What Is Testosterone?

What Are Hormones Series

Low Testosterone

Low Testosterone Could Effect As Many As 1 In 5 Men Over 50 In the USA. It is produced in the testicles in men and the ovaries in women, albeit in smaller amounts. Testosterone levels increase during puberty and gradually decline after the age of 30.

What Does Testosterone DO?

Testosterone effects everything from mood, fat storage through to muscle mass and even energy regulation. As a result Testosterone is a crucial hormone that plays a significant role in both physical and mental health.

The Role of Testosterone

Testosterone is commonly associated with sex drive and sperm production in men. However, its influence extends far beyond that. It affects bone and muscle mass, the distribution of body fat, and even the production of red blood cells. Additionally, testosterone levels can impact mood and overall well-being.

Low Testosterone Levels

Low testosterone levels, also known as low T levels, can lead to various symptoms in men. These symptoms may include decreased sex drive, reduced energy levels, weight gain, feelings of depression, moodiness, low self-esteem, decreased body hair, and thinner bones. While testosterone production naturally decreases with age, other factors such as testicular injuries, cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation, chronic health conditions, and stress can also contribute to low T levels. In women, low testosterone levels can result in a decreased libido, reduced bone strength, poor concentration, and depression. Causes of low T levels in women may include the removal of ovaries or diseases affecting the pituitary, hypothalamus, or adrenal glands.

Testing Testosterone Levels

To determine testosterone levels, a simple blood test can be conducted. The normal range of testosterone varies among individuals and depends on factors such as age and sex. For adult males, normal testosterone levels range between 280 and 1,100 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL), while for adult females, the range is between 15 and 70 ng/dL. However, it's important to note that these ranges can vary among different labs, so it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for accurate interpretation of the results.

High Testosterone Levels

High testosterone levels can occur due to various factors, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in women, congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), ovarian or testicular tumors, or adrenal tumors. The effects of high testosterone levels differ depending on the individual's sex and age. In individuals assigned male at birth, high testosterone levels are less likely to occur, but in children, it can lead to early puberty. In individuals assigned female at birth, high testosterone levels may cause clitoral enlargement and early puberty. In adults assigned female at birth, high testosterone levels are often associated with PCOS, resulting in symptoms such as acne, excess body and facial hair, irregular menstruation, balding, and a deeper voice.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

When low testosterone levels interfere with an individual's health and quality of life, testosterone replacement therapy may be recommended. This therapy can be administered orally, through injections, or with gels or skin patches. It can lead to desired results, including increased muscle mass, a stronger sex drive, and an overall sense of well-being. However, testosterone replacement therapy is not without potential side effects, such as oily skin, fluid retention, testicular shrinking, and a decrease in sperm production. The risk of prostate cancer associated with testosterone replacement therapy remains a topic of ongoing research, with some studies suggesting a lower risk of aggressive prostate cancers for those undergoing the therapy.

Alternative Treatments For Low Testosterone

There are several other potential treatments for low testosterone depending on the root cause. For example, zinc deficiencies has been shown to cause low testosterone levels in men, and have responded positively to treatment. There are several other essential vitamins and minerals that can also have this effect. 

It is also worth noting that certain phytogenes have been shown to temporarily raise testosterone levels. Compounds in Ashwaganda and Panax Ginseng are presenting novel opportunities for treatment.

Lastly sleep regulation, obesity and other lifestyle factors can cause depressed testosterone and these factors should be considered as alternative treatment or complimentary treatment where possible.

What Is Testosterone Conclusion

Testosterone plays a crucial role in physical and mental health, affecting various aspects of the body and mind. Abnormal testosterone levels can have significant impacts on an individual's well-being. Regular testing and consultation with healthcare professionals are essential for maintaining optimal testosterone levels. Testosterone replacement therapy can be beneficial for individuals with low testosterone levels, but it should be carefully evaluated and monitored. If you suspect imbalances in your testosterone levels, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider to explore appropriate interventions.