What is Testosterone

What is Testosterone?

Whether you are a man who is curious about one of the most essential hormones in your body or someone who is just curious about this amazing hormone, understanding what testosterone is and what role it plays in the body is vital to understanding the human body. Testosterone is a highly important hormone that is responsible for a lot of activities within the body. To understand this hormone from an in-depth level, you must look at everything testosterone does and what it affects.

Not only does testosterone play an important role in male body development, but it also is responsible for body activities that occur that make a man masculine and give men their gender-specific characteristics. This includes things such as muscle, bones, and the way that body hair grows on the male body.

The first thing to understand about testosterone is that it is the dominant hormone that occurs in men and it is in men at much higher levels than it occurs in women. It is highly important to help regulate the male sex drive and is largely responsible for anything that is related to the sex lives of men. It also regulates and determines the libido levels in men. Testosterone is what enables our body to develop sexually and become mature for reproduction. While many think of testosterone as strictly relating to sex, it actually plays a role in brain function, mental health, and even things like energy levels.

what is testosterone

When examining testosterone levels, one of the most important areas to be aware of is the level of testosterone in any given person. Testosterone has a tendency to peak when males reach adolescence and the early stages of being an adult. Testosterone levels can also decrease. This usually occurs in men who have passed the age of 30. As you get older, your testosterone levels will continue to drop. There are also recognized conditions that result in the involuntary lowering of testosterone levels. One such condition is hypogonadism. There are many negative effects that can occur from a deficiency in testosterone that includes mental health, physical health, and failure to perform during sex.

Understanding testosterone and the conditions that are related to testosterone is important because it plays a huge role in men’s health and a failure to produce enough testosterone could have a huge negative effect on their health. Proper testosterone levels are essential in living a happy and healthy life for a man.

Regulating Testosterone

One of the most important concepts to understand when having a conversation about testosterone is that it is our body’s job to regulate the levels of testosterone in our body. There are two glands that are responsible for regulating testosterone. Those two glands are called the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. These glands are located in the brain and are considered the control center for controlling the levels of testosterone in your body. They connect directly with the testes to tell them how much testosterone is necessary for the body.

These two glands have the responsibility of taking action when it is found that testosterone levels in your body are too high or too low. When they are too low, the hypothalamus dictates to the testes that the number of gonadotropins that are released is increased. When the hypothalamus finds that the testosterone is too high, the opposite is ordered. In this way, your body is kept at the proper testosterone level for a healthy and happy life.

Low Testosterone

One of the most common problems that surround males with regards to hormones is low testosterone. To identify low testosterone, you need to be able to see the signs of testosterone. There are several different signs of low testosterone that are commonly misconstrued as other factors. Testosterone is a hormone that affects so many areas of your body that it can be difficult to know when there are signs of low testosterone levels. Since testosterone has a large impact on the health and happiness of men, the symptoms of low testosterone are commonly mistaken as signs of depression or stress.

The best way to diagnose testosterone is to consider the entire range of symptoms when diagnosing. Many symptoms commonly come together, so when many of them are seen at once, it is easier to diagnose a condition as being the cause of low testosterone. If you do suspect that you have low testosterone, the best course of action is to get a blood test to check the levels of testosterone in your body.

Symptoms of Low Testosterone

There are many symptoms of low testosterone. Here are some of the most common symptoms that indicate that the level of testosterone in your body may be lower than what is typical.

Low Libido

One of the most telltale signs of low testosterone levels is the lowering of sex drive. While lowered sex drive does naturally occur in men as they age, men who have low testosterone levels will experience a lowered sex drive early on in their lives or may not have a sex drive at all. Testosterone plays a very important role in giving men the desire to have sex, and when testosterone levels are low, it has a huge impact on the quality of the sex life of any man. When testosterone is unnaturally low, so will the sex drive of the man.

Erectile Dysfunction

Another common sign of low libido and testosterone is the lack of proper functionality when it comes to erections. The ability to get and maintain an erection is highly indicative of the level of testosterone that they have, and when that ability is not achieved, then it becomes clear that there may be an issue with the level of testosterone that they have within their body. Testosterone is not the only factor that goes into the ability to achieve and maintain an erection, but it has a significant impact on it. Erectile dysfunction is commonly a symptom of a man who has low testosterone levels.

