Last Updated: 2nd April 2023
Testosterone is one of the key hormones in your body. Keeping your testosterone at an optimal level continues to draw interest, as testosterone controls a vital part of our health system.
This article shares the facts about testosterone, how it impacts your body and possible solutions if you are diagnosed with low testosterone levels.
- Functions of testosterone and its impact on health
- Does testosterone reduce as I get older?
- Signs of low testosterone levels
- Possible solutions to regulate or restore your testosterone levels
Testosterone: Facts and Impact to Health
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Testosterone is a hormone produced primarily in the testes, the adrenal glands (found in both men and women), and the ovaries (in women). Testosterone controls vital functions of our endocrine system such as:
- sex drive
- men’s fertility
- women’s fertility
- bone mass
- fat accumulation
- metabolism rate
- muscle strength and stamina
- mood, anxiety and stress
- red blood cell production
- skin, hair and nails
Testosterone levels contribute to a vital role as part of healthy aging. This includes feeling great, fit, strong, energetic (mentally and physically) and a strong libido.
Quick facts on testosterone:
- Testosterone exists in both men and women, albeit higher in men.
- For men – Testosterone hormone is produced in the testicles and adrenal gland
- For women – Testosterone hormone is produced in various locations – ovary, adrenal gland, peripheral tissues
Total testosterone contains the following:
- 2%-3% Free (unbound or unattached) Testosterone (FT)
- 45% testosterone bound to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG)
- 50% testosterone bound to other proteins (mainly albumin)
Whats more important is the following:
- The most usable testosterone is the free (unattached) testosterone which effectively drives the efficiency of your libido functions, muscle growth, hair growth, strength and many others.
- Your body uses free testosterone molecules in your blood to drive your body functions, unimpeded by SHBG or albumin that binds them.
If you need more details about free testosterone, total testosterone, and how it works, please refer to a detailed explanation here.
HOW DOES IT AFFECT ME?
Testosterone reduces as we age and this impairs our reproductive system and other sub-systems in our endocrine. Some may experience a pre-mature decline of testosterone in their 30s or 40’s.
Let’s take a deeper look at this.
- Total testosterone falls on average by 6% per year
- Free testosterone falls on average by 2-3% per year
If you are between 40 to 80 years, the average testosterone in your body will be between 50% to 70% of the levels you had in your 20s.
The amount of testosterone drop varies greatly depending on your lifestyle, diet, health conditions, and how active you are.
Testosterone levels changes throughout the day, and it is usually at their peak levels between 5am to 9am.
Signs of Low Testosterone
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Whilst testosterone reduces as we age, there are conditions when the body produces a low amount of testosterone that the body needs. And this can happen even if you are fit, or if you are a healthy young adult.
Late-onset hypogonadism has become a widely recognized medical condition by doctors, and many of the symptoms are associated with normal aging.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone (Hypogonadism)
Here are the low-T symptoms, or those diagnosed with hypogonadism:
- diminished erectile quality, particularly at night
- decreased libido
- mood changes – depression, anger irritability or lack of focus at work
- reduced cognitive function
- fatigue, depression, and anger
- a decrease in muscle mass and strength
- decreased body hair (i.e hair loss)
- skin changes
- decreased bone mass and bone mineral density
- increase in abdominal fat mass
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
If you experience low-testosterone symptoms, please consult your nearest doctor for medical advice or get your testosterone blood test checked.
Treatments: Low testosterone
There are two common treatments or remedies if you are diagnosed with low-T symptoms, or if you are planning to restore your testosterone levels.
Option #1: Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is prescribed by certified doctors and TRT treatment include
- TRT Skin patch.
- TRT Gels.
- Oral therapy.
- TRT Injections
Option #2: Boost Your Testosterone Naturally
Some opt for cheaper and more effective alternatives to boost testosterone naturally.
Here are some scientific-backed tips to increase your testosterone level naturally.
- Lose Weight & Stay Active
- Testosterone Boosting Supplements
- Manage your stress
- Sleep Well
- Avoid Drugs & Alcohol
WHICH OPTION IS THE BEST?
Since TRT is tainted with long-term side effects, the best option is to boost your testosterone naturally before trying the TRT route.
Boosting your testosterone naturally may take a longer time (between four to 12 weeks), but it is a proven method with the least side effects and is more sustainable.
Tips: Boosting Your Testosterone
Here are five tips that works to boost your testosterone naturally.
1. Lose Weight & Stay Active
If you are overweight or obese, chances are you have lower testosterone. A study published at Clinical Endocrinology showed that obese males recorded up to 50 percent less testosterone than those who are not overweight.
So start an active lifestyle and hit your nearest gym soon. You may also try these six exercises that can boost your testosterone naturally.
2. Testosterone Boosting Supplements
Herbal supplements such as Tongkat Ali are gaining popularity as effective testosterone boosters, backed by multiple studies and clinical trials in recent years.
Scientific studies showed that Tongkat Ali increases testosterone by up to 122% in men and women. And Tongkat Ali is shown to burn more calories and fat too, promoting weight loss in a sustainable way.
The wide range of health benefits of Tongkat Ali makes it a popular natural testosterone supplement for men and women.
3. Manage Your Stress better
Our testosterone level is linked to how our body regulates cortisol, a stress hormone that controls our emotion and mood; including our responses to stress, anger, anxiety, tension and confusion.
There are natural supplements such as Tongkat Ali that is scientifically proven to reduce stress, anxiety.
4. Sleep Well
Lack of sleep can affect testosterone levels. It is highly recommended by doctors and health experts to sleep between 6 to 8 hours a day.
A study from the University of Chicago performed on 10 healthy men found that testosterone levels dropped by up to 15 percent in 7 days when they were exposed to only 5 hours of sleep.
5. Avoid Drugs and Alcohol
Heavy consumption of drugs and alcohol with five or more drinks in a two-hour period is linked to lower testosterone and raises cortisol (i.e stress hormones).
Alcohol damages Leydig cells in the testes which produce testosterone. So it is a good time to reduce your alcohol consumption if you want to restore your long-lost testosterone.
Last Words on Testosterone
Aging is a beautiful journey and if you find yourself having low testosterone levels, there are solutions to prevent and manage those symptoms.
Whether you choose TRT or natural ways to boost testosterone through supplementation, please weigh your options wisely.
Do check a video by Dr. John Ludlow (from Holland Hospital in West Michigan) that goes deep into testosterone hormone and how it impacts our health.
Naressa Khan contributes regularly on AKARALI. As a writer and journalist, Naressa is all about creating, deconstructing, and reassembling meanings through words. With this approach always in mind, she eagerly explores the nuances in life via the aspects of lifestyle, culture, travel, health, and wellness.
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