An abnormally low testosterone level in men, known as hypogonadism, is treated with testosterone, but it is not clear if testosterone is a safe or effective treatment for so-called low testosterone, such as the lower levels of testosterone typically found in older men. In men with lower testosterone, the level can often be raised by increasing exercise, improving diet, and reducing weight to the recommended range. For many years, synthetic steroids similar to testosterone have been used by athletes with the goal of improving performance, but medical research has shown that these drugs may have a wide range of harmful side effects and their use is now typically banned (see anabolic steroid).
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