The male sex hormones (androgens) are responsible for physiological, psychological and behavioural well being in men. Testosterone is the predominant androgen. These hormones are steroids. Androgens affect sexual desire, bone density, muscle mass and strength, adipose tissue distribution, mood and energy levels. Erectile function also is dependent on androgen levels. Androgens show a steady decline after 40 yrs. When low androgen levels manifest in the form of symptoms, a diagnosis of Androgen insufficiency is made.
Symptoms which may be associated with androgen insufficiency include decrease in sexual activity, loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, poor intensity and decrease in volume of ejaculation, irritability, nervousness, generalized weakness, osteoporosis, decrease of body hair and abdominal obesity.
Blood tests determine androgen insufficiency and a treatment schedule is planned. Testosterone replacements in the form of Gels, injections and pellets can be given. It is important to monitor androgen levels and also perform blood tests including liver function and cell count.