We all know that testosterone is a hormone in the body, but what exactly does it do? Will increasing your testosterone have any impact on your health?
We have put together this quick guide to help you understand this hormone and the potential benefits of testosterone treatment.
Testosterone: The Basics
Testosterone is a hormone that is present in both men and women and controls the development and growth of male characteristics. In men, it is produced in the testes.
Testosterone is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands in women.
Testosterone levels in women are much, much lower than they are in men.
But for both men and women, testosterone production increases by more than thirty times between early adolescence and early adulthood.
As you get older your testosterone levels drop.
Testosterone dictates your male characteristics. This includes the development of facial and pubic hair, deepening voices, and the location of muscle mass.
It also controls your bone density, sex drive, thinking abilities, and brain function, as well as causing a direct effect on mood and quality of life.
When To Increase Testosterone
It may be a good idea to consult your doctor about increasing your testosterone levels if you are concerned about decreased muscle mass, an increase in body fat, or some form of erectile dysfunction.
Bear in mind that these symptoms can be caused by other factors or other conditions so may not be solely due to your hormones.
If you have low levels of testosterone, hypogonadism, or another hormone-related condition, you may benefit from testosterone therapy.
If you have testosterone value within the normal range, bear in mind that you may not benefit from increasing your testosterone levels.
Increased Testosterone Benefits
1.) More Muscle And Less Fat
Testosterone is the hormone that controls muscle growth and so it is very important when you want to increase your muscle mass. Having a more lean body is going to help you control your weight a little more easily and increase your energy.
Men with lower testosterone levels are likely to see a decrease in body fat percentage with treatment, as well as an increase in muscle size and strength. Others will feel leaner but not necessarily stronger.
For the best results, combine some testosterone therapy with appropriate exercises, such as strength training.
2.) Heart Health
Keeping your heart healthy ensures that your blood is moved properly around the body. You need your circulatory system to be its best for you to hit your peak physical performance.
Lower testosterone levels are linked to, amongst other conditions, cardiovascular problems.
Testosterone will also help keep your red blood cell production in your bone marrow at its highest capacity. Red blood cells are responsible for the transportation of oxygen to your muscles.
Having more red blood cells means that your blood will have more oxygen in it per fluid ounce, meaning that your muscles will be able to work harder as more oxygen is available.
There is also some indication that men who had testosterone therapy to get their hormone levels back to the ‘normal’ range are less likely to experience serious cardiovascular complications.
This includes reducing the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke.
3.) Improved Brain Function
There is some indication that an increased ratio of testosterone reduces the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease. Similarly, testosterone treatment for older men increased spatial memory.
In younger men, testosterone therapy may help develop some key thinking abilities. This includes processing speeds and verbal memory.
4.) Increased Bone Strength
Bone mineral density is largely determined by testosterone levels in the body.
As bone density decreases with age alongside dropping testosterone levels, there is some suggestion that testosterone treatment will help prevent weakness and osteoporosis.
Preventing soft bones and osteoporosis is vital should you wish to retain athletic performance. Strong bones will also help support your internal organs and your muscles.
Receiving a high dose of testosterone as part of a therapeutic exercise may be beneficial for your health.
5.) Better Mood
Low testosterone levels are common in those who report experiencing a lower quality of life. Low testosterone symptoms include fatigue, irritability, and depression.
These symptoms may also be an indication of hypogonadism.
Men with low testosterone levels or hypogonadism may find that their mood improves, as does their well-being, with some testosterone treatment.
Improving well-being, reducing fatigue, and limiting irritability are also going to have a positive effect on the quality of life.
Sexual arousal and sexual activity cause a natural rise in testosterone levels.
It is hardly surprising that men with higher levels of testosterone report having greater levels of sexual activity than those with lower hormone levels.
Older men need more testosterone than when they were younger to maintain their sex life.
Testosterone therapy may be a possible solution to some issues, such as low libido and erectile dysfunction.
Do bear in mind that some medications and some other conditions can cause sexual dysfunction - your issues may not be solely due to lowered testosterone.
There is some evidence that testosterone therapy will benefit sexual health and your sexual performance.
These studies have also shown that there is a limit on performance and any more testosterone after this will not improve sexual response.
As with any medical procedure, there are some risks associated with testosterone therapy.
Testosterone treatments are available in several different formats - from gels and patches to intramuscular injections.
Each poses its potential risks. Patches, for example, have one side coated in an adhesive that can irritate the skin and injections have been shown to sometimes cause mood swings.
Other potential side effects of testosterone therapy include symptoms associated with hormonal changes, such as increased acne, breast enlargement, and an increase in aggressive behavior.
You may also experience some side effects in the genital region, including decreased testicular size, decreased sperm count, and an increase in the size of your penis.
Seeking treatment to increase your testosterone can have some positive impacts on your health.
This includes improving your overall mood and reducing fatigue, as well as physiological benefits such as an increase in heart health
Testosterone therapy may also have positive benefits on your libido and other aspects of your sex life.
As with any treatment, there are potential side effects.
There is also limited evidence that increasing testosterone levels will have any impact on men who already have hormone levels in the normal range.