Robert J Cornell, MD, PA
Urologist located in Houston, TX
Testosterone is responsible for muscle mass, bone density, and body hair. It also supports every major organ system, from your arteries to your brain. So when your levels of testosterone are low, it can be cause for concern, even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms. Dr. Robert J. Cornell offers testing, diagnosis, and treatment options for low testosterone, and can help you determine what plan will work best for your specific needs. To learn more, schedule an appointment online or call Dr. Cornell’s office in Houston.
Low Testosterone Q & A
What is Low-T?
Similar to cholesterol or blood pressure, there’s a range of testosterone levels that’s considered normal. Low-T, or hypogonadism, is a state involving lower-than-expected levels of testosterone.
Testosterone sampling is difficult since the levels tend to vary throughout the day, but early morning sampling is the most accurate. The standard value for total testosterone in males is 270-1070 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).
Low-T can be categorized into three types based on where the problem originates:
A problem with the testes failing to produce enough testosterone.
A problem with the pituitary gland failing to stimulate the production of testosterone.
A problem with the hypothalamus gland failing to stimulate the production of testosterone.
What causes Low-T?
Most men experience a gradual decline in their testosterone levels starting in their late 30s or early 40s. Aside from aging, however, there are other causes of Low-T. For primary hypogonadism — or problems originating in the testes — other causes include:
- Undescended testicles
- Injury to the scrotum
- Chemotherapy and radiation therapy
- Mumps orchitis (mumps involving testicles and salivary glands)
- Chromosomal abnormalities
Aside from aging, other causes of secondary and tertiary hypogonadism include:
- Excess estrogen
- Illegal use of anabolic steroids
- Damage to the pituitary gland
- Hypothalamus malformations such as Kallmann syndrome
- Inflammation caused by tuberculosis and sarcoidosis
- HIV and AIDS
What are the symptoms of Low-T?
Low testosterone levels can impair normal reproductive function and alter certain masculine physical characteristics. These symptoms may include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of hair
- Decreased muscle mass
- Decreased bone density
Low-T can also cause mental or emotional symptoms, including reduced sexual function and desire, depression, and lethargy.
How is Low-T treated?
The primary consideration for treating low testosterone is to identify and treat the underlying cause. Dr. Cornell provides a comprehensive evaluation to discover the cause, and come up with a customized treatment plan that works for you.
In general, Dr. Cornell’s treatment of Low-T focuses on:
- Lifestyle changes
- Reducing estrogen levels
- Increasing testicular output of testosterone
- Testosterone supplementation
Testosterone supplementation — also called testosterone replacement therapy — can boost libido, increase muscle mass, reduce body fat, and improve energy levels. Testosterone delivery methods include gels, injections, patches, pellets, and more.