What is testosterone? Testosterone is a hormone produced mainly in testes of males after a signal from pituitary glands, stimulates the development of male sexual characteristics. It is also produced in ovaries and adrenal cortex. Hence, testosterone is produced in females also but in very less quantity. The production of testosterone increases during puberty and reaches its peak by 30 years of age and decreases as you age. It is associated with sex drive and is responsible for sperm count in men. It is a major hormone for men as it develops the muscles deepens the voice, regulates growth of facial hair, bone structure, production of red blood cells and fat stored in man’s body.
Symptoms of low testosterone levels:
Reduced testosterone production is a condition called hypogonadism. Testosterone is associated with low free T levels. Referred as male hormone, it is responsible for body hair, muscle mass and other bodily characteristics of men. Decrease in T levels causes some physical changes in men. Symptoms of low T levels are:
- Low energy
- Decrease in body hair
- Low bone density
- Decreased sex drive
- Hot flashes
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- swelling or tenderness in breast tissues
Causes of low testosterone
While it is natural to testosterone levels to drop as you age, there are few other reasons that cause low testosterone levels.
- Injury to testicle
- Chronic diseases
- Childhood mumps infection
- Thyroid functioning
- Kidney diseases
- Liver diseases
- Chemotherapy after Cancer
- Diseases of pituitary glands
What if Low T levels are not treated?
Low T levels causes depression and irritability. One will face concentration issues. Apart from this, there are some long term effects of low testosterone which are life threatening. These health issues include:
- A lack of testosterone can have some serious effects like weakness in bones which can result in Osteoporosis which makes an individual more prone to an injury.
- High Cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar levels
- High prostate specific antigens
How to determine Testosterone levels?
Normal levels of testosterone ranges between 300-900 nanograms per deciliter. There is also something called free testosterone which is the amount of hormone that is active in the body at a certain point in time. Hence, free testosterone is the one that gives the true level of testosterone in the body.
If you have any of the above symptoms, you should consult your doctor who would do a blood test to determine your testosterone levels.
Side effects of Testosterone replacement therapy:
The most side effect of the treatment is the risk of blood clots that could cause heart problems. Other side effects include worsening of Cholesterol levels, prostate enlargement and an increase in the count of red blood cells.
How to increase the T levels naturally in the body?
Reduce stress, healthy eating habits and daily exercising should help to raise the T levels.