Learn more about the causes and cures of this ever-increasing problem
Your physician enters the room with a somber demeanor and announces "Your blood tests are back, and it's confirmed: you have hypogonadism."
The response of many men to this somewhat confusing pronouncement is often: "what's that?"
The medical, professional, clinical definition of hypogonadism is the reduction or absence of hormone secretion or other physiological activity of the gonads (testes).
The Endocrine Society practice guideline has a similar definition: Hypogonadism in men is a clinical syndrome that results from failure of the testis to produce physiological levels of testosterone (thus androgen deficiency) and an average number of spermatozoa due to disruption of one or more levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis.
In plain English, this means the decreased production of the critical male hormones that make men men…especially testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).
This condition is sometimes given the moniker "low t."
Then more depressing news follows. All-too-often, older men are told that their condition is specifically called Age-Associated Hypogonadism, sometimes referred to as Late-onset hypogonadism.
At around age 31, a man's levels of growth hormone and testosterone begin to decline at a rate of approximately 10% per decade, depending on many health factors like family history, genetics and lifestyle behaviors.
This is usually due to a combination of impaired testicle function and lower hormonal input from the brain.
Since this condition creeps into a man's life slowly the effects, however grave, appear gradually and may go undetected for extended periods.
Therefore, they are attributed to normal aging, and they may be told that there are no treatments that can reverse this condition.
Men are told to make lifestyle changes: lose weight, exercise, improve your diet, sleep more, control stress, etc.
These are all great suggestions. But at best they can only slow down the loss of testosterone, and the debilitating conditions resulting from low testosterone ("Low-T") levels.