Testosterone and the hypothalamus; How it works.

Testosterone levels in your body are controlled by a complex system that includes your brain, testes, and several different hormones.

Testosterone levels begin to increase in males during puberty. Men reach peak levels during adolescence and young adulthood. At about age 30, men start to drop their testosterone by about 1% per year.

The hypothalamus, which is located in the brain, secretes hormones that pulse throughout the day. The release of these hormones is controlled by a negative feedback loop. When adequate levels of hormones are reached, a signal is sent to the brain to slow down production.

HYPOTHALAMUS-CHART

If you are diagnosed with low testosterone, blood tests can help identify the cause of the low testosterone. Men are usually diagnosed with either primary hypogonadsim or secondary hypogonadism. This diagnosis depends on laboratory results.

Primary hypogonadism is a problem with the testes. In secondary hypogonadism, the problem is with the hypothalamus or pituitary. Identifying the cause of hypogonadism is important as treatment options may be different.

Testosterone treatment can be complex. It is important to see someone experienced in treatment as the evaluation and treatment options may affect future issues.