A study from Brazil shows that almost all older men who are impotent have normal blood levels of the male hormone testosterone.

When a man complains of impotence, doctors almost always draw blood to measure testosterone. Almost all cases of impotence are caused by diabetes or arteriosclerosis, with very few caused by a brain tumor or low testosterone. Therefore every man who has difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection should get a blood test for diabetes called HBA1C and for arteriosclerosis called a lipid panel. The doctor should also draw blood for prolactin to check for a brain tumor and testosterone to check for that hormone. The vast majority of men who are impotent will need to be treated with a diet that restricts calories, refined carbohydrates and high fat foods, and many will need drugs to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. See report #M127.

The relationship of serum testosterone to erectile function in normal aging men. Journal of Urology, 2002, Vol 167, Iss 4, pp 1745-1748. EL Rhoden, C Teloken, PR Sogari, CAV Souto. Rhoden EL, Santa Casa Hosp, Dept Urol, Androl Div, Porto Alegre, RS, BRAZIL

Reported 11/10/02; checked 8/9/05

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