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Low Testosterone (Low-T) (cont.)

When should a person seek medical care for low testosterone?

A person should seek medical care if they notice any of the symptoms (as previously discussed) that are associated with low-T. Males that have erectile dysfunction should seek medical care and not rely on medications or cures advertised on TV or the internet, or from anywhere else to self-treat the problem.

Females who have symptoms should discuss them with their OB/GYN doctor or an endocrinologist.

How is low testosterone diagnosed?

Low-T is presumptively diagnosed by the person's history of signs and symptoms (see low-T symptoms previously) and by physical examination.

For males, a blood test is available that can detect testosterone levels and provides the basis for a definitive diagnosis for low-T. Normal values vary from 270 – 1070 ng/dl but the definition of "normal" varies slightly according to different experts. Most blood test measurements are done in the morning because that is when the daily production of testosterone in males is highest.

Blood tests for females are more variable in results (some researchers suggest females have about one-third to one-eighth the male level of testosterone) so the diagnosis is more difficult and often based on symptoms and physical findings.

In addition, other tests (blood, imaging) may be done to diagnose if the low-T has secondary or tertiary causes or if underlying diseases are contributing to symptom development or inhibiting testosterone production.

Last Reviewed 11/20/2017

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