Testosterone is a male hormone (androgen) made by the body. Most of the testosterone in a man’s body is produced in his testicles.
- Maintain reproductive tissues
- Stimulate sperm production
- Stimulate and maintain sexual function
- Increase muscle mass and strength
- Maintain bone strength
- Sense of well being and a man’s confidence
- A man’s “get up and go” energy levels
Just like your cholesterol or blood pressure, there is a numerical range of testosterone levels that are considered normal. This range is a very broad one! 348-1197 is the range used by a very large and well known laboratory. A 21-year old man may often have “normal” levels of 900-1100 while a 65 year old man may have “normal” levels of 450. The brain and the testicles work together to keep testosterone within this range. When levels of testosterone are below normal, the brain signals the testicles to make more. When testosterone levels reach a normal level, the brain signals the testicles to make less. This is similar to how a thermostat on the wall communicates with the furnace in your house to maintain the temperature of your home.
Starting in his early twenties, a man will lose 1-2% of his testosterone production each and every passing year. We simply cannot deny the aging process, it sucks but it’s a fact of life. So when a man reaches his thirties going into his forties, he most likely has slowed down due to a large loss of testosterone and gland functions due to several different factors including the basic aging process we all face.
Signs And Symptoms Of Having Low Testosterone:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Reduced sex drive
- Decreased energy
- Loss of body hair, reduced shaving
- Depressed mood
- Increase in body fat
- Decrease in bone strength
- Reduced muscle mass
Testosterone; The Dirty Word In The Media
The hormone testosterone and others like insulin, estrogen, progesterone and many more play a lot of important roles within the body to maintain our health and well-being. Despite the numerous claims that testosterone is bad for our heart, newer studies are showing otherwise. Unfortunately the word “testosterone” is almost a dirty word to some as they have been led by the media and government to associate it with bad things and it mostly has been talked about in the same breath with anabolic steroids and the abuse of them.
There is a big difference between something that is naturally occurring and made in our body (testosterone) versus something that is not (anabolic steroids). There is also a big difference between abusing something or using/consuming it responsibly. For example, we have millions of Americans abusing sugar on a daily basis which is leading to obesity, type 2 diabetes (which then requires the hormone insulin to be injected daily), inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular/heart disease and much more. This IS abusing something that is killing Americans daily – LITERALLY!!! Does this mean that sugar and carbs are bad or going to kill you? No, but it is something we should be more responsible and educated with and not abuse.
The funny thing is, we see commercials for sugar loaded products all the time on tv. We see commercials for drugs, booze and so many other things that are not healthy for us. But say the word testosterone to the lady who is on birth control pills (which is SYNTHETIC hormones progesterone and estrogen), smokes a pack a day and drinks on the weekend and you may hear her scold you on how “that stuff” can be really bad for you and turn men into raging abusive jerks (like the after school specials we use to see back in the 80’s).
How Low T is All Too Often Addressed
When looking at our overall wellness as a nation, I personally find it sad how irresponsible we are and also how many of us are being led to be unhealthy and scared away from things that can help us feel strong, vibrant and healthy leading to being a more productive citizen, spouse, parent and person – I mean, who needs that right?
If someone discovers via blood work that they have high cholesterol, they can take drugs and approaches to correct that to diminish their chances of having a something bad happen. If someone is diagnosed with being diabetic, there is insulin (a hormone) and lifestyle changes that can be incorporated to live longer and prevent the damaging effects of having high glucose levels. If someone can’t walk around and needs a hip replacement, they can go and have that procedure done and get a new hip.
But what if a man has all the symptoms of low testosterone mentioned a moment ago? Why is frowned upon for men to go on TRT? Instead, what often happens is that he goes to his doctor and mentions how he just doesn’t have his “get up and go” mojo anymore, feels a bit depressed and lacks motivation and sex drive and is starting to have a little erectile dysfunction and the core root of the problem isn’t investigated or, addressed.
Typically in my experience talking with hundreds of men over the last few years, their primary care or family doctor will prescribe them some Zoloft for their depressed mood and some Viagra for their lagging love muscle down below. The problem with many men here is that they don’t have a deficiency of these drugs. The last time I checked, our body does not make these nor require them in foods, etc.
Testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone produced in the body that plays many important roles as previously mentioned. This is where many frustrated men come to seek help at Youth-Rx to listen to them, address and correct the imbalance in their body the correct way.
Utilize TRT Responsibly For Long Term Wellness
For those men who do have their family doctor (who does not specialize in endocrinology) prescribe them testosterone, it is sometimes is not done in the most appropriate way. When introducing external testosterone via creams or injections, some of it will aromatize (or convert) into estrogen. Sometimes this needs to be controlled with men who are sensitive to this. Your body’s natural production (although already diminished) will shut down too if nothing is incorporated to prevent your testicles and your HPTaxis from going to sleep.
Often, the patients platelets, hemoglobin, hematocrit and RBC’s are not even monitored. I also often hear of how the client/patient is only allowed one shot a month. This is horrible as it creates a peak and then a long ugly valley of super low testosterone levels in the body while shutting the body’s little bit of natural production down. This often leaves the man feeling even worse. Basically, there are responsible ways and not so responsible ways to utilize testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
I guess my point here is to keep an open mind, learn, and think for yourself when it comes to your health and wellness. There is more information, research, knowledge and resources more than ever before to help you look and feel your best if you want to do so!
Best in health,
Roger Bowman, CPT