Testosterone is also known as male sex hormone; although it is not just present in males, females also produce testosterone (but much smaller quantity). Testicles are where your testosterone is produced and women produce it through their ovaries.
Testosterone is said to be a male hormone because it plays a key role in defining a difference between men body and women body.
Do you remember those early days of school when there used to be no significant difference between boys and girls? Boys used to had a sweet girly voice, no muscle and even difference in physical strength between boys and girls were nominal.
Then what sudden changes in the body made boys muscular, powerful and manly? Yes, puberty. Puberty is a period when your body enters in the state of sexual maturity and your become capable of reproduction.
During puberty, boy’s testosterone level reaches its peak; it rises up to 8-10 times higher than before. But that testosterone level doesn’t stay that high for life time. Researchers had proved that after 30 years of age, testosterone percentage decreases by 1% per year.
And due to unhealthy lifestyle and other bad habits (smoking, boozing, etc), this depletion of testosterone level could go down at the faster rate.
What is low testosterone?
Testosterone is known as a male sex hormone for a reason; it has an impact on everything that transforms a boy into a fully grown male, like muscle growth, body hair, sex drive, and strength.
Low testosterone is a condition when your body lacks its ability to produce and maintain optimum testosterone in the body. Low testosterone may lead to many medical conditions like lower libido, hair loss, and muscle loss.
Symptoms of low testosterone:
1# Sex drive
The primary effect of low testosterone can be seen on your sex drive. Male’s sex drive is directly correlated with the level of testosterone in his body.
Many urologists found that males who were suspected to have low testosterone level also had less desire to have sex; their rate of masturbation was also considerably low.
2# Erectile dysfunction
Although testosterone has no direct co relation with the erectile dysfunction but lack of appetite to have sex may cause a problem with erection.
Testosterone alone is not responsible for the erection in male, but it plays a vital role in triggering the brain receptors to produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a molecule which initiates the chemical reaction for optimum erection.
3# Bone density
Research shows, Testosterone plays the vital role in maintaining the bone density of human body, we all are aware of the fact that with the growing age our bones tend to get weaker, testosterone is one of the reasons for that.
Human bone is like living tissue which is continuously breaking and rebuilding itself. But low testosterone depletes its capability to rebuild itself, which leads to weaker and fragile bones with growing age.
4# Muscle growth
For any body builder testosterone level is at top priority, testosterone increases the body’s capability of protein synthesis which ultimately leads to better muscle development.
Ever wondered why female bodies never gain muscle as the male body does? Yes, you guessed it right; it’s because of the difference in testosterone level.
With the optimum level of testosterone level, your body puts itself in an anabolic state, anabolic state means your body’s capability to burn fat and develop more muscle. But with the drop in testosterone levels, your body drags itself into the catabolic state where you are not enough capable of building muscle and burning fat.
We all had a friend who naturally had a muscular body and low body fat, right? He had a high testosterone level genetically.
5# Sperm count
Many people confuse themselves by considering sperm production and testosterone as same. For those who need a clarification let me clarify you in a single like: sperms are male reproductive cells which help in reproduction, and testosterone is a hormone produced in male body to inherit other manly features like gaining muscle, body hair, stronger bones etc.
So testosterone is a hormone which stimulates brain cells for the production of quality sperm, and with the depletion of testosterone, your body also lacks the capability to produce quality sperm. This ultimately leads to lower sperm count in the body.
6# Hair loss
As specified earlier, testosterone is a male hormone which is responsible for several body functions like building muscle, sex drive, bone strength, etc.
Hair growth is also a function of testosterone, studies have found that male with low testosterone level tends to lose body hair as well. Although baldness can be an inheritable component but low T level might also be one of the reasons.
Studies have found, people with low testosterone level reported fatigue even after long hours of sleep.
There is a no direct correlation with the body fatigue and the testosterone level. But there is a direct relationship between stress and testosterone levels.
Higher stress and high testosterone level can’t go altogether, most participants with low testosterone level were leading to stressful and hectic lifestyle, which ultimately lead to lower body testosterone level and lower body fitness too.
8# Body fat %
You can regard fat as an enemy of testosterone, they both can’t survive happily. When you develop more fatty tissue that means you are killing your testosterone, and with the drop in testosterone level, you are again inviting more fatty tissue.
Another reason of drop in testosterone level with the rise of fat % is: estrogen is secreted by fatty tissues, which makes it difficult for your testosterone to survive.
What is estrogen hormone? Estrogen is primarily a female sex hormone, which is responsible for the development of female body and secondary sexual characteristics like: Breasts and regulation of menstrual cycle.
An Australian study also concluded: When the group of 26 men was given the ADT (Androgen deprivation therapy) for the cure of their prostate cancer. ADT turned off the effects of testosterone, which resulted in gaining of 14% body fat.
9# Mood swings
Testosterone levels actually define your mood, and it’s proven. A study found that the 23% of young men diagnosed with low testosterone level is found to have the symptoms of depression too.
These mood swings initiate the vicious cycle by extinguishing your testicles ability to produce more testosterone which worsens the situation by further depression and the further drop in T-level.
What could be a solution to this?
Ever wondered why regular exercise is always linked with better mood? It’s because it regulates the level of testosterone in body which in turn eventually helps in feeling positive, energetic and stress-free life.
10# Quality sleep
Studies have proven to be deeper like between the T-level and the number of hours you slept, this study conducted on the effect of sleep on the testosterone level have proven that guys who had 4 hours of sleep had an average testosterone level of 200-300 ng/dl in comparison to the guys who had a sleep of 8 hours, these guys had a testosterone level of 600-700 ng/dl.
Another study of 531 healthy Chinese Asian males proved the same. Guys who had a sleep of 4 hours in comparison the guys who had a sleep of complete 8 hours had 60% low testosterone level.
11# Man boobs
A study conducted by Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism stated: Low testosterone level initiate the cycle of gaining fatty tissues which in turn boost up the production of estrogen level in the male body.
We have learned earlier that estrogen is the female sex hormone and help them to develop female body characteristics, higher estrogen level in the male body also lead to the development of men boobs and depletion of lean muscles.
If you have started to develop man boobs then it’s time to regulate your testosterone level and start healthy lifestyle.
Causes of low testosterone
Obesity is a root cause of many diseases, low testosterone is one of its side effects too. If you want to take counter measure for your low testosterone level, then start exercise from today itself. Join some gym or go for a jog or just go for long walk, do whatever you feel comfortable with. It’s time to shred some fat.
We have already discussed this. Stress initiates a vicious cycle, which worsens the situation with time. Best ways to counter stress is some good sleep, eat healthily and exercise daily.
Numerous studies have found that males having type-2 diabetes are twice as likely to have a risk of low testosterone. Testosterone therapy can be a good option for them.
Some time its hormone to blame, if you are going through healthy lifestyle and stress-free life then hormone imbalance might be the reason for low testosterone levels. It’s better to visit a doctor for better consultation and reason for hormone imbalance.
Smoking kill’s testosterone, every smoker knows that from the day one of smoking.
Medical conditions (liver or kidney)
Study conducted to test the sexual function with the patients with liver diseases proved that healthy liver and their sex life is co related.
If you are going through long medication than it might be a reason of low testosterone, therapy like ADT (Androgen deprivation therapy) which is given to patients who have prostate cancer results in total depletion of testosterone.
Age is a primary factor of depletion of testosterone. Our body tends to lose its testosterone level by 1% per year after we age 30. Those with unhealthy lifestyle may see faster decrease in their T-Levels.