both the larger bone and muscle development seen in
males. The testosterone levels in humans are regulated by hormones released from
the brain; in males the hypothalamus and pituitary glands in the brain increase
testosterone during puberty and male characteristics develop (for example,
penile enlargement, facial hair, interest in sex).
Although the large majority of low testosterone problems centers on adult males, low-T is not confined to male adults. However, the definition and characterization of low-T in women, children, and infants are less clear than for adult men. Although low-T will be briefly be described in relation to women, children, and infants, either a pediatric endocrinologist or an endocrinologist would be the best source for information on these specialized conditions.
Testosterone production is part of the body's endocrine system.
Question: Testosterone is a chemical found only in men. True or False?
Answer: False. Testosterone is a steroid hormone which is made in the testes in males and in the ovaries in women (a minimal amount is also made in the adrenal glands).
Question: Menopause is responsible for low testosterone in women. True or False?
Answer: False. Menopause itself does not seem to play a role in a reduction of testosterone levels in women. With advancing age, in both men and women, the body produces decreasing amounts of testosterone over time.