Testosterone is a male sex hormone that is produced in the testicles of a male, it is also produced in the ovaries of women but in small amounts as compared to men.
How does it work?
Testosterone is controlled by the pituitary gland which is a pea-shaped gland located at the back of our head. It gets released into our bloodstream when we are asleep so that it can carry out its functions such as:
- Muscle Building
- Libido Bone density
- Growth of sexual organs
- Deepening of the voice in an adolescent
Because of our poor lifestyle sometimes the level of testosterone can drop down without us noticing, which can have a tremendous effect on our physical and mental well being.
What is Low Testosterone?
A healthy male has between 300 to 1,000 ng/dL of testosterone in his body, which is required to carry out the above mentioned bodily functions.
Hence when these levels fall further below the threshold of 300ng/dl, it can be said that an individual has low T levels than what is needed.
How can I check my Testosterone levels?
To check your testosterone levels a test known as serum testosterone levels needs to be performed to know the proper amount of T levels in your blood levels.
It is recommended to do this test in the morning because that’s when the T levels are at its highest.
What causes Low Testosterone?
There can be numerous reasons which may lead to a drop in testosterone levels. It can be simply due to aging, As we age the body starts to drop its testosterone production by 1% each year when the men reach their 30s.
However other reasons may include
Obesity Injury or trauma to testicles
Lack of sleep
When someone takes testosterone externally, The brain could get used to having high levels of the injected T levels and it could reduce its own natural production of that hormone.
1. Lack of Libido
When we lead a healthy lifestyle without something like work, relationships, or any other external factors affecting our mindset.
A man should have a healthy level of libido regardless of his age as long as he is taking care of himself with eating the right things, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
However when there is a lowered amount of testosterone production in the body. you automatically feel detached from any kind of intimacy with your partner.
2. Muscle loss
As you know testosterone plays a critical role in putting on more muscle, Which is why you see many athletes and professional weight lifters taking testosterone externally.
So they can have the highest level of test boost to build more and maintain muscle to perform at the highest level. Although when there is a drop in testosterone levels, you won’t be getting the desired results when it comes to muscle building.
You can have all the protein shakes you want and be a regular gym-goer, yet if the body does not have the tools which are needed to add more muscles to your arsenal, it’s not going to happen, until you get your testosterone levels checked and get it back up to normal levels.
3. Erectile Dysfunction
As I mentioned, testosterone is one of the most important sex hormone in males, The lower of it you have, the first thing which might happen is you lose your libido.
And since you don’t have your libido, you won’t feel like having sex with your partner, which may ultimately lead to not being able to get an erection or not being able to maintain an erection.
There can be many different other reasons for ED, it can be mental or a physical one such as the penis not getting enough blood supply due to health reasons like diabetes, or hypertension, or heart disease.
This is why doctors say the ED can be an indicator of heart diseases as well. However, that’s a whole topic for another day.
Hence if you ever find yourself in this situation for a long period of time, it could be a sign that you may have low testosterone, and its important to get the levels checked out.
4. Male Breasts
A male body has testosterone as well as estrogen which is a female sex hormone and if the testosterone levels go way down, the estrogen levels might be higher as compared to testosterone.
Due to a lack of testosterone, there may be a lack of muscles, especially in a person is sedentary.
This may lead to hormonal imbalances causing males to develop breast tissues due to excess estrogen presence. This condition is also known as Gynecomastia.
Low testosterone does not directly cause infertility, as sperm production, involves other hormones as well. So a man with low levels of testosterone can still have some amount of live sperms.
However, as I mentioned above low T levels may lead to loss of libido and erectile dysfunction which can have an indirect effect on the sexual lives of a man, resulting in fewer or no erections or taking longer than it once took to achieve climax.
This can make it extremely difficult for a male to have intercourse frequently enough for reproduction.
What can you do about it?
If your testosterone levels are low because of your lifestyle choices and not due to a medical condition, There are plenty of things that you can do which does not cost money. For example.
It is extremely important to keep your body active to maintain optimal levels of testosterone.
Doing resistance training and including compound exercises like squats and deadlifts engages your whole body which promotes secretion of testosterone.
Your body goes into healing and repair mode while you are sleeping. This is when your testosterone levels increase while you are in that deep sleep.
When you wake up in the morning, your testosterone levels are at its highest.
Naturally when you are sleep deprived, your testosterone levels will be 10-15% lower even with a few hours of less sleep in the night.
Therefore, sleep plays a major role in maintaining sufficient amount of T levels throughout your life.
If your diet consists of processed food, you have to got to cut down on them and include foods containing omega 3, all the essential amino acids and vitamins and minerals.
Foods like almonds, walnuts, fish, beef, oysters, prawns, eggs, beans etc, contains the necessary nutrients that your body requires in order to prodcuce testoterone.
Make sure majority of your calories that you consume are coming from clean sources and not the packaged and processed ones.