What Complications Can Abnormal Testosterone Level Cause?
Testosterone is one of the major sex hormones that is produced by the body in both men and women. In men, testosterone is the main male sex hormone that is required for normal reproductive and sexual function. In men, it is mainly produced in the Leydig cells of the testes and of the other hand, in women, it is produced by the ovaries and placenta.
Testosterone plays a well known role in the development of sexual attributes such as increased muscles, bone mass and body hair in men. Testosterone deficiency in men is a common problem and in medical terms, it is known as hypogonadism. A decline in testosterone level has a major impact on the psychological processes that have an effect on different organs of the body. When men suffer from hypogonadism, key domains of life are affected:
- Emotional functioning
- Social functioning
- Mental functioning
- Physical functioning
- Sexual functioning
The negative effects of low testosterone can be seen on various functions of the body
According to numerous studies, a sexual function has been found to be testosterone dependent. Sexual health is an important part of the overall health and the quality of life. It also affects their partner. Hypogonadism or testosterone deficiency is often accompanied by the development of various sexual dysfunctions and erectile dysfunction is the most common sexual dysfunction that is associated with low testosterone levels.
Erectile dysfunction is defined as an inability of a man to attain or sustain erections during the sexual intercourse. Low testosterone level contributes to the development of erectile dysfunction by increasing smooth muscle apoptosis and reducing erectile tissue relaxation and the production of nitric oxide. An erection is caused by an increased penile blood flow that results from the relaxation of penile arteries and smooth muscle relaxation in the corpus cavernosal. Relaxation of penile arteries and corpus cavernosal smooth muscle is mediated by the release of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide increases the synthesis of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) which in turn increases the flow of blood in the erectile tissue.
Testosterone deficiency is associated with a variety of symptoms and in addition to physical signs, it is also associated with various psychological conditions such as forgetfulness and depressed mood. There are some pieces of evidence that suggest that when there is a significant reduction in testosterone level, the cognitive abilities and other cerebral functions may be impaired. Testosterone enhances mood and cognitive function.
Depression and anxiety are the most common psychological disorders that are associated with testosterone deficiency. Most often, testosterone deficiency is accompanied by depression. Depression is one of the leading cause of disability throughout the world. In men, the prevalence of developing depression increases with age and so does the prevalence of having testosterone deficiency. Furthermore, according to the studies, there is evidence to suggest that testosterone replacement in patients having testosterone deficiency improves depressive symptoms.
Testosterone is a hormone that regulates the emotions and low testosterone deficiency is linked to anxiety and depression. Various researchers suggest that it can be the result of irritability, low sex drive, sexual dysfunction and other problems that are associated with low testosterone level.
There is a strong relationship between low testosterone level in the body and occurrence of sleep disturbances such as obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia. Obstructive sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects the breathing of a person during sleep. It occurs when the muscles relax during sleep and cause the soft tissue in the back of the throat to collapse. This leads to the blockage of the upper airway. Obstructive sleep apnea is common in old people and the risk of low testosterone is also linked with aging.
Insomnia is another sleep disorder which can be the cause of low testosterone level. It is one of the common sleep complaints that is characterized by difficulty in falling asleep, struggling to maintain sleep at night, and poor quality of sleep. There are many causes of insomnia which include depression and anxiety. As stated above, depression and anxiety are the most common psychological disorders that are associated with low testosterone level in the blood. Insomnia is of two types. Primary insomnia is defined as a sleep disorder that is not associated with any existing medical condition. Whereas, secondary insomnia is defined as a sleep disorder that results from a medical condition.
There are pieces of evidence that makes it clear that testosterone plays a significant role in glucose metabolism. Various studies have reported that there is a direct correlation between plasma testosterone and insulin sensitivity and low levels of testosterone are associated with increased risk of diabetes mellitus. Studies stated that people who suffer from diabetes mellitus are found to be low on testosterone level.
Diabetes mellitus is defined as a condition in which the blood glucose level of the body becomes too high. It is a medical condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. In medical terms, diabetes mellitus is characterized by hyperglycemia that results from absolute or relative insulin deficiency. Diabetes mellitus is accompanied by symptoms like frequent urination, excessive weight loss, extreme hunger, excessive thirst, vision changes, and tingling and numbness in hands and legs.
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