Hypogonadism Or Low Testosterone- What Are Its Implications

Hypogonadism is the condition where the gonads or sex organs of an individual stop producing sex hormones. In men or male hypogonadism, production of the hormone responsible for masculine development in body, testosterone, is stopped. Male hypogonadism can result in delayed or incomplete puberty, infertility, decreased sex drive and therefore, is a major medical concern. An individual is either born with the condition or acquires it later in life. The kind of hypogonadism one is suffering from is the answer to what kind of and how effective its treatment will be. The less severe male hypogonadism can be treated with testosterone replacement. 

Symptoms Of Male Hypogonadism

The symptoms of the disease vary based on when the disorder crept in. It depends on whether the disease was developed in the foetus, puberty or adulthood. 

 

1. If lack of testosterone developed in the foetus-

 

  • Development of female genitalia
  • Underdeveloped male gonads
  • Gonads which are hard to identify whether male or female. 

 

2. If the condition develops during puberty

 

  • High pitched voice
  • Scare hair growth
  • Proliferation of breast tissues
  • Underdeveloped penis and testicles
  • Underdeveloped muscle growth

 

3. During adulthood

 

  • Infertility
  • Decreased bone mass
  • Proliferation of breast tissues
  • Decreased sex drive

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CAUSES OF LOW TESTOSTERONE IN MALES

Hypogonadism is of two types, primary and secondary the causes of which vary. 

Primary Hypogonadism- In this type of hypogonadism, the lack of testosterone is due to dysfunctioning of gonads. The brain is doing its job of sending the signals to produce the hormones but gonads are incapable of receiving the neurotransmission due to which, body suffers from the lack of male hormones.

Secondary Hypogonadism- In this category, the fault lies at the part of the brain. Hypothalamus and pituitary glands are responsible for sending the message to gonads to produce hormones and the failure of the same leads to a lack of male hormone in the body. 

 

Various causes of Primary Hypogonadism are:

 

  • Klinefelter Syndrome- this is the syndrome that results due to disoriented X and Y chromosomes. It involves the extra inheritance of X chromosome in a child that leads to testicular dysfunction. 
  • Mumps Orchitis (mump infection during adolescence involving testes), undescended testicles, hemochromatosis (excessive iron in blood)
  • Injuries on the testicles

Cause of secondary hypogonadism involves-

 

  • Kallmann Syndrome (abnormal development of hypothalamus) and pituitary disorders
  • Medications
  • Obesity
  • The ageing process in men

IMPLICATIONS OF LACK OF TESTOSTERONE IN MALE BODY

 

Testosterone is the key hormone that is essential for the development of sexual characteristics in men. It is responsible for the development of testes and prostate glands and induces the muscle growth, bone mass, hair growth, fat distribution, production of red blood cells, etc. in men. 




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