Fatigue

If you have a reduced or lower than typical testosterone level, one of the symptoms that you may be feeling is fatigue. It is common for men that have lowered testosterone levels to have feelings of fatigue and many men who have low testosterone will complain frequently about fatigue. Men who are low in testosterone will feel as though it is a struggle to have enough energy to get through their everyday lives or go do anything outside of normal routines such as exercise and other physical activity. If you are tired all the time and can’t bring yourself to go the extra mile to do something physical, there may be low testosterone at work.

Weakness

Another common symptom that many men feel when they have low testosterone is weakness. Testosterone is the hormone that is highly responsible for the development of muscle and low levels of testosterone mean that your body will have a harder time building strength and muscle. In the case of those that have low testosterone, even intense weight training will have little effect on your muscle mass because of the low testosterone level. With low testosterone, your body will have the opposite effect as the testosterone-induced gain of mass and muscle that occurs in puberty.

Depression

Men who have low testosterone will often, unfortunately, feel depressed as a result. The body is a carefully-constructed thing that has hormones and other chemicals carefully balanced within. When one of those chemicals is off, it affects everything else. In addition, testosterone is perhaps the most important hormone in the male body. When testosterone levels are low in the male body, men can experience symptoms such as bad moods, mood swings, and depression. Men with low testosterone experience these symptoms at a much higher rate than those who have regular levels of testosterone.

Focus and Concentration

As we touched on earlier, testosterone is such an important hormone in the body of males that when it is off, everything else is off as well. Having low testosterone levels can certainly affect many other areas of your life and one of the most common ones is your ability to concentrate, make decisions, and otherwise focus on what you are doing. With low testosterone, the balance of the brain is off and that severely impacts your cognitive function. This is one of the most relevant symptoms of low testosterone.

What Is Normal When It Comes To Testosterone?

When it comes to testosterone and anything else that occurs in the body, for that matter, it is simply the fact that everyone has different experiences and should expect different feelings. So, it can be hard to know exactly what is considered normal when it comes to testosterone levels or anything else in the body or in health. One thing that is for sure is that testosterone levels are dropping in men each and every year. So far, the reasons for dropping in testosterone levels are unknown, but it has been observed that it is the product of many different factors including unhealthy lifestyle, change in environment, and obesity. There continues to be a large number of research resources dedicated to finding out the reason for dropping in testosterone levels across the country.

What is known about dropping testosterone levels is that it will naturally occur in men who are aged 30 and over and it will continue to drop gradually as they age. To gauge whether your testosterone levels are normal, the best way to do so is to compare them against average testosterone for the same age group. The best way to effectively treat low testosterone levels is to catch it early so that you have the best chance of reversing it with the proven treatments. Every year, thousands of men live with undiagnosed low testosterone and they suffer because of it.

For men who are between the ages of 20 and 40, the average testosterone level for a healthy active male range between 8 and 29 nmol/liter. Low testosterone is considered to be anyone who falls at the low end of this range or is below the low end of this range.

Low Testosterone: What Causes It?

primary and seconday hypogonadism

The next natural question that comes when anyone is found to have low testosterone is what the causes are of low testosterone. The first step in being able to treat testosterone is understanding what causes it and what the individual might be able to do in order to reduce their chances of low testosterone and the various effects of low testosterone. Here are some of the causes of low testosterone.

Cause 1: Primary Hypogonadism

The cause for primary hypogonadism is underactive testes. This occurs because underactive testes do not produce enough testosterone for what is required to maintain growth and body health in men. This level of underactivity in testes can be caused by a variety of factors that usually fit into the categories of accident, illness, or hereditary conditions passed down from parents.

There are many causes for hypogonadism, and they can be a mixture of a very wide range of possible conditions. Here are some of the most common factors that promote hypogonadism, and in turn, low testosterone.

Mumps

Mumps is a common illness that is known to affect the testicles. They injure your testicles and that reduces your testicles’ capacity for fertility, health, and healthy testosterone levels. If you have low testosterone, you may want to get tested for mumps as a possible solution.

Testicles

One of the most common factors that affect low testosterone is undescended testicles that have not yet fallen from the abdomen. This is a factor that is easy to detect and very commonly causes low testosterone.

Klinefelter’s Syndrome

In this condition, a man is born with the wrong number of sec chromosomes. The composition of your chromosomes has a heavy impact on the testosterone levels that you are able to maintain, so when these are less than typical,

Hemochromatosis

One of the most common reasons for low testosterone is the condition of having too much iron in your blood, which is known as hemochromatosis. This condition can cause testicular failure as well as pituitary damage.

Cancer

Low testosterone is rarely the result of solely cancer, but rather the treatment that is involved with having cancer in the first place. Chemotherapy and radiation can easily damage your testicles, which commonly results in the lowering of testosterone levels.

