Testosterone has several functions, but it’s best known for masculine attributes and sex drive.
One of its responsibilities is helping to maintain male muscle density, which is why lower testosterone can result in loss of lean tissue.
When the body doesn’t produce enough testosterone, natural processes that burn fat and build muscle may be interrupted, resulting in a decrease in muscle mass.
If men do not replace their diminishing testosterone levels, this could lead to serious muscle loss and other health complications.
However, there is some good news. Thanks to medical advancements and research, there are several methods for getting your testosterone levels back to optimal levels.
What is Low Testosterone?
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. Men tend to have the highest testosterone levels in the 18-20 age group, ranging anywhere between 350 to 1080 ng/dL.
Testosterone levels tend to hold until they reach their 30s. After that, total testosterone levels fall off by up to 1% per year.
According to the American Urology Association (AUA), low testosterone is classified as less than 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).
When levels of this hormone are too low, both men and women experience negative health effects.
On the flip side, testosterone levels exceeding the normal range come with their own fair share of side effects as well.
This is why it’s important to have your testosterone levels checked on a regular basis by a professional doctor.
What Are Common Symptoms of Low Testosterone?
Low testosterone plays a different role from person to person—and it’s reported that 10-40% of men ages 15-39 have deficient levels of it. Low testosterone is often linked with hypogonadism and can occur at any age when a person does not produce enough testosterone.
In adults, here are the most common symptoms of someone with low testosterone:
- Decreased libido
- Fatigue and weakness
- Loss of lean body mass
- Skimpy body hair or facial hair
- Loss of fertility
The severity of the symptoms depends on how low a person’s testosterone level is.
In some cases, these symptoms may be so subtle that you do not notice them at all. In other cases, low testosterone may come with debilitating effects and can even affect your quality of life.
This is why it’s important to have your testosterone levels checked by a medical professional. Some of these symptoms are also similar to other conditions, so it’s important to have a blood test.
How Does Low Testosterone Cause Muscle Loss?
There are two main hormones that play a role in building muscle mass: growth hormone and testosterone.
In men, testosterone levels drop as they age. The decline will happen gradually over time – sometimes several years – until a man reaches the age where they normally produce lower levels of these hormones.
Here’s how it happens: Muscle cells have androgen receptors, which is what testosterone binds to when it’s produced naturally in the body. When these two components bind, they help maintain the strength of muscle fibers throughout the body.
As testosterone declines, the number of bound testosterone on muscle cells declines as well. This degrades the maintenance of the muscles, leading to stunted growth.
A study concluded that high-fat deposits in the belly can also prevent testosterone from binding. This can cause fatigue, which hampers you from building muscle.
In addition, when there is too little testosterone, other natural processes that take place in your body will be negatively affected as well. This may indirectly contribute to lost lean tissue.
Benefits of Increasing Testosterone in the Body
When you enhance testosterone levels in your body, you don’t only benefit from enhanced muscle strength. There are other benefits you can achieve by taking care of your testosterone levels, including:
- Stronger bones
- Healthy heart
- Better thinking abilities
- Improved mood
- Better libido
If any of these areas are giving you trouble, undergoing treatment to improve your hormones and sexual health may be beneficial.
How to Increase Testosterone Levels
There are a variety of ways to boost testosterone levels, including healthy lifestyle adjustments and testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Let’s look into four ways to increase testosterone levels.
1. Lose Weight
Fat can interfere with testosterone production. If you have a large waistline, your body fat may interfere with your testosterone levels.
By actively trying to lose the extra weight, you may experience a rise in testosterone levels over time.
2. Aerobic Exercises
Aerobic exercises like swimming, cycling, and rowing can facilitate testosterone growth in your body.
This type of exercise also causes the muscles to release a chemical called endorphin, which is a feel-good hormone that can improve your mood and lower stress.
3. Sleep Well
Poor sleep can contribute to stunted testosterone growth.
Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night and you may find that your testosterone levels rise the next day. One way to help you with this is by making sure you keep away from electronic devices before bed.
4. Eat a Good Diet
Eating a healthy diet can help avoid obesity and related health issues such as diabetes, which prevents testosterone function.
Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, complex carbs, and whole grains regularly. On the flip side, avoid alcohol and caffeine intake as they may impede testosterone levels from rising.
5. Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
If you are trying to increase testosterone levels in your body, testosterone therapy may prove to be helpful.
This type of treatment involves the use of medications administered by a medical professional to improve and normalize your testosterone levels, after diagnosing your current T levels. Once medications are administered, these hormones are absorbed into the body’s systemic circulation.
Results of this treatment include improved mood, reducing increased body fat, better lean body mass, and less anxiety.
Consult a Medical Professional to Improve Low Testosterone Levels
Low testosterone decreases muscle mass because it inhibits the binding of testosterone to key receptor cells, inhibiting growth.
On top of that, low testosterone has negative effects on other bodily systems that can contribute to lost lean tissue.
Fortunately, most cases of low T levels are reversible. With proper lifestyle modifications and medical treatment, low testosterone levels can be something to be optimistic about.
If you’re having issues that may require low testosterone therapy, call the team at Proactive Men’s Medical Centernow to schedule an appointment to have a consultation with their experienced and specially trained medical staff. We are Cincinnati’s leading men’s clinic providing ED therapy, PE therapy, Acoustic Wave therapy, hormone therapy, and much more.