Testosterone: What It Is, Why We Need It, The Impact, And How To Get It In

Posted on 22 Sep 20:43 by Diana N Ahuche

Low T: A Problem for Both Genders

Low testosterone levels can affect men and women the same way. Men for instance may suffer from low energy, depression, anxiety, low libido, weight gain, and even hair loss. Women may also suffer the same symptoms even though they have much lower testosterone levels than men.

Since men suffer from this condition more, we will keep to men.

An imbalance of hormones like testosterone can affect many of the body’s different function adversely, thus maintaining a good balance of ‘T’ is important.

Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. Testosterone is mainly produced in men by the testicles. Testosterone affects a man’s physical appearance and sexual development. In men, testosterone plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as the testicles and prostate, and even the promoting secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle and bone mass (manly or alpha male), and the growth of body hair. Testosterone is involved in general health and well-being, especially in men.

Testosterone production typically decreases as one ages. According to the American Urological Association, about 2 out of 10 men older than 60 years have low testosterone, this number increases slightly to 3 out of 10 men in their 70s and 80s.

According to a study published in Clinical Endocrinology, the testosterone-level goal for men over 65 is approximately 350–450 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter). This is the midpoint of the normal range for the age group.  A blood test called a serum testosterone test is used to determine your level of circulating testosterone so it can be treated early on.

 

Typical testosterone levels

Age

Male (in ng/dl)

Female (in ng/dl)

17 to 18 years

300-1,200

20-75

19 years and older

240-950

8-60

 

As it is vital to maintain a good level testosterone, be mindful that there are some issues that may be reducing testosterone levels in your body and address them in order to maintain healthy quality and quantity of testosterone.

In a review of studies that looked at the benefit of testosterone in men with erection difficulties, nearly half showed no improvement with testosterone treatment - National Institutes of Health. Many times, other health problems play a role in erectile difficulties.

These can include:

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Alcohol use
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Thyroid problems
  • Diabetes
  • Environmental factors

 

Testosterone helps maintain a number of important bodily functions in men, including: 

  • sex drive
  • sperm production
  • muscle mass/strength
  • fat distribution
  • bone density
  • red blood cell production
  • High energy level and good mood

Because testosterone affects so many functions, its decrease can bring about significant adverse physical and emotional changes.

 

The Impact of Low Testosterone Level In Men Includes:

Sexual function

Testosterone is the hormone that is most responsible for sex drives and high libidos in men. A decrease in testosterone can mean a decrease in libido. 

As men age, they can experience a number of symptoms related to sexual function that may be a result of lowered levels of this T-hormone.

These symptoms include:

  • Reduced desire for sex
  • Fewer erections that happen spontaneously, such as during sleep
  • Infertility

 

Sleep disturbances

Low testosterone can cause you to experience lower energy levels, insomnia and other changes in your sleep patterns. Imbalance in testosterone hormone may contribute to or cause sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that causes your breathing to stop and start repeatedly while sufferer is asleep. It can disrupt sleep pattern in the process and increase the risk for other complications, like having a stroke.

 

Emotional changes

In addition to causing physical changes, having low levels of testosterone can affect you on an emotional level. The condition can lead to feelings of sadness or depression. Some people have trouble with memory and concentration and experience lowered motivation and sometimes self-confidence.

Testosterone is a hormone that affects emotional regulation. Depression has been linked to be common in men with low testosterone. This could result from a combination of the irritability, decreased sex drive, and fatigue symptoms that can come with low testosterone.

 

Physical changes

A number of physical changes can happen to your body if you have low testosterone levels. Testosterone is often times referred to as the “male” hormone.

Decreases in Low T can lead to physical changes including the following:

  • effects on cholesterol metabolism
  • increase body fat
  • fragile bones
  • decreased strength/muscle mass
  • decreased body/facial hair
  • swelling/tenderness in the breast tissue
  • hot flashes
  • increased fatigue

Since testosterone levels decreases as men age, increasing testosterone or using synthetic testosterone is sometimes used in older men to counteract this deficiency. It is also used illicitly to enhance physique and performance, in athletes, for instance.

Insufficient levels of testosterone in men may lead to abnormalities including frailty (very soft or beta male).

Since men suffer from this condition more, we will keep to men.An imbalance of hormones like testosterone can affect many of the body’s different function adversely, thus maintaining a good balance of ‘T’ is important. 

 

Testosterone can be described as having anabolic and androgenic effects:

Anabolic effects include growth of muscle mass and strength, increased bone density and strength, and stimulation of linear growth and bone maturation.

