A Guide to Testosterone

Testosterone is a vital sex hormone produced by the human body. For men, it's a primary sex hormone produced in the testicles. However, women's ovaries and adrenal glands also produce trace amounts of testosterone.

Adequate amounts of testosterone are necessary for the proper functioning of the reproductive system, especially in males. We will discuss what testosterone does in the male reproductive system, symptoms of testosterone imbalances, and how to supplement low testosterone. 

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What Does Testosterone Do?

Testosterone plays a vital role in sex drive and sperm production in men. A man with normal testosterone levels will experience a healthy sex drive with active sperm counts. The hormone will also affect a man’s body composition, including how fat is stored and how muscle mass is gained and distributed. Bone mass and blood cell production are also affected by testosterone. 

Testosterone begins to ramp up in puberty and then decreases around age 30.  

Testosterone Imbalances in Men

 

It’s estimated that 5.6% of men suffer from low testosterone, and research regarding men with high testosterone is minimal. Men with low testosterone report the side effects being devastating and challenging to cope with. 

 

To determine abnormal testosterone levels, a blood test may be administered. Normal levels should range between 280 and 1100 nanograms per deciliter for adult males

 

Testosterone imbalances can be a sign of injury to the testicles, cancer treatments, kidney disease, alcoholism, liver cirrhosis, or AIDS. 

 

Low Testosterone

 

Symptoms of low testosterone can present in several different ways. One of the most common symptoms is a low libido. Side effects of low testosterone include:

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Moodiness
  • Less body hair
  • Bone density loss

 

High Testosterone

 

Symptoms of high testosterone in men include:

  • Acne 
  • Excessive body hair
  • Liver problems 
  • Increased sex drive 
  • Headaches
  • Aggression 
  • Increased appetite

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

 

For patients who are noticing a struggle with their daily life due to their low testosterone levels, artificial testosterone may be administered. Artificial testosterone can be given orally, through skin patches, or through injections. 

 

With treatment, patients will begin to benefit from better moods, increased body hair, higher libido, and improved muscle mass; however, some adverse side effects might be present. Negative side effects may include acne, shrinking of testicles, and lower sperm count. 

 

The patient will have to weigh the pros and cons of taking artificial testosterone and the side effects that accompany the treatment. Your physician should closely monitor testosterone Replacement Therapy to ensure that dosing is correct and that your body is responding appropriately. 

 

Though natural supplements may not be as effective, some foods boost testosterone levels.

Foods That Boost Testosterone

 

If your testosterone levels are low, there are some foods that you can consume that will naturally boost your testosterone levels. This will not replace medical intervention should you require it; However, it will provide another option if you want to avoid the side effects of Testosterone Replacement Therapy. 

 

Try eating these foods:

  • Tuna
  • Egg yolks
  • Oysters
  • Shellfish
  • Beef
  • Beans
  • Fortified cereals

Foods That Boost Testosterone

 

Once you find that your low testosterone symptoms are beginning to interfere with your daily life, it’s time to see a doctor. Having low testosterone can cause underlying conditions and health issues, and regardless of whether you want to undergo Testosterone Replacement Therapy, it’s a good idea to rule out other causes of your condition. 

 

Knowing the full scope of your health is always the right decision, and having an open and honest relationship with your doctor will pay off in the end. 

 

Struggling with your testosterone as a male can be frustrating and devastating; However, it’s a common issue among men. There are plenty of options available and treatments that you and your doctor can explore. 

Conclusion

 

Any type of hormone deficiency or overproduction can cause serious health issues and side effects. In men, testosterone imbalances can have devastating repercussions. Testosterone, a primary sex hormone released by the testicles in the male body, is responsible for sex drive and sperm production. If you suspect an imbalance, contact your doctor as soon as possible to discuss Hormone Replacement Therapy or natural remedies to help supplement your testosterone levels.