The human body produces many kinds of hormones that all play integral roles in keeping your different bodily organs and processes running smoothly. In men, there is one that is recognized as the primary sex hormone that is in charge of the growth and development of male sexual characteristics from birth to old age — the testosterone.
The Role of Testosterone in the Male Body – Why is testosterone important?
All human beings naturally produce testosterones in their bodies. Yes, women have testosterone too, although, in much lesser amounts in comparison to what men have. Typically, testosterone production in men significantly increases once they enter puberty, and gradually declines once they reach their 30s on an average of 1% per year.
There are several important bodily functions in which testosterone plays a major role in. Some good examples are:
For good fertility and sexual health, a man should be able to produce enough testosterone that can promote sperm production. Having healthy sperm count, quality, and motility is crucial to sexual performance and reproduction.
For sex to happen, one should have that sex drive or libido. And, because testosterone is key to increasing one’s level of sexual desire, it should be found in high levels in a man’s body for satisfactory and pleasurable sexual intercourse.
Bone and muscle strength
Testosterone can help make men grow and develop bones and muscles that are strong and healthy. If there is low testosterone in the body, bone injuries, muscle wasting, and other bone and muscle disorders and complications may arise.
Red blood cell production
The body is able to produce new red blood cells if the testosterone levels are normal. If one’s red blood cell count is low, the risk of anemia and other blood-related problems increases.
Body fat distribution
For better fat distribution in one’s body, there should be enough testosterone. Low testosterone levels can lead to weight gain, high cholesterol, and other problems that can endanger the heart, kidneys, and other vital organs.
Warning Signs of Low Testosterone – What happens if one’s testosterone levels are low?
According to the United States Foods and Drug Administration, men should have 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter of testosterone in order for them to be classified as having normal testosterone levels. If your testosterone levels are found to be below 300 nanograms per deciliter, this means you have low testosterone.
Men whose testosterone levels are lower than normal may experience a number of signs and symptoms that can cause quite a lot of pain, inconvenience, and discomfort, including:
1. Trouble achieving or keeping an erection
For your penis to get erect for sex, it has to receive enough blood and nitric oxide. For good blood flow, your heart and arteries should be in good health, free of blockages and other obstructions that can hinder blood flow to your penis. For nitric oxide production, you should be able to produce enough testosterone to stimulate the receptors in your brain that are in charge of producing nitric oxide. The nitric oxide molecules then facilitate chemical reactions that make erections possible.
2. Reduced sexual desire
Men usually reach their peak sexual health when they are in their 20s. And, as they age, they tend to have decreased sexual desire or libido, as their testosterone levels naturally declines with age too. When this happens, you should go see a doctor as soon as possible to find ways to boost your testosterone levels and get your sex life up and running again.
3. Decreased semen volume
Semen is that milk-like fluid released during ejaculation. It is essential in your sperm motility, especially if you and your partner are trying to get pregnant. To produce a good amount of semen, you should have enough testosterone in the body. If you have low testosterone, you are likely to have low semen volume, and poor sperm motility too.
4. Muscle loss
One of the primary functions of testosterone is building muscle. So, if there is not enough testosterone in your body, you may not be able to grow and develop muscles that are strong and healthy. You may lose muscle mass and strength and get tired or exhausted more easily than before. You may also have increased odds of muscle atrophy, sarcopenia, and neurological disorders.
5. Hair loss
For many men, hair loss or balding is a natural part of their aging process. However, in some cases, hair loss can occur if your testosterone levels are low. Because your body’s testosterone production is lacking, you not only lose hair on your head, but also on your face, pubic area, and other body parts.
6. Low energy levels
Many studies have found that there is a connection between a man’s testosterone levels and his energy levels. If you have normal testosterone, you should enjoy high energy levels that allow you to carry out your day-to-day tasks without any issues. However, if your testosterone levels dip, your energy levels also plunge, and you feel tired all the time, even if you have not done anything strenuous.
7. Mood swings
Testosterone also has an influence in a man’s mood. If you have low testosterone, your mood will suffer from erratic changes that can prevent you from living a happy and long life. You will be prone to losing your focus, having difficulty remembering and processing information, getting irritated or upset at the smallest things, and developing depression and other mental health problems.
Treating Low Testosterone – What is the best way to increase testosterone levels in the body?
If you manifest any of the common low testosterone warning symptoms above, you should see a doctor at once. You will need to undergo treatment as soon as possible to not worsen your condition.
Usually, doctors prescribe testosterone supplements to boost testosterone levels. They may recommend injections, patches, gels, or pellets. They may also advise you to lose weight, eat a healthy diet, and get regular exercise to help improve your testosterone levels faster.