Testosterone is a hormone composed in human body. It is also known as anabolic steroid. Testosterone comes under the class androgen. Testosterone is formed in both women and men. It is produced in testes in males and ovaries in females. But in women, it is produced in lower amount in comparison to men. Primarily it is a male sex hormone. It is most substantial hormone in males. It is responsible for reproductive and sexual development of males.
Pituitary gland and hypothalamus control the production of testosterone. Brain’s hypothalamus gives the command to pituitary gland on the production quantity of testosterone and pituitary glands transfer the massage to testes to generate the testosterone. These communications take place in the bloodstream through the hormones and chemicals.
It is responsible for the formation and growth of male sex organs and sexual characters at puberty like growth of hair on body and face, increased size of testes and penis, voice deepening etc. Secondary sexual characters like bone mass; bone density and muscle mass are promoted by testosterone.
Roles and functions of testosterone:
Testosterone promotes complete health and well being in men. It has various functions in human body especially in men like fat distribution in whole body parts and red blood cell production. Most essential functions of testosterone hormone are following:
Development and determination: Testosterone helps in gender determination in the womb. It is responsible for the formation and maturity of male sex organs during prenatal development.
Pubic characters and brain masculinization: Testosterone supports the masculinization of brain in male infants. Appearance of pubic hair, upper lips hair and axillary hair in men depends on testosterone.
Physical changes: Its sufficient production create male characteristics like deeper pitch, facial contour, increased muscle bulk, broader shoulders, bone mass, muscle size and strength.
Sperm production: Most relevant function of testosterone is sperm production and its regulation. It initiates in adult stage of men.
Sexual desire: Sexual desire depends on the formation of testosterone. Adequate testosterone levels are necessary for active and maintained sexual desire and healthy sex life.
Metabolism: It helps in metabolic process of the body to burn fat which contributes to fitter physique in males.
Behavioral characters: Proper testosterone levels are responsible for behavioral response of the person like aggression, anger, sadness, dominance, stress and lack of energy.
Testosterone level, below 300nanogram per deciliter is considered as low testosterone. Low testosterone is also called as hypogonadism. Testosterone levels drops naturally as the age increases. Usually, testosterone amounts starts decreasing after the age of 40 and it continues throughout the life.
Low testosterone can create numerous problems in men which are bigger than aging. There are several reasons for low testosterone other than aging.
Some other reasons of low testosterone are:
- Infection, injury or damage of testicles
- Testicular cancer and chemotherapy or other cancer treatment
- Genetic deformities like klinefelter’s syndrome
- Excessive amount of iron in body i.e. hemochromatosis
- Hypothalamus or pituitary gland dysfunctions
- Inflammatory disease like sarcoidosis
- Hormonal medication and cortisteroid drugs
- Chronic illness of kidney or liver
- Excessive intake of alcohol
- Hormonal disorders
Effects of low testosterone:
Lesser formation of testosterone or low testosterone levels strongly influence the life of the men. It causes so many health problems, physical issues, sex problems including abdominal obesity, changes in cholesterol and lipid levels, decreased hemoglobin, mild anemia, skin alterations, sexual dysfunctioning, impotence a and hot flashes. Some other injurious effects caused by low levels of testosterone are:
Decreased sex drive and libido: Testosterone is responsible for libido i.e. sex drive in both women and men. Low testosterone brings about drastic drop in sex desire and may decline the sex drive.
Difficulty in erection: Erectile dysfunctioning is most dominant effect of low testosterone. Testosterone manages sexual features in men and aids in erection. It stimulates the other receptors of brain for the formation of nitric oxide that provoke the erection. Too low levels of testosterone, makes the erection difficult before sex and may cause unplanned erections sometimes.
Decrease in semen: Semen is a milky fluid which promotes sperm motility in males. Testosterone plays a significant role in semen production. Low testosterone brings decrease in semen volume during discharge.
Mood swings: Testosterone plays several significant roles in many physical processes of the body. Low testosterone can affect mood or mental capacity of the men. It may cause irritability, depression or lack of concentration etc.
Reduced muscle and bone mass: Testosterone helps in bone development and strength. Low testosterone can cause bone loss, decreased muscle mass and strength, fragile bones.
Hair loss: Testosterone helps in hair production and various body functions in men. Loss of facial and body hair can be experienced by men with low testosterone.
Lack of energy and fatigue: Low production of testosterone decrease energy level and cause fatigue. Men with low testosterone feel tired all the time, less motivated, lack of confidence and unable perform exercise.
High levels of testosterone influence women. High testosterone can cause some problems in women like acne, voice deepening, increase in body hair and irregular menstrual cycles. Women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome possess excessive production of testosterone, including other male hormone may face infertility issues.
Treatment for low or high testosterone:
For best treatment it is very important to find the root cause of testosterone imbalance. According to cause, it can be treated with natural remedies, lifestyle changes, testosterone supplements, medicine, injections and therapies etc. testosterone is delivered to the body in various ways such as muscle injections, gels applied to the skin, tablet shaped patches are placed on gums, pallets are inserted under buttocks skin, testosterone sticks are used as deodorant in underarms.
Testosterone treatments have both advantages and disadvantages. Risks and side effects of testosterone therapies are acne, oily skin, fluid retention, blood clotting in veins i.e. deep vein thrombosis, sleep disorders, prostate cancer, breast enlargement, stroke, infertility, decrease in testicular size, breast cancer, low sperm production, painful urination, breath shortening, nausea, headache, anxiety and heart attack etc.
Mostly, side effects of testosterone therapies are noticed in people who have natural low testosterone level because of age and men who go for testosterone therapy in younger age. People who have or had prostate cancer, breast cancer, heart problem, liver disease, kidney disease, pregnant or planning pregnancy should not go for testosterone therapy. Otherwise. the risks and benefits depend on ability of the body, medical history of the person and qualified doctor or consultant.
Natural testosterone booster:
- Good sleep
- Maintained weight
- Routine exercise
- Enough intake of zinc
- Healthy diet