About Low Testosterone
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone made by the body and is responsible for the normal growth and development of the male sex organs and for maintenance of other sexual characteristics. In men, testosterone is produced in the testes, the reproductive glands that also produce sperm. The amount of testosterone produced by the testes is regulated by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland.
Some effects of testosterone may include:
- Growth and maturation of prostate, and other male sex organs
- Development of male hair distribution such as facial hair
- Changes in body muscle mass and strength and fat distribution
- Sex drive and sexual function
- Mood and energy level
- Bone strength
What are “normal levels” of Testosterone?
In healthy men, testosterone levels between 350 ng/dL and 1,000 ng/dL are referred to as normal. Normal physiology allows the brain and the testes to work together to keep testosterone in this range. The brain produces “signal” hormones that are responsible for stimulating testosterone production. These “signals” are periodically released, which in turn stimulates testosterone production. When levels of testosterone are in an acceptable range, the production of the “signal” hormones is slowed, which in turn allows the testosterone levels to decrease.
The loss of testosterone, as a man ages, is a regular finding in medicine. Many men experience an average loss of 1% of their testosterone per year, simply from factors associated with the production. This percentage does not take into account other factors that may affect the production of this hormone.
Low Testosterone can result in a number of symptoms, including:
- Decreased energy
- Increased body fat
- Emotional changes
- and more.
These symptoms are similar to symptoms in other conditions, so it is important to get your testosterone level checked.