We hear a lot about testosterone when talking about the health of men, but what exactly is testosterone it and why is it necessary? How does our body get testosterone and how do we know if we’re getting enough? What are the consequences of not having enough testosterone?
We’ll take a look at these questions and more to help you develop a better understand of testosterone and the male body.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is one of the dominant hormones in men, although it is also found in women but in smaller traces. Although men are born with some level of testosterone in their bodies, they don’t see an increase of the hormone until they reach puberty. Testosterone production, which takes place in the testicles, continues to grow until about age 30. At this time, the amount produced begins to drop.
For men, testosterone plays a crucial part in gaining muscle, maintaining weight, and holding a regular sex drive. For these reasons, maintaining testosterone is very important. Most men will find that they are able to produce the right amount of testosterone that their body needs, but not everyone is so lucky. They will need to help their body stimulate testosterone production.
What Are the Risks of Low Testosterone?
Low testosterone can be dangerous for men, especially when it comes to their sex life or physical appearance. Letting your testosterone dip too low can cause the following consequences:
- Weight Gain: Low testosterone can make your body store fat more easily. This can make it easier for your body to hold weight.
- Decreased Muscle Mass: Because testosterone plays a major part in the production of muscle, a decrease in testosterone can also mean a decrease in muscle mass. This idea also goes hand-in-hand with how low testosterone can make you gain weight.
- Low Libido: As the male sex hormone, low testosterone can decrease your desire for sex. This can be a problem for both you and your spouse or partner.
- Mood Swings: Any change in hormones has the power to make you feel moodier. A decrease in testosterone is no difference.
- Diminished Energy Levels: If your testosterone dips too low, you may also feel a decrease in energy levels.
- Weak Bones: While weak bones may not be a serious risk for someone with a temporary dip in testosterone, osteoporosis can be a problem for a man with long-term low levels of testosterone. Having weak bones or osteoporosis can make it easier for you to break bones or suffer other serious injuries.
How Do These Levels Decrease?
A small decrease in testosterone is natural in men as they age, but other conditions or illnesses are known to decrease the level of the hormone naturally found in the body. Serious conditions like AIDs, chemotherapy treatments, or kidney disease have been linked to testosterone decreases.
But lower levels of testosterone have also been linked to less serious conditions. Stress or drinking too much alcohol can also decrease your level of natural testosterone. Certain medications, depression, and a vitamin deficiency can also cause testosterone production to slow.
Increasing Your Testosterone Levels
If you believe you’re suffering from low levels of the testosterone hormone, there are a few natural things you can do to stimulate hormone better production. As you work to increase your testosterone levels, you will begin to see some of the risks melt away.
The first thing you will want to do is focus on your health. Eating better meals, exercising regularly, and taking supplements to cover vitamin deficiencies is the first step in increasing your testosterone levels. Healthy fats, including avocados, olive oils, almonds, and dark chocolate, should all be incorporated into your meal plan. You will also want to focus on getting enough sleep and reducing your stress levels.
If you do not notice any difference, you will want to consider talking with your doctor. Although a low libido may not be an immediate sign to make a doctor’s appointment, the other risks associated with lower levels of testosterone will need to be addressed. As stress, weight gain, and sleeplessness – all consequences of low testosterone – can cause additional health problems, you’ll want to get them under control before it becomes a bigger problem.