Low testosterone, also known as male hypogonadism, is a medical condition where the testicles don’t produce sufficient testosterone. This is the primary male sex hormone, which facilitates developing and maintaining muscle mass, sex organs, adequate red blood cell levels, sexual and reproductive functions, plus bone density.
According to the American Urology Association, low testosterone levels are usually below 300 nanograms per deciliter In adults.
Male hypogonadism is divided into primary and secondary hypogonadism, with different causes.
Primary male hypogonadism
Also called hypergonadotropic hypogonadism, it occurs when there is an issue with the testicles, hindering them from producing normal testosterone levels. Below are the major congenital and acquired causes.
- Anorchia or testicular absence at birth
- Leydig cell hypoplasia
- Undescended testicles
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Nppnan syndrome
- Myotonic dystrophy
- Testicle removal or injury
- Radiation therapy or chemotherapy
- Anabolic steroid use
Secondary male hypogonadism
Also referred to as hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, it occurs when there is an issue with the pituitary gland and/or the hypothalamus. Below are the primary causes.
- Isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism
- Kallamann syndrome
- Prader-Willi syndrome
- Kidney failure
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Head or brain injury
- Poorly managed diabetes
- Iron overload
- Alcohol use disorder
- Certain medications like goserelin psychoactive drugs, metoclopramide, etc
Before healthcare providers or Klinefelter syndrome specialists administer treatments, they conduct a thorough physical exam and review your medical history, asking which medications you are taking. They also run different tests, including a prolactin blood test, a luteinizing hormone blood test, and a total testosterone level blood test.
They then develop a treatment plan and can administer testosterone through injections, skin gels, patches, pallets, tablets, nasal gels, or oral. However, they don’t recommend the treatment if you have breast cancer, prostate cancer, untreated obstructive sleep apnea, and uncontrolled heart failure.
The Focus Foundation is a research-based agency catering to children and adults with X and Y chromosomal variations. Visit https://thefocusfoundation.org/ to learn more about their treatments and speak to Klinefelter syndrome specialists for more information.