Testosterone is a vital androgen (male) hormone that is responsible for several crucial functions.
What are the possible physical and psychological implications of experiencing reduced testosterone levels?
The production of testosterone increases during puberty and tends to decline during the mid-thirties. After the age of thirty, testosterone levels begin to decrease at roughly 1% every year. According to a study conducted by the ADA (American Diabetes Association), approximately 13 million American males have reduced testosterone levels.
Testosterone is produced by the testicles and is responsible for a host of functions including improved sexual drive, production of sperms, building bone and muscle mass as well s for regulating fat distribution in the body.
In addition, testosterone also regulates red blood circulation and affects specific mental abilities.
1. Testosterone and Lowered Sexual Drive
Testosterone levels may decrease due to inadequate production of the hormone by the testicles or due to lack of stimulation of the testicles by the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland and hypothalamus are situated at the base of the brain and help regulate the production of testosterone and sperms from the testes.
This health condition is commonly referred to as ‘hypogonadism’ and can be effectively treated with carefully monitored natural hormone therapy.
One of the major effects of low testosterone levels is reduced sexual drive or lack of sexual desire. Men who suffer from depleted testosterone may find it difficult to attain spontaneous erections (also called ED or Erectile Dysfunction) and experience low volume of semen production. Lack of adequate testosterone may also cause testicles to become smaller and softer over time.
2. Increase in Body Fat and Decreased Bone/Muscle Density
Testosterone interacts with receptors in the DNA in order to stimulate protein synthesis. This results in healthy bone and muscle density as well as increased muscle bulk. Low testosterone levels can cause lowered bone and muscle density due to inadequate protein synthesis.
A reduction in muscle mass consequently leads to an increase in body fat as testosterone helps burn fat more effectively. In males, body fat contains an enzyme called ‘aromatase’ that converts testosterone into estrogen. Higher amounts of estrogens in turn can end up making your body softer like a woman’s.
Decreased testosterone levels may also lead to increased risk of osteoporosis.
3. Mood Swings and Irritability
Low testosterone levels can cause men to experience irritation, anger, frustration and sadness. Experts believe there is a link between testosterone and receptor cells in the brain that impact mental health. Men tend to experience fatigue, loss of motivation and loss of self-confidence during the ‘andropause’ or male menopause stage.
4. Hair Loss and Balding
Male baldness or androgenetic alopecia may be caused by a derivate hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone) which affects sensitivity of hair follicles. DHT is produced from testosterone by an enzyme called 5-Alpha Reductase.
Elevated levels of DHT causes hair loss and balding in males. DHT is found in hair follicles in the hair and skin. BHRT or Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy can help treat and alleviate symptoms caused due to decreased testosterone levels. Undiagnosed lack of testosterone may prevent you from enjoying the benefits of natural home therapy.
To learn more about the effects of low testosterone and andropause in men, download the free guide —>Manopause: The Complete Man’s Guide to Andropause