Everything You Need to Know About Testosterone

Last updated on August 3rd, 2018 at 08:49 pm

What is Testosterone? Testosterone is the male sex hormone produced in testicles (Leydig cells) and a smaller amount in ovaries. Yes, ladies also produce testosterone.

It is synthesized from cholesterol and converted in the liver to inactive metabolites. Testosterone is binding to androgen receptors which represent the mechanism of action of testosterone.

An average male produces 20 times more testosterone than female on a daily basis. Also, ladies are more sensitive to its effects. The production of testosterone increases during puberty, and begins to decrease during 30s.

Not only that it’s a sex hormone, but it is also an anabolic steroid as well. Testosterone is an illicit substance used by athletes to enhance their performance. However, it is also a medication mostly prescribed for low testosterone and breast cancer treatment.

Testosterone Effects

buliding muscle mass
Testosterone is the quintessential male hormone for building muscle mass; image source: pexels.com

Testosterone has many effects on our body, even before we are born. It affects the formation of genitals and even has an impact on our sex-typical behavior during our adult years, for both boys and girls.

After birth, testosterone has an essential role in creating primary and secondary sexual characteristics.

Primary sexual characteristic includes the formation of genitals and male urinary tract including urethra and prostate. Secondary sexual characteristics are bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass, body hair, deeper voice, libido, and height.

Testosterone is also responsible for sperm production. Therefore, plays an important role in fertility and the production of red blood cells.

Testosterone levels usually drop with age. However, lack of the male sex hormone can be caused by some medical conditions or genetic disorders.

Normal Levels of Testosterone

Normal testosterone levels range from 270 to 1070 ng/dL. Anything above or below these values is not optimal for your body.

High Levels of Testosterone

Having higher testosterone levels than the average value has its perks including normalized blood pressure. Also, males with high testosterone levels are less likely to be obese and have a heart attack.

However, according to some studies, high testosterone brings the risk of aggressive and sexually risky behavior, drinking problems, smoking addiction, criminal activity, baldness, acne, elevated estrogen levels, oily skin, and injuries.

High testosterone due to testosterone replacement therapy can cause decrease in cognition, anger, and mood changes.

In female patients, high testosterone levels lead to male baldness, deep voice, growth of clitoris, growth of facial hair, changes in body shape, and irregular periods.

Low Levels of Testosterone

2-waking-up-tired
Tiredness; image source: pixabay.com

Low testosterone can be caused by injuries, testicular cancer, certain medications, infections, HIV or AIDS, liver or kidney problems, diabetes, obesity and even stress. Also, male sex hormone levels tend to get lower with age.

This condition can lead to infertility, low sex drive, gynecomastia, loss of muscle mass, obesity, low energy levels, osteoporosis, testicles shrinkage, depression, fatigue, etc.

Low testosterone in women can cause low libido, inability to climax during intercourse, depression, low energy levels, and lethargy.

Conclusion

Testosterone is the male sex hormone produced in testes and ovaries. Even though males produce 20 times more testosterone than females, ladies are more sensitive to it. This hormone is essential for both primary and secondary sexual characteristics including the development of genitals, deep voice, body and facial hair, fat distribution, muscle mass, and even our behavior is under the influence of testosterone.

The studies have shown that men with high testosterone levels are more likely to engage in the aggressive, sexually risky, and criminal behavior. Low testosterone levels, on the other hand, lead to infertility, low libido, low energy levels, and obesity.

If you suspect you suffer from high or low testosterone, visit your physician and tell them your concerns. After they run some tests, you will be prescribed with appropriate therapy.

About author:
This article was contributed to healthiack.com by a guest author.

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