Male Androgen Deficiency
Even in this modern age of high-technology and personal self-awareness there is still a hesitation when it comes to discussing problems of a "sexual kind", and because androgen deficiency's most obvious and recognizable symptoms can be sexual in nature it sometimes goes undiagnosed. Partial androgen deficiency in males, or more simply, Androgen Deficiency (AD), occurs in men and sometimes adolescent boys under certain circumstances. It is simply a deficiency, or lowering, of male hormones known as androgens, and usually occurs in men above the age of 30. Androgens are male hormones, the most common of which is Testosterone. It should be made clear that AD is not a disease, it is a natural process that gradually develops over years, sometimes decades. AD can also occur in younger men, adolescents, and rarely even children. When it happens to younger boys it is usually due to genetic or metabolic disorders or damage to the testicles. It is often hard to detect by symptoms alone, as they are usually subtle and slow to occur, and sometimes missed entirely.
Androgens are that group of sex hormones that give men their manly traits, like body hair, certain muscle development, and lowered voice. Testosterone is the most important of these, but dehydroepiandrostenedione (DHEA), its sulphate DHEAS, and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) are also androgens produced by the adrenal cortex, and liver. Testosterone is produced for the most part, in the testicles. In the brain, the pituitary gland controls its production, and therefore has an effect on the growth and production of muscle, fat, hair, and skin. The specific functions of Testosterone include controlling puberty, the development of muscle and bones, body hair, and vocal change. In the area of sex, Testosterone controls the growth and function of the prostate, sperm production and sex drive. Testosterone levels begin to decline naturally after the age of 30, estimates place one out of five men with levels lower than normal.
Diagnosing AD can be tough, only because some men experience very few, if any, symptoms while others can be completely overwhelmed. Once at a doctor's office, blood tests can reveal the condition almost immediately. The blood tests should be done two consecutive mornings after fasting and the doctor may also test the hormone levels of the pituitary gland. The physical and blood tests along with a medical history, with questions about sexual function and possible symptoms, is usually enough for the medical diagnosis of AD. Some symptoms to watch in considering medical treatment include hot flushes, sweating, irritability, tiredness, and decreased libido. There are also numerous questionnaires available to assist men in self diagnosis.
Treatment of Androgen deficiency consists mostly of replacement therapy. Testosterone can be given orally by capsule or tablet, or by skin with a patch, gel or cream, or more infrequently by injection. Some side effects of this treatment are headache, weight gain, increased aggression and hair-loss. Although current studies state that Testosterone does not cause prostate enlargement, it should not be given to men who have slowed urine flow, or other symptoms of prostate enlargement. In general those men who catch their Androgen deficiency early and get treatment by a physician, suffer less or no symptoms and live normally. Younger boys or men whose AD is caused by another disorder or injury may require other medical treatments, including surgery, may be required. Either way, it is possible to live with AD with very little overall difficulty.
This information presented is intended to be used for educational purposes only. The statements made have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (U.S.). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease.