Primary vs. Secondary Hypogonadism in Men

Posted by Dr. Michael White, Updated on March 19th, 2021

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Testosterone Deficiency, also known as Low-T, is one of the most common forms of Hormone Imbalance that affect the lives of men in America. Testosterone Deficiency is also known as Male Hypogonadism. Hypogonadism is just a fancy term that means that your sex organs are producing abnormally low levels of sex hormones.

Hypogonadism can be separated into two categories: Primary and Secondary Hypogonadism. If diagnosed with Primary Hypogonadism, this means that the testes are functionally unable to produce enough Testosterone to meet the body's needs. Signals are being sent from the brain to produce Testosterone, but the signal doesn't lead to hormone production.

Men with Secondary Hypogonadism, on the other hand, have perfectly functional testes, but aren't receiving sufficient stimulation from the Hypothalamus to produce Testosterone. Secondary Hypogonadism is usually related to the under-production of Sex Hormone Precursors Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH), both of which are critical to the production of Testosterone and Sperm.

Which Form of Hypogonadism Is More Common?

It is much more common for men to experience Secondary Hypogonadism than Primary Hypogonadism. Generally, the testes remain capable of producing plenty of Testosterone, as long as they receive the correct signals. Primary Hypogonadism is usually the result of genetic issues and trauma, including cancer.

Secondary Hypogonadism, on the other hand, is much more common, and tends to occur on a spectrum associated with age and lifestyle, though genetics are also a factor. Testosterone Levels peak from early adulthood into the late twenties. Beyond that point, Testosterone Levels start to fall. Poor nutrition, drug addiction (especially opiates and painkillers), obesity, stress, sedentary lifestyle, and sleeping problems all contribute to reduced signaling from the Hypothalamus.

While many men never experience clinically significant Low-T, it's still a major problem for millions of men. It's estimated that around 40% of guys under 45 experience issues with Testosterone Deficiency, and it appears to be a growing problem

Testosterone Therapy Combined With Lifestyle Changes Promote Improved Hormone Balance

Bio-Identical Testosterone Therapy is effective for the treatment of both Primary and Secondary Hypogonadism. Testosterone Patches, Creams, and Injections all work by introducing the hormone directly into the bloodstream, supplanting the body's natural production. The main downside is that Testosterone Treatments impair fertility, but men that are interested in having children still have options available, including Clomiphene Citrate.

Men with Secondary Hypogonadism can benefit from Hormone Treatments that stimulate Luteinizing Hormone/Follicle Stimulating Hormone production. There are also medications that boost Testosterone in men with Secondary Hypogonadism by reducing the influence of naturally-occuring Estrogen.

Lifestyle is the First Line of Defense Against Hypogonadism

While some men will require HRT Treatment to resolve Testosterone Deficiency, many men can experience great results by increasing activity level, eating better, and ditching bad habits. Hormone Imbalance and Deficiency become more likely with age, but your personal choices and decisions can go a long way to provide long-term safeguards.

It's also critical to recognize that even for Testosterone Therapy patients, Bio-Identical Hormones are only part of the puzzle. A licensed Hormone Therapy Professional can help you put the pieces together and amplify your vitality! Hormone Specialists can pinpoint the source of your endocrine issues and develop the best plan to suit your needs and your budget.

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