What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in men, which is responsible for the growth of a male’s physical features. It plays a vital role during puberty in males (the time when an individual reaches his sexual maturity and turns capable of reproducing).
What Does Testosterone Do?
After puberty, the testosterone hormone helps in regulating the following functions in men:
- Sperm production
- Increasing bone density, energy & strength
- Promoting muscle mass
- Controlling sex drive
- Producing RBC (Red Blood Cells)
- Body and facial hair growth
10 Interesting Facts About Testosterone
Normal Testosterone Levels In Men By Age
Though there isn’t specific number from the medical community as to what normal testosterone levels in men are, the widely accepted normal testosterone readings (for an adult) are in the range:
- It is true that the testosterone levels fall as a man ages, frequently at a time in life when he needs the most to sustain a proper supply of this important hormone.
- However, this decline usually occurs after a male reaches the age 30 and continues to decrease about 1- 2% every year that follows.
- Now, this yearly reduction might not be a big deal, but if you calculate the 2 percent drop every year after 15 years, it will be down to 30%. This can have a huge impact on the overall well-being.
Here is a clear table explaining the normal levels of testosterone by age:
Why Is Testosterone Test Important?
It is vital to have a testosterone test done to ensure if the hormones are high or low, as both levels can have a big impact on health. The testosterone test measures the quantity of the testosterone (male hormone) in the blood. A common reason people do this test is either due to delayed or early puberty. However, it might be necessary if the doctor suspects that you have low hormonal levels.
How Is The Testosterone Test Done?
Checking testosterone levels will just require you to do a blood test. The testosterone test is usually done during mornings because that is the time when a person’s T-levels are the highest. Before this test, a doctor asks you to stop taking medicines if you have been prescribed for any. Based on the reports, a doctor performs the further physical examination.
The test results will either be:
- Low testosterone levels or
- High testosterone levels
Low Testosterone Levels: Causes & Signs
Low-T is the result of underproduction of testosterone in the body. Low testosterone levels in men are otherwise called hypogonadism.
Causes Of Low-T In Men:
- Delayed puberty
- Hypothalamic disease
- Pituitary disease
- Pituitary tumor (non-cancerous)
- Hormonal conditions
Symptoms Of Low-T In Men:
- Low libido or reduced sex drive
- Decreased stamina
- Emotional changes
- Weight gain & Body pain
- Changes in the sleep pattern
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low energy and strength
- Breast tissue begins to grow (gynecomastia)
High Testosterone Levels: Causes & Signs
High-T can be equally problematic in men. It is the result of excess production of testosterone hormone in the body.
Causes Of High-T In Men:
- Early puberty
- Anabolic steroids
- Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- Androgen insensitivity syndrome
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- Adrenal tumor
- Testicular tumor
Symptoms Of High-T In Men:
- Aggressiveness & anger
- Oily skin
- Acne or pimples
- Mood swings
- Hair loss
- Shrinking testicles
- Low sperm count
Both high and low testosterone levels can have adverse effects on health. However, they can be checked and treated at the right time. Besides treatments, a healthy diet is vital to balance this hormone.