What are the symptoms of hypogonadism?
Symptoms of Hypogonadism is boys & men:
If your son developed hypogonadism in the womb, he may have:
- Undescended testicles (cryptorchidism)
- Small penis (micropenis)
- Feminized or ambiguous genitals (hermaphroditism)
- Urethral opening on the bottom of the penis, instead of at the end of the glans (hypospadias)
Genetic disorders such as chromosomal variants 47,XYY and XXY (Klinefelter Syndrome) are the most common form of genetic based hypogonadism. Hypogonadism does not present significant symptoms in most boys until puberty. Suspect XXY or Klinefelter syndrome if your son is taller than75% of his male classmates, has thin arms and shoulders, severe acne, and is clumsy and uncoordinated. He will not have any physical abnormalities.
If your son does not develop a beard, but does develop enlarged breasts, and you are concerned about his lack of growth, then see your doctor.
Adult males with Klinefelter Syndrome are infertile, tend to be taller than average, have
little body hair, have female-like fat distribution and small underdeveloped testes. In XXY boys and men testosterone supplementation is the gold standard treatment.
Extreme hypogonadism in boys is Frolichâ€™s syndrome,eunuchism, or euchnuchoidism. Affected boys are small, obese, and have tiny genitals because of a tumor in the hypothalamus portion of the brain.
Most adult men with XYY syndrome are fertile and have normal sexual function. Some are infertile because of inadequate sperm production. Males with XYY have 40% fewer spontaneous erections, as compared to normal XY males. XYY men have fewer sexual fantasies, decreased sexual desire, and perform fewer sexual acts. Testosterone supplementation can help to remedy the sexual dysfunction. 47, XYY syndrome is associated with an increased risk of learning disabilities and delayed development of speech and language skills. Delayed development of motor skills (such as sitting and walking), weak muscle tone (hypotonia), hand tremors or other involuntary movements (motor tics), and behavioral and emotional difficulties are also possible. These characteristics vary widely among affected boys and men.
Androgen Deficient Ageing Males (ADAM), or late-onset hypogonadal males, are lethargic from disturbed sleep, depressed, irritable, have muscle weakness, increased fat at the hips and thighs, low energy, unexplainable fatigue, sexual dysfunction, confusion and anxiousness.
Symptoms of Hypogonadism in girls & women
If your daughter developed hypogonadism in the womb, you probably will not suspect it until she fails to reach puberty. Usually it is because of Turnerâ€™s syndrome. Hypogonadism in girls causes lack of menstrual periods (amenorrhea) and sterility. Suspect Turnerâ€™s syndrome if your daughter has this appearance:
- Very short (20 centimeters or almost 8 inches shorter than her peers)
- No pubic or underarm hair
- No breast development
- Very widely-spaced eyes
- Low-set ears
- Webbed neck
- Shield-shaped chest
- Droopy eyelids
Your Turnerâ€™s syndrome daughter may complain of dry eyes and no periods. She may have dental problems, like excessive cavities and plaque. She may demonstrate poor math skills, or another learning disability, and poor spatialperception. She may have only one kidney, and heart problems with the bicuspid valve and aorta. Turnerâ€™s syndrome is also called monosomy X, gonadal dysgenesis, or Bonnevie-Ullrich syndrome.
Women with kidney failure, liver disease, or early hysterectomy experience early menopause. Although menopause from ageing is a normal and expected occurrence, it can produce discomfort in the form of hot flashes, sleep disturbances, memory problems, bladder leakage, sexual dysfunction including low libido and pain during penetrative sex, and fatty deposits around the abdomen. Menopausal discomfort can be alleviated after about two weeks of therapy with natural hormone creams. Natural testosterone cream can address issues relating to sexual dysfunction.
Symptoms of Hypogonadism in Both Sexes:
Either gender can have Kallmanâ€™s syndrome. The child has no sense of smell (anosmia) and puberty is delayed. The child does not produce enough luteinizing hormone (LH) or follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Boys may produce androgen hormones, but are resistant to their effects, and may have a small penis. Either gender can have cleft lip or cleft palate, impaired vision or hearing, clubfoot, central nervous system problems, and abnormal kidneys. Look for abnormal eye and muscle movements. If your child often tries to make a movement voluntarily and makes an unintended movement instead (synkinesia), then you should have him or her investigated by a doctor.
When should I be concerned?
Visit your family doctor if any of these signs and symptoms develop:
- Slow or no onset of puberty
- Sexual dysfunction
- Loss of vision
- Breast enlargement in males
- Lack of breast development in adolescent females
- Milky discharge from the breasts when you are not pregnant or breastfeeding
- Severe weight loss from dieting
- Amenorrhea (lack of menstruation)
- Hot flashes
- Lack of libido
- Loss of muscle mass and body hair
- Unexplained fatigue, lethargy
Who is most likely to have hypogonadism?
- Type I Diabetics are more likely to develop hypogonadism
- People of African descent have sickle cell anemia, predisposing to hypogonadism
- Type II Diabetic women and girls with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to have Turnerâ€™s syndrome
- Kallmanâ€™s syndrome affects all races
How can I decrease my symptoms?
Males – reducing Hypogonadal symptoms
You may inadvertently lower your testosterone level by consuming foods containing too much protein and too few carbohydrates. If you go on a fad diet with too many carbohydrates and too little fat, it can deplete testosterone. You can marginally increase your testosterone level with exercise.
To produce enough testosterone, your body requires the:
- Minerals boron and zinc
- Vitamins A, B6, and C
- Branched Chain Amino-acids (BCAA) valine, isoleucine, and leucine
Other factors that may lower testosterone levels include:
- Acute critical illness, burns, major trauma or surgery
- Drug use (e.g., opiates, glucocorticoids, anabolic steroids, some anticonvulsants)
- Chronic disease and its treatment
- Alcohol abuse
Most of the above cause an increase in Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG). SHBG is a transporter protein found in the blood. It acts as a carrier to move hormones around the body. Up to 99% of testosterone produced is bound to SHBG. Once bound to SHBG, the testosterone is inactive. Testosterone to which SHBG does not attach is the biologically available testosterone that is free to act on cells throughout the body.
Eat a well-balanced diet, consider taking a dietary supplement containing the above ingredients, and exercise at least three times a week for 20 minutes.
Females- reducing Hypogonadal symptoms
- Stop smoking, as it impairs the functioning of your ovaries
- Keep a menstrual diary, including dates, flow, and moods, so you will know what worsens your symptoms
- Maintain a normal body weight, because obesity predisposes you to fibroid tumors and endometrial hyperplasia, which are uncomfortable and potentially dangerous
- Use a water-based lubricant for sex, never petroleum jelly
- Avoid spicy food, hot beverages, and alcohol to prevent hot flashes
- Eat soy food and soy drinks
- Avoid salt, sugar, and caffeine
- Practice good sleep hygiene by going to bed at the same time every night, using cotton sheets with a high thread count, and keeping the bedroom dark and quiet
- Ask your doctor for antidepressants
- Dress in layers, so if you feel hot, you can remove some clothing
- Take a dietary supplement containing Vitamin D, calcium, & Vitamin E
- Stay in air conditioned areas
- Consider usingÂ PRO-FEMEÂ® natural progesterone creamÂ to address symptoms associated with estrogen dominance and progesterone deficiency.
Understand more on Hypogonadism:
The information in this article has been taken with permission from the official Lawley booklet onÂ Understanding Hypogonadism.