Every man needs to know about testosterone.
It has so many effects on our bodies from driving our libido to affecting weight gain and weight loss, to impacting our mental toughness, that it’s simply too important not to understand.
So, here, in a nutshell, is everything you need to know about testosterone.
What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone and it is important in both men and women.
A hormone is simply a chemical signal that the body uses to trigger certain biological processes.
It is a sex hormone, that is it has an impact on our sexual development as well as reproductive abilities.
It’s key role for men comes during puberty when it helps to increase the size of genitals, boost muscle mass, causes the voice to break, improves bone density, helps us grow taller and drives our libido and level of aggression.
The body’s production of testosterone peaks at around age 30 and then starts to decline by roughly 1% per year after that.
What Effect Does Testosterone Have On The Body?
Other than the impacts on male puberty, there are also uses for testosterone throughout our lives for both men and women.
For Men and Women
- It maintains bone density and muscle mass
- It influences our libido
- It helps to regulate our mood
- It influences erectile function and the production of sperm
- It helps to produce red blood cells
- It drives the production of body hair
- It is involved with the maintenance of vaginal tissues
How Do We Get Testosterone?
In men, the majority of testosterone is produced naturally in the testicles and in women it’s produced in the ovaries (though much less is produced than in men) and for both sexes, the adrenal glands also produce testosterone.
You can also take testosterone supplements such as those in our guide to the best natural testosterone booster supplements.
What Happens If We Don’t Have Enough Testosterone?
Well, firstly, your strength training won’t produce the best of results as it’s harder to build muscle when you’re low on testosterone and there are other effects of “Low T” too:
- Lower levels of libido including the potential loss of your sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction (impotence) which may also extend to the loss of morning erections
- General fatigue
- Loss of muscle mass and the increased gain of fat
You may have Low T if you experience some or all of these symptoms and low T can be triggered by a lot of different issues too including:
- Sleep disorders
- Diseases (including genetic, autoimmune, viral, chronic and cancer)
- Drugs and treatment (including chemotherapy and radiotherapy)
What Happens If We Have Too Much Testosterone?
Oddly, you can also have too much testosterone and this can bring other problems including:
- Acne (including on your back)
- Prostate enlargement
- Breast enlargement (in men)
- Sleep disorders
- Fluid retention
- Low sperm count
- Smaller testicles
- A boost in the number of red blood cells (erythrocytosis)
- Hirsutism (too much hair) in women
- Female infertility
- Menstrual problems
- Growth of an Adam’s apple in women
- Clitoral enlargement
It is worth noting that signs of high T in women are very concerning and you should discuss them immediately with your physician.
How Do I Find Out If Have Enough Testosterone?
You should consult a medical professional if you believe you are suffering from Low or High T.
They will need to conduct a physical examination as well as blood tests, these will need to be taken on multiple occasions to get an accurate reading of your average T count.
How Is Low T Treated?
It depends on what the cause of the Low T is.
For example, if you are obese, you will be offered support in losing weight (mental toughness training can help with this too).
If, on the other hand, you have sleep apnoea, you will be given treatment for this.
If no specific cause can be found for Low T, you may be given drugs that help the body produce more testosterone or be advised to take testosterone supplementation or hormone replacement therapy.
Final Thoughts On Testosterone
Testosterone is a vital part of our body chemistry and suffering from Low T is not at all uncommon.
The sooner you get testosterone excesses or deficiencies resolved, the sooner you’ll be able to get the most out of life.
Now that you know the symptoms of testosterone issues, you’ll be able to keep an eye on things and talk to a doctor if they arise.