Keeping testosterone levels normal is essential to a man’s sexual and reproductive health. The primary sex hormone in men, testosterone plays a vital role in many male reproductive system functions that contribute to overall health and wellbeing. A shortage or excess of it can bring about side effects that can be problematic and cause complications that can affect different aspects of your life.
Functions of testosterone – Why is testosterone necessary?
In men, testosterone is necessary in the following bodily functions:
- Bone maturation
- Bone strength and density
- Muscle strength and mass
- Development of the penis and scrotum
- Growth of facial hair, underarm hair, and other body hair
- Deepening of the voice
And, during puberty, it is especially important for the:
- Formation of spermatogenic tissue
- Production of healthy sperm
- Development of facial structure, i.e. chin, jaw, brow, nose, and others
Know your testosterone levels – What are normal testosterone levels?
A man’s testosterone levels increase from birth through puberty, and usually peak once he is in his 20s. Then from there, his testosterone levels start to slowly decline. According to a study, from between 30 years old to 50 years old, men experience a 1% decrease in their testosterone levels each year.
You can determine how much testosterone you have in your body by going through a testosterone levels test. Testosterone levels are measured in nanograms per deciliter or ng/dL.
For your testosterone levels to be considered normal, they should fall within the following range:
- Teens – between 100 ng/dL and 1,200 ng/dL
- 20s and older – between 240 ng/dL and 950 ng/dL
You should go see your doctor to get a testosterone levels test.
Low testosterone – What are the dangers of not having enough testosterone in the body?
If your testosterone levels test results show that you have low testosterone, you become at risk of the following:
- Lack of body hair
- Impaired growth and development of the penis and testicles
- Disproportionate growth of the arms, legs, and other body parts
- Breast enlargement
And, if not treated right away, your low testosterone levels can cause more serious complications, such as:
- Muscle and bone loss
- Reduced libido or sexual desire
- Erectile dysfunction
Treating low testosterone – What are natural ways to increase testosterone levels?
Because of the big role that testosterone takes on in the proper functioning of a man’s body, making sure that there are enough amounts of it produced by the body should be of utmost importance. If you have low testosterone, you should try the following to naturally boost your testosterone levels:
1. Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
Foods that are rich in the right kinds of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins can do a lot of wonders to your body’s testosterone levels. They can provide the necessary nutrients that can facilitate testosterone production by your testicles.
Examples of these foods are dark chocolates, nuts, olive oil, salmon, tuna, avocado, cheese, eggs, beans, bananas, apples, and whole grains.
In addition to improving your sexual functions, these can help improve your digestive, cardiovascular, and immune systems, and lower your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, high cholesterol, diabetes, infections, and other diseases.
An increase in physical activity can be greatly beneficial to your sexual health. If you do aerobic exercises, weight lifting, or resistance training regularly, your body will experience a testosterone boost that should get your testosterone levels back to normal.
Health and fitness experts recommend that adults get at least an hour and 15 minutes of high intensity exercise or two and a half hours of moderate level exercise a week for health maintenance. Try brisk walking, running, swimming, cycling, deadlifts, bench press, squats.
With a regular exercise regimen, you not only can enjoy a testosterone increase but also strengthen your heart and lungs, build stronger muscles, burn calories faster, and protect yourself against illnesses and diseases.
3. Reduce stress.
Many studies have found that stress can increase the body’s production of cortisol, which is a hormone that shuts down testosterone. So, if your cortisol levels are high, your testosterone levels automatically dip.
One of the things that can trigger a rise in cortisol levels is stress. If you are always stressed due to work, family, finances, or school, you are making your body release more cortisol than it should, resulting to decreased testosterone levels. Usually, when this happens, there is a noticeable increase in food intake, causing you to gain weight and store excess and unnecessary fats in your body.
For the sake of your health, you should look for ways to better manage your stress. Do not overwork yourself and try to stay away from stressful situations. Try yoga, meditation, and other activities that can relax and calm your mind. Go seek professional help if you think your situation requires it.
4. Spend time outdoors.
Vitamin D is one of the many essential nutrients that play a big role in the growth and development of health testicles for testosterone production. It can be found in several foods and supplements, as well as the sun.
To increase your testosterone levels, you should set aside at least 15 minutes of your time per day outside to feel the warmth of the sun and supply your body with vitamin D. The more often you do this, the faster your testosterone levels can improve.
With more vitamin D in the body, you can also enhance your body’s ability to absorb phosphorus and calcium, and strengthen your immune functions. You can also grow stronger bones and teeth, and avoid a wide range of diseases, including multiple sclerosis, cancer, and diabetes.
5. Get enough sleep.
The amount of sleep that you get can greatly influence your quality of life. If you sleep 7to 8 hours a night, your body is well-rested, and you are more capable of performing your tasks efficiently. However, if you only get a few hours each night, your mood and focus suffer, your energy levels are low, and your testosterone levels decline.
Work on your sleeping environment to make it conducive for comfortable and uninterrupted sleep. Change your linens and avoid using your laptop or phone while in bed. Do not hesitate to consult a doctor to help you find a cure for your sleeping problems.