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What is late-onset hypogonadism?
Late-onset hypogonadism is also called LOH, androgen deficiency, or testosterone deficiency syndrome (TDS.)
It is when men, usually over 50, have lower levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone. A small amount of loss is natural due to aging, but LOH causes symptoms that may be severe and can interfere with quality of life.
Testosterone is needed to maintain the male reproductive system, but it also influences many other functions including metabolism, bone density, muscle strength and formation, and clear thinking.
LOH is most often caused by a direct loss of functioning in the testicles from the combination of aging and other illnesses, especially those which interfere with circulation such as obesity, diabetes, or heart disease.
It may also be caused by malfunction in the hypothalamus or pituitary glands in the brain, which control hormone levels.
Symptoms include erectile dysfunction and a decrease in libido, muscle strength, and energy. Osteoporosis is also a risk.
See a primary care doctor. Diagnosis is made through patient history and blood tests. Treatment involves testosterone replacement therapy, which usually has very positive effects.