Testicle Injuries

Testicle injuries and accidents that affect the health of the testicles are a very common reason for lowered testosterone. For an injury to the testicles to affect testosterone levels, the injury must occur to both testicles at the same time.

The cause for lowered testosterone can be any of these conditions or any combination of multiple factors. Multiple factors that affect you increase the chances of lowered testosterone.

Cause 2: Secondary Hypogonadism

The next type of hypogonadism that can affect your testosterone levels is secondary hypogonadism. This type of hypogonadism is caused by damage that is inflicted upon the pituitary gland or hypothalamus, which are the two glands that most heavily impact the levels of your testosterone in your body. As you can imagine, any condition or damage that occurs to these two glands will play a large part in the testosterone levels.

Aging

As men age, the production of their testosterone is naturally affected. It is a known fact that the testosterone levels of men will lower as they age. Many times, this is completely outside of the control of the individual. Hormones will naturally fade as time goes on.

Obesity

It has been shown that in individuals that have higher body fat percentages, testosterone levels are lower. Those who are obese or overweight will have lower testosterone levels and feel the effects of lowered testosterone.

Medication

One of the most common factors that can affect testosterone levels is any medication that you might be on. There are a number of medications on the market that are known to lower testosterone levels.

Illness

One of the temporary factors that can cause the lowering of your testosterone levels is an illness that you might currently have. This can also include things like emotional stress or physical stress as well as surgery. These illnesses can temporarily affect your testosterone levels or cause long-term testosterone problems.

Inflammatory Diseases

There are a number of diseases that can affect testosterone levels on a more permanent level. These include tuberculosis and other diseases. These diseases impact testosterone levels because they affect the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, which regulate the levels of testosterone in your body.

Pituitary Disorders

There are pituitary disorders that directly affect the glands that are in charge of your testosterone regulation. These can be affected by drug abuse, medication, kidney failure, and even tumors.

HIV & AIDS

HIV/AIDS damages the hypothalamus and pituitary gland as well as the testicles, which are responsible for testosterone levels and regulating the testosterone in the body.

Testing For Low Testosterone

If you suspect that you might have low testosterone based on your symptoms, the best thing that you can do is get tested for low testosterone. While testing for testosterone might sound scary for those that don’t like medical procedures, the test for low testosterone is a very simple and harmless procedure. You can determine the testosterone level in your blood by doing a simple blood test.

testing-for-low-testosterone

Getting a testosterone test is the first step in addressing problems that can occur when you have low testosterone. If you are experiencing the symptoms of low testosterone, be sure to get tested for low testosterone.

Treatment For Low Testosterone

If your test finds that you do have low testosterone, there are some options for treatment to help restore normal testosterone levels. The condition of having low testosterone is known as hypogonadism, and it’s not always necessary to administer treatment for this condition and there are times where it is suitable to use holistic methods for treatment for low testosterone.

If you find that low testosterone is significantly affecting your quality of life and happiness, a treatment plan may be the best option for you. One of the treatment methods that can be used for low testosterone is artificial testosterone. Artificial testosterone is commonly used for these problems and can be issued in a variety of ways. It can be administered through oral treatment, injections, or even with patches and gels that are applied directly to the skin.

The upside to low testosterone treatment is that it may work and restore all of the benefits of regular testosterone levels. However, there is a risk for some adverse side effects that you may have to deal with when going through the treatment. These side effects include minor effects such as oily skin, bloating due to fluid retention, shrinking of the testicles, and sperm production decreasing. There is speculation that low testosterone treatment could lead to prostate cancer, but nothing definitive has been proven as of yet.

A topic of discussion that commonly centers around low testosterone treatment is whether low testosterone treatment affects the mental state of the person being treated. Studies have found that this is not the case and that you should not be concerned about your mental health when going through low testosterone treatment.

Conclusion

Testosterone is one of the most important aspects of the health and happiness of all men. That is why this generally underappreciated hormone deserves more recognition. To preserve the health of men around the world, there should be a campaign for increased awareness of the issues that surround low testosterone and what steps can be taken to improve the situation.

Testosterone affects many areas of the health of a man including their sex drive, mental health, energy, motivation, and even their personal relationships. The best thing that any man can do to help the situation is to be educated on the issues surrounding low testosterone and knowing how to identify the symptoms of low testosterone. This complete guide should have given you the insight you need to live a healthy and productive life and maintain healthy testosterone levels.

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