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When we think about well-defined pectorals, a deep voice, and raw male energy, most of us would probably think: “Wow, this man must be overflowing with testosterone.”
While testosterone has been recognized by society as a status symbol for strength and masculinity, it’s so much more than that. Testosterone plays an essential role in our body’s everyday functioning and health that’s much too important to avoid.
Testosterone comes from a family of hormones known as androgens. It’s often referred to as the male hormone, though both men and women produce this essential hormone.
It impacts nearly every cell, organ, and function of your body to help you stay strong and active throughout your life.
Let’s learn more about what testosterone is, why it’s important, and ways you can improve your testosterone levels.
What Does Testosterone Do for Men?
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is a major sex hormone found in men. It’s responsible for the development and maintenance of secondary male sex characteristics, which includes the following:
- Deepening of the voice: Testosterone causes the vocal cords to thicken, producing a lower pitch.
- Increased bone mass: Testosterone helps regulate calcium in your bones, which increases bone mineralization. A higher bone density ultimately results in bigger, stronger bones.
- Growth of body hair and facial hair: Testosterone is converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the skin by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. DHT activates the enzymes found on oil glands on your face and body, causing you to grow hair.
- Rise in lean muscle mass: Testosterone stimulates the growth of muscles and plays a role in fat-burning.
- Increase sex drive and libido. Testosterone fuels your desire to have sex. It’s also required for proper sperm development, so it’s linked to fertility as well.
During puberty, testosterone levels surge in boys, triggering bodily changes and a host of other functions. Testosterone levels tend to peak when a man reaches his late teens to early 20s and starts to decline as he moves into his 30s.
When testosterone levels are too low in adolescents, they may not experience normal masculinization. This can cause them to have slower rates of penile elongation, a voice that doesn’t deepen normally, and a lack of muscular development.
Optimal testosterone levels lead to a better quality of life. If you want to have better health, consult with a doctor to check your testosterone status today.
What’s Considered a Normal Testosterone Level?
According to medical experts, the healthy range of testosterone levels in adult males aged 19 to 39 is anywherebetween 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).
Men who are aged 60 and above typically have lower testosterone levels than their younger counterparts. That’s because men experience a decrease in testosterone levels as they grow older, falling at about a rate of 1 to 2% each year as they cross their 30-year-old mark.
Regardless of age, however, most men must maintain testosterone levels of around 300 ng/dL to fall within the range that’s considered normal.
Unfortunately, low testosterone levels (or hypogonadism) are quite common among older men.
According to research, testosterone deficiency affects as much as 10 to 40% of men in their late 40s. For men suffering from pre-existing comorbidities, the risk is even bigger.
Low testosterone can negatively affect you and your sex drive. If you’re concerned about your levels, consult with your doctor.
What Happens If You Have Abnormal Testosterone Levels?
As you grow older, your body may start to experience a slew of health problems that can manifest in physical, psychological, and sexual ways.
There are numerous possible causes for testosterone deficiency, including aging, genetics, lifestyle factors, trauma to the testicles, and treatments for cancer.
Some of these health conditions, like high blood pressure and diabetes, may develop further and negatively impact your sexual health and ability as well.
Signs and symptoms of low testosterone have been correlated with a wide range of health issues, including the following:
- Reduced sex drive
- Hot flashes
- Poor concentration
- Mood irregularities
- More brittle bones
- Loss of muscle mass
- Loss of body hair
- Reduced sperm production
While one or two symptoms may not be a cause of concern, it’s important to always be on alert when it comes to your sexual health.
Consult with a medical expert specializing in testosterone to rule out hypogonadism and other underlying conditions that may affect your sexual function.
Low testosterone levels are a treatable health issue. There are a variety of ways to get treatment, from reshaping your lifestyle to undergoing shockwave therapy to boost testosterone levels.
How to Treat Low Testosterone Levels
Your doctor will test your levels of testosterone using a blood test.
They will also ask about your symptoms and health history. You may need other tests to rule out or identify possible causes of low testosterone, including:
- Total testosterone level
- Luteinizing hormone (LH) tests.
- Bone density tests
- MRI Scanning of the pituitary gland
- And more
Following a diagnosis, your doctor may prescribe treatment plans to help you enter the road to recovery.
These are some available treatment options that your doctor may recommend.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
Testosterone replacement therapy is considered to be a safe and effective way of treating men with low testosterone.
This treatment option is known to stabilize and encourage normal testosterone levels by delivering testosterone patches and gels into the body.
While this mode is effective, the Endocrine Society recommends against prescribing this form of testosterone treatment for men under the age of 65.
Regardless, testosterone therapy can be beneficial for men who are unable to get testosterone levels within the normal range on their own.
Customized Healthy Living Programs
If you’re looking to regain your healthy testosterone levels, you should proactively attempt to live a more healthy lifestyle.
One of the best ways to prevent disease and increase testosterone production is by undergoing a healthy living program.
On your own, it may be a tad bit too tempting to fall back to old habits.
So, be the bigger man and cut the cigarette smoking and alcohol binging.
With a proper program and schedule, you can get plenty of exercise, eat right, and maintain a healthy weight—all with the help of a friendly doctor to guide you all the way.
Consult Cincinnati’s Top Men’s Clinic for Low Testosterone Diagnosis and Treatment
Testosterone is a male sex hormone with an importance that goes beyond one’s sexual vigor.
Consult with a doctor to take the first step to improve your sexual wellness.
The trained medical staff at Proactive Men’s Medical Center in Cincinnati can provide a customized testosterone therapy program to best support your overall health. We will tailor the plan to your unique needs, history, and circumstances so you can get the best results possible. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and evaluation with our expert medical staff.