Men with low testosterone are often advised by their doctors to undergo testosterone treatment to increase their testosterone levels. If not treated
Men with low testosterone are often advised by their doctors to undergo testosterone treatment to increase their testosterone levels. If not treated right away, low testosterone can cause several symptoms and complications that can profoundly lower your quality of life.
What is testosterone?
Produced in the testes, testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. It plays a major role in many male bodily functions, including:
- Muscle and bone development
- Body fat distribution
- Body hair
- Sperm production
- Red blood cell production
What are the normal testosterone levels in men?
Testosterone levels in men vary as they age. In general, testosterone increases from birth through puberty, and peaks at around the late teens or early 20s. And, after the age of 30, it starts to gradually decline, usually by about 1% each year.
The normal testosterone level range in adult men is between 270 nanograms per deciliter and 1,070 nanograms per deciliter, with an average of 679 nanograms per deciliter. Once you are in your 30s, your average testosterone levels may fall to below 600 nanograms per deciliter, and, in your 60s, to below 500.
To know whether you have normal testosterone levels or not, you have to take a testosterone level test. It is a quick and simple blood test that can determine the amount of testosterone your body produces. As hormone levels are at their highest in the morning, it is best that you schedule your test around 8 am to 10 am.
What is low testosterone?
Low testosterone occurs when your testosterone levels are below the normal range. It is a condition that needs to be addressed at the earliest opportunity, as it can bring about many signs and symptoms, such as:
Reduced energy levels
Testosterone helps in keeping your strength, stamina, and endurance up, so a shortage of it can make you feel weak or tired easily.
Muscle and bone loss
Testosterone is essential in the growth and development of your muscles and bones, so low testosterone levels in the body can make you prone to reduced muscle mass and bone density, and pains and aches in the joints that take a long time to go away.
Testosterone aids in the proper distribution of body fat, so not having enough testosterone to carry out that job can make you gain weight and put you at risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity.
Testosterone promotes libido, so, as a result of low testosterone levels in the body, you can lose your desire for sexual intercourse.
Low testosterone levels have been found to contribute to changes in one’s sleeping patterns, and can cause insomnia and other sleeping problems.
Mental and emotional changes
Low testosterone may decrease one’s self-confidence, motivation, and increase feelings of sadness, depression, and anxiety.
How is low testosterone treated?
There are many different treatment options available for low testosterone. Your doctor may prescribe testosterone treatment medications, such as the following:
- Testosterone injections – These are administered by injecting into the skin, once every 10 or 14 days, to get more testosterone into the bloodstream.
- Testosterone skin patches – These are applied onto the skin of the arm, neck, shoulders, or back to allow testosterone to be absorbed into the body.
- Testosterone gels – These are applied onto the skin of the arm, neck, shoulders, back, or buttocks everyday to introduce more testosterone into the body.
- Testosterone pellets – These are inserted under the skin so that testosterone can be absorbed into the body.
You have to discuss with your doctor which testosterone treatment is best for you. Self-medicating is strongly discouraged, as negative side effects may arise and end up putting you in a much worse condition.
Testosterone treatment is not suitable for men who are suspected or have been diagnosed with breast cancer or prostate cancer. It is also not recommended for those with heart, liver, or kidney problems.
Are there natural ways to increase testosterone?
In addition to testosterone treatment, there are other ways to raise your testosterone levels. These alternative options are actually natural methods that involve making healthy lifestyle choices, such as:
One of the most highly recommended natural ways to boost testosterone is by exercising.
In one study, people who exercised on a regular basis were found to have higher testosterone levels than those who lived a sedentary lifestyle. They also showed better stamina, endurance, and reaction times. In another study, obese men were made to exercise for a particular time period. At the end, they were able to lose weight and exhibited higher testosterone levels than when the research started.
According to medical experts, among all the different types of exercises, resistance training is the most effective in increasing testosterone. Two to three times a week, you should do weight lifting or high intensity interval training for the good of your testosterone levels, as well as your muscles and vital body parts.
The kinds of foods that you eat have a huge impact on your body’s testosterone levels. If you constantly eat foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat, you are likely to have reduced testosterone production and other health problems.
To raise testosterone levels, you should stick to foods that are loaded with essential nutrients, most particularly amino acids, vitamin D, and zinc, as these are great for your hormone production. You should also watch your calorie intake and avoid overeating to not gain weight or mess up your digestive functions.
Sleep is necessary in maintaining normal testosterone levels. Its role is as important as exercise and diet.
According to one study, people who got only four hours of sleep a night showed testosterone deficiency. They were also found to have lower energy levels, impaired focus and memory, and a higher risk of heart disease and other health problems. There was another study that concluded that people who get an additional hour of sleep every night experience a 15% increase in their testosterone levels.