Mens Health And Testosterone
Testosterone is produced by both the male’s testicles and adrenal glands. It is the driving force behind the male sex hormone as well as an anabolic steroid. Throughout a male’s life cycle, testosterone plays a role in many key factors for men. In infancy, testosterone helps with the development of male reproductive tissues, increase muscle, bone mass as well as body hair. Testosterone is also essential for male health and the prevention of osteoporosis. While females produce testosterone as well, males burn through about 20 times more testosterone then women. Testosterone offers many health benefits for men as well. These benefits greatly effect different stages of a male’s life, including different areas of their body.
Testosterone Help with
• Sperm development
• Regulates cognitive and physical energy
• Maintaining cardiovascular health
• Regulates the fight or flight response
• Reduce risks for heart attack
• Improved sexual arousal
These are only a few of the many different health benefits derived from testosterone. In healthy men, testosterone levels are between 300 – 1000 ng/dL. Testosterone is a steroid, and just like with any steroid to much of it can be harmful to the body and your health. Our brain is able to regulate this production signals the body to slow down production of testosterone when enough has been produced. This regulation becomes important to maintain those proper levels. Yet, what happens when our body simply does not produce enough testosterone?
Weak, tired, depressed an a lack of sex drive could all be signs of low testosterone. These drops in testosterone can stem from a variety of different reasons. After the age of 30, most males start a natural decline in the production of testosterone. Hair loss, irritability, forgetfulness and loss in sexual libido can become common for males as testosterone levels drop. Due to the fact that many of these symptoms can mirror other health issues, misdiagnosis took place for many years. Some forms of foods can reduce testosterone levels including: licorice, and soy products. This does not mean to stop eating things that can lower testosterone, what it does mean is proper medical checkups are important.
Blood tests are used for test sampling of testosterone. Because testosterone levels can bounce around some, these tests need to be taken a few times so that a general testosterone level can be made. Once a level is made, proper monitoring of that level can help most men stay up to date and informed if there are any testosterone related issues taking place. Some common causes for low testosterone other then age can include:
• Scrotum damage
• Cancer therapy
• Chromosomal abnormalities
• Damage to the pituitary gland
• Inflammation to the pituitary gland
• Some anabolic steroids
Thankfully, there are solid treatments for low testosterone. First and foremost make sure that low testosterone is not being caused by anything listed directly above in this article. One of the most common ways in which low testosterone (Low T) is treated is with testosterone replacement therapy. Many times this is done with an intramuscular injection. Like with any treatment there are benefits and risks that should be weighed out.
In many cases, of testosterone replacement treatment, the patient can see improvements within just a few weeks. Sex life improves and depression can become less of an issue. There are more long term benefits as well. Bone mineral density (BMD) increases. Because of the risk of osteoporosis in men, low testosterone replacement therapies become very important to reverse the effects of bone loss.
Body mass including muscle strength can naturally decrease as we age. This can lead to morbidity, the inability to get around. Replacement therapy studies do show that raised levels of testosterone can help maintain an all healthy body, including helping maintain muscle mass. Mood and energy can increase as well. This can become important for men over 50. Because testosterone replacement therapy has different side effect on mood; multiple studies have struggled with the fine line of what is a “normal” level for ones mood and what is not. It is generally agreed that mood effects health, and testosterone can effect mood. A healthy feeling of well being can improve mood as well.
Cognitive function has been shown to have direct correlation with testosterone levels. As age affects us all, testosterone levels begin to drop which can affect the ability for specific aspects of memory as well as cognitive function. Working memory, speed and attention span can all be affected by low levels. Depending on which studies you read, replacement therapy can have anything from a small increase to a large one in there areas. The range may different from study to study, but one thing is for certain, more testosterone does help with cognitive functions.
Obesity, hypertension, diabetes have all been tied into in some point testosterone. Low testosterone is a leading factor and often why misdiagnoses took place as one issue was looked at but not the unseen cause of that issue. Thankfully those issues of misdiagnoses are fading away and modern medicine and checkups now check for multiple issues instead of one steadfast universal problem. While raised levels of testosterone have not been shown to cure cardiovascular issues, they are shown to reduce the risks for them.
Long term negative effects are still unknown to testosterone therapies. As replacement therapies have become more main stream after years of study, most possible side effects are very few. The most common side effect is called priapism with is a medical term of a prolonged and painful erection. This does not happen in all treatments and should be something you consult your doctor on. There are more serious side effects found in illegal testosterone treatments (steroids) that include mood changes and liver damage. But as stated long term effects are still widely unknown when it comes to proper medical treatment for testosterone issues.