Androgenic effects include maturity of the sex organs, particularly the penis and the formation of the scrotum in the fetus, and after birth (usually at puberty) a deeper voice, growth of facial hair (beard) and axillary (underarm) hair. Many of these fall into the category of male secondary sex characteristics.

Anabolic effects of testosterone is a very serious topic to consider because understanding how it can help to promote normal growth and bone maturation. Bone age is the degree of maturation of a child's bones from birth to adulthood. As a person grows from fetal life through childhood, puberty, and finishes growth as a young adult, the bones of the skeleton change in size and shape through these periods. These changes can be seen through the lenses of x-ray. The "bone age" of a child is the average age at which children reach the stage of bone maturation. A child's current height and bone age can be used to predict their adult height. For most people, their bone age is the same as their biological age but for some individuals, their bone age is a couple years older or younger. Those with advanced bone ages typically hit a growth spurt early on in life but stop growing early on also while those with delayed bone ages hit their growth spurt later on in life than normal. Children who are below average height do not necessarily have a delayed bone age; in fact their bone age could actually be advanced which if left untreated, will stunt or shorten their growth. Maintaining sufficient level of testosterone can help avoid many of these low testosterone adverse effects.

One of the major benefits of having good quality and good quantity of testosterone is its ability to promote growth in humans. Most people will prefer to be taller than shorter, although, people with advanced bone age or those who do not have delayed bone may face some downside as well. Even as a grown up adult you may still stand a chance to increase your testosterone level to allow your body, including internal development to grow to its maturation, although it is better to start when still in the womb or early on in life.

Growth, which can be promoted by using growth hormone therapy or eating food products rich in growth hormone (we’ll discuss more about growth hormone), can be encouraged by increasing testosterone. Small stature problems are often genetic, while sometimes may be caused by hormonal imbalance or poor absorption of food. Genetic short or small stature is most often familial, meaning the child has inherited short height or small stature from one or both parents. Other genetic causes for short stature include abnormal bone development. Testing and treating low testosterone level goes a long way to combat the issue of delayed growth or small stature-ness during growth stages, but more especially, before or during conceiving or conception a child or at the early stage after birth.

Drug companies promote products that are supposed to increase testosterone, and while these might help some people, they may also slow down the body's ability to naturally produce testosterone.

The best way to improve testosterone levels is by adopting some lifestyle habits that can improve overall health and well-being.

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Lose weight
  • Maintain a balanced diet
  • Stress reduction
  • Stay active
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Get direct sunshine

Eating testosterone-boosting hormone is an effective and sure way to increase and maintain normal level of ‘T’. 

 

8 Testosterone-Boosting Foods Products:

  • Honey
  • Lemons
  • Garlic
  • Tuna
  • Low-fat milk
  • Egg yolks
  • Fortified cereals
  • Oysters
  • Shellfish
  • Salmon
  • Beef
  • Beans
  • Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Porridge oats
  • Bananas

Here are the eight best testosterone boosting herbs & supplements: 

  • Vitamin D
  • D-Aspartic acid (a natural amino acid that can boost low testosterone levels; Animal sources - oysters, luncheon meats, sausage meat. Vegetable sources - sprouting seeds, oat flakes, avocado, asparagus, young sugarcane, and molasses from sugar beets)
  • Fenugreeek
  • Ginger
  • DHEA
  • Zinc
  • Ashwagandha
  • Tribulus Terrestris
  • Tonka Ali
  • Horny Goat Weed
  • Passiflora incarnate
  • Maca root
  • Saw Palmetto

Testosterone therapy: Testosterone replacement therapy is used to help treat people with abnormally low levels of testosterone.

Testosterone therapy can be delivered in several ways: 

  • injection into the muscle every few weeks
  • patches or gels applied to the skin
  • a patch that is applied inside the mouth
  • pellet that are inserted under the skin of the buttocks

According to recent guidelines from the American Urological Association (AUA), a testosterone level of at least 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) is normal for a man, 350–450 ng/dL for 65 + years of age. A man with a testosterone level of below 300 ng/dL should be diagnosed with low testosterone. 

For women ages 19 and up, normal testosterone levels range from 8 to 60 ng/dL, according to Mayo Clinic Laboratories. 

Note: Testosterone levels reach their peak around age 18 or 19 before declining throughout the remainder of adulthood. The sooner one starts consuming testosterone foods products or herbs/supplements the better. 

 

In the womb

Testosterone is necessary for normal fetal development during pregnancy. It controls the development of the male reproductive system, early development.