Men's health is greatly influenced by the essential hormone testosterone. Everything is impacted, including mood and sexual function as well as bone density and muscular mass. However, a lot of men do not know what testosterone is or whether their levels are healthy. We will go into the topic of testosterone in this post, examine what typical levels are and go over its broader health consequences for males.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone produced primarily in the testes but also in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands. It is frequently referred to as the "male hormone" and is a member of the androgen hormone class. Women also create modest amounts of testosterone in their adrenal glands and ovaries, despite it being more prevalent in men.
Functions of Testosterone
Muscle and Bone Health: Testosterone is essential for fostering the growth of muscles and preserving bone density. Muscle deterioration and an elevated risk of osteoporosis can result from low testosterone levels.
Sexual Function: A healthy libido, the capacity to create and sustain erections and overall sexual satisfaction all depend on testosterone.
Mood and Cognitive Function: Testosterone has a positive impact on both mood and cognitive function. Depression, trouble concentrating and mood swings may be caused by low testosterone levels.
Fat Distribution: Testosterone aids in controlling the body's fat distribution. Low levels can result in an increase in body fat and a decrease in the mass of lean muscle.
Erythropoiesis: Testosterone stimulates red blood cell synthesis in the bone marrow, assisting in the maintenance of normal blood oxygen levels.
Facial and Body Hair: Testosterone is the hormone responsible for facial and body hair to grow during puberty.
Normal Levels of Testosterone
Age-related changes in testosterone levels cause what is considered "normal" to vary from person to person. Total testosterone levels in adult males typically range from 270 to 1070 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter), but they can change during the day and can be impacted by conditions like stress, sickness, and medication use.
It is essential to distinguish between total and free testosterone. While free testosterone is the biologically active version that is easily utilisable by the body, total testosterone measures both bound and unbound testosterone. The normal range of free testosterone concentrations is 9 to 30 ng/dL.
When men have signs of low testosterone (hypogonadism), such as exhaustion, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, mood changes, or muscle weakness, they should get their testosterone levels checked by a doctor.
Factors Affecting Testosterone Levels
Several factors can influence testosterone levels:
Age: Testosterone levels normally decrease as we get older, usually beginning in our late 20s or early 30s. This deterioration is a typical aspect of ageing.
Lifestyle: Diet, physical activity, and sleeping habits can all affect testosterone levels. The best way to maximise testosterone production is to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes frequent exercise and a well-balanced diet.
Stress: Long-term stress can increase cortisol levels, which can inhibit the creation of testosterone.
Medical illnesses: The levels of testosterone can be impacted by illnesses like obesity, diabetes, and hormonal imbalances. Increased testosterone levels may result from treating various underlying disorders.
Medication: A few drugs, including painkillers and corticosteroids, can reduce testosterone levels. When taking such medications, it is important to talk with your doctor about any possible adverse effects.
Men's health in general, including muscle strength, sexual function, temperament and cognition, are influenced by testosterone, a crucial hormone. If you feel you have low testosterone or exhibit symptoms related to low levels, your doctor can evaluate your condition and provide suitable treatment choices. Additionally, pursuing a healthy lifestyle that incorporates consistent exercise, a well-balanced diet and stress reduction can support testosterone optimisation and improve your health in general.