Testosterone is the male hormone found in the body. Its major purpose is to maintain the reproductive system, stimulate sexual function, heighten muscle mass, and maintain bone and strength. This hormone is at optimum levels after puberty, but may be on the decline as men age. Here is a discussion about how testosterone effects men, how age affects testosterone, and how low testosterone levels impact a man’s life.
The Effects Of Testosterone On The Male Body
During puberty, testosterone plays an important role in the male body. Boys develop a lower voice, body hair, and experience growth in the genital area. It can also lead to other changes in the body as well. For example, this hormone can create a more pronounced Adam’s apple, change the contour of the face, and increase overall height. As a man exits puberty, testosterone has a great effect on sexual function. It is the basis for a man’s fertility and libido. Testosterone also has functions other than merely sexual. This hormone heightens muscle and bone mass as well.
How Age Affects Testosterone
As men age, testosterone naturally decreases. When this occurs, there can be certain negative effects on the body. To begin, a man with declining levels of testosterone will have a low sex drive. This includes trouble maintaining an erection.
Declining testosterone because of aging can cause a man to lose muscle mass and increase levels of fat in the body. This fat usually settles around the stomach. In many clinical studies, increased belly fat can be a risk for developing diabetes or other heart related conditions.
Low levels of testosterone through aging can be very dangerous to a man’s heart. Studies have been done that have linked it to an increase in arterial plaque. This leads to a greater risk for heart attack or stroke.
Symptoms Of Low Testosterone
As a man’s testosterone drops naturally, this point in life is often called male menopause. It is not uncommon for a man to experience hot flashes like women. There are definite symptoms to look for that may indicate low testosterone. Some of the most common signs include low sex drive, low energy and endurance levels, problems with an erection, sleep issues, decrease in body hair, and depression.
How Low Testosterone Levels Impact A Man’s Life
When a man has waning testosterone, it can negatively impact a man’s life. Hypogonadism occurs when there is a low production of testosterone and can lead to enlarged breasts, less facial or body hair, and infertility. Bone density can also decrease. This can cause osteoporosis, or brittle bones. When testosterone is low, a man will find that metabolism slows and fat accumulates faster than normal. It can also hamper the attention span. One serious impact on the body is depression. There is no definite link between the two, but it is believed that the brain’s neurotransmitters are affected by low testosterone. The parts of the brain that control mood receive negative feedback that lead to depression.
One of the biggest impacts of low testosterone is a problem in the bedroom. When a man has trouble with his sexual performance, it can be quite alarming. This can greatly lower self esteem. A man often associates virility with sex. When there is some sort of dysfunction, it can turn a man into a real tailspin.
Natural Ways To Increase Testosterone
Around age 30, it is normal for testosterone levels to drop in men. The environment and other medications can be leading causes of this problem. There are medicinal ways to raise testosterone levels. However, for men who are interested in natural alternatives, there are ways to increase this hormone.
Losing weight is the first way to help increase testosterone. It is not necessary to cut out all “fun” foods, but keeping a watchful eye on sugar intake may help. Just cutting soda from the diet can eliminate a great amount of sugar and lead to weight loss. Counting carbs may also help the weight loss process.
Exercise will also help to boost testosterone. A short and intense workout will be best. Strength training will also help increase this hormone. When muscles are active and growing, it is hard to suppress testosterone.
Consuming essential vitamins and minerals is key to maintaining male testosterone. Zinc is vital to the production of this hormone. It can be found in meat, fish and dairy products. Taking supplements under 40 mg each day can help as well. Vitamin D also increases testosterone. Amino acids are another essential part of the diet that can help boost testosterone.
A final way to heighten this hormone is to reduce stress. When the body is facing great stress, cortisol is released. This substance blocks testosterone. Easy ways to relax include meditation or deep breathing exercises. The subconscious mind can actually be the key to keeping stress to a minimum.
Not every man will experience low testosterone with age, but it is quite common. There are many symptoms that hormone levels are dropping. It is important to recognize these signs and be aware of the best treatment. Low testosterone can be devastating to a man’s life. It can not only affect sexual prowess, but it can also have dangerous effects on overall health. It is wise to consult a doctor when low testosterone is suspected. In the end, it is possible to return levels to normal and live a better and healthier life.