Typically we see hypogonadism (low testosterone) among the older population of males. Although that it is the norm, we do see young men that are dealing with low testosterone levels. Testosterone replacement therapy can help offset the decreased production of naturally occurring testosterone. The therapy can also stop or lessen the negative side effects of underproduction. The primary cause of hypogonadism is that the testicles are under-producing the hormone. Secondary cause of hypogonadism is due to a problem with the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, these portions of the brain regulate the hormones necessary to stimulate the testicles for testosterone production. According to the Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology and Research “Hypogonadism affects men of all ages, either through congenital or acquired causes.” Congenital is defined as having been present since birth.
Primary causes of hypogonadism refers specifically to the male testicles. Chromosomal defects that affect the development of the testes; such as Kleinfelter’s syndrome. Those who are affected by this syndrome typically have up to two extra X chromosomes which cause the testicles to under-produce testosterone. Undescended testicles that have not been corrected after the first few years can eventually lead to under-production of testosterone. Other primary causes, such as injury or loss of a testicle may lead to low testosterone production. Illness related primary causes of low testosterone production include; mumps orchitis, hemochromatosis, cancer treatment, and normal aging.
Secondary causes of hypogonadism can be congenital or acquired. Kallmann Syndrome causes underdevelopment of the hypothalamus which leads to a decrease in testosterone production. Pituitary disorders can disrupt the hormones that regulate the testes. Inflammatory diseases that attack the hypothalamus can also disrupt hormonal regulation. Certain types of medications and medication abuse can affect regulatory systems of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. Obesity and stress can also have a negative effect on the pituitary glands and hypothalamus which will in turn affect the production of testosterone.
As with most medical conditions, a medical professional should follow your case closely. A physician will be the one to diagnose, treat, and follow-up on congenital or acquired hypogonadism. There is help and therapy available.