Testosterone is an important hormone in a man’s body that plays a big role in numerous functions. Also known as the primary male sex hormone, it faci
Testosterone is an important hormone in a man’s body that plays a big role in numerous functions. Also known as the primary male sex hormone, it facilitates various physical and sexual processes that occur from fetal development to old age.
Some of the most important bodily functions that involve testosterone are:
The body needs testosterone to maintain high sperm count and produce sperm with good morphology and motility.
For high libido or sex drive, your testosterone levels should be normal. Otherwise, reduced desire for sex and poor sexual performance may happen.
The growth and development of strong and healthy muscles is greatly dependent on your body’s testosterone levels.
Men who have low testosterone have been found to have an increased risk of bone loss, osteoporosis, and other bone disorders.
Distribution of fat
Having normal testosterone levels makes it easier to maintain a healthy body fat percentage and weight. If testosterone levels are low, there are higher odds of becoming overweight, obese, and so on.
Production of red blood cells
Testosterone facilitates the production of new red blood cells, which aid in efficient blood circulation and flow.
Understanding Testosterone Levels
Usually, testosterone production in men reaches its peak around late teens or early 20s and begins to gradually decline after age 30 by about 1% each year.
This occurs if the body becomes unable to produce enough testosterone to properly carry out its many different functions. It can be caused by different factors, such as:
- Age – Testosterone levels naturally decline with age, so it is normal for older men to have lower testosterone levels than 20-year-olds.
- Injury to the testicles – Getting hit or punched in the testicles not only can bring excruciating pain, but also severe damage that may negatively impact the production of testosterone.
- Testicular cancer – The cancer can spread and cause your testicles to not produce as much testosterone as before.
This occurs if the body has high amounts of testosterone. It can be caused by various factors, such as:
- Tumors – The growth of tumors around the testicular or adrenal area may trigger an abnormal rise in testosterone levels.
- Abuse of anabolic steroids – Anabolic steroids are often used by body builders and athletes to bulk up and enhance their athletic abilities. However, excessive may result to too much testosterone in the body.
- Use of testosterone supplements without doctor’s prescription – Taking testosterone injections, pills, and other supplements without getting a doctor’s prescription can be detrimental to your testosterone levels.
The normal testosterone levels in men vary according to age. Usually, from puberty to late teens, the testosterone levels range from 100 nanograms per deciliter to 1,200 nanograms per deciliter. In their 20s, men have around 250 nanograms per deciliter to 1,100 nanograms per deciliter. From age 30 onwards, their testosterone levels drop and range from around 130 nanograms per deciliter to less than 1,000 nanograms per deciliter.
Effects of Taking Testosterone
Men who have low testosterone take testosterone supplements or testosterone boosters to enhance their testosterone levels. They may be prescribed by their doctors to take:
1. Testosterone injections – These give the body more testosterone by injecting them directly into the skin.
2. Testosterone patches – These give the body more testosterone by applying them onto the skin of the neck, shoulders, or arm.
3. Testosterone gels – These give the body more testosterone by rubbing them onto the skin.
4. Testosterone pills – These give the body more testosterone by taking them orally.
Shortly after taking any of these testosterone supplements, you should experience an immediate rise in your body’s testosterone levels. As long as you follow your doctor’s prescribed dosage, you should be able to minimize the risk of negative side effects.
However, if you get impatient and decide to take more, you are only putting yourself in a dangerous situation. Taking too much testosterone supplements may bring about numerous negative side effects that can do various short-term and long-term harm, such as:
- Infertility – Men who take too much testosterone may impair their sperm production, resulting to reduced sperm count and quality. Eventually, this can lead to infertility.
- Increased acne – High testosterone may trigger more acne and other skin problems.
- Sleep disorders – Having abnormally high testosterone may worsen sleep apnea, which is a condition wherein breathing difficulties while sleeping is experienced.
- Decrease in testicle size – Excessively taking testosterone supplements may shrink your testicles, affecting your sperm count and quality.
- Aggressive behavior – There have been studies that found having high levels of testosterone in the body increases one’s aggression, making you angrier and so on.
High Testosterone and Aggressive Behavior
There was a study that focused on how much influence testosterone had on a man’s brain function, and it found that taking testosterone can indeed affect how the brain works.
In the experiment, a group of healthy adult males were given a single dose of testosterone each. Their brains were observed and found to have an increased threat response. Their brain activity patterns showed more activity in their hypothalamus, periaqueductal grey, and amygdala, which signified a profound effect on the human brain’s ability to process threat and aggression.
The researchers said that these findings should be a great help in finding more effective treatment solutions for sexual health problems in men, and they intend to continue their work to learn more about testosterone and the human brain.
Maintaining Healthy Testosterone Levels
To keep your testosterone levels normal, you should make healthy choices in life, such as:
Eating a healthy and balanced diet
Food plays a major role in your body’s ability to produce testosterone, so make sure to eat those that are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals.
Having a regular exercise routine helps boost your testosterone production, and also strengthens your heart, lungs, brain, and other vital organs for optimal health.
Visiting your doctor
Paying your doctor a visit regularly helps in ensuring that your testosterone levels and other aspects of your health are closely monitored.