Testosterone is often referred to as the man’s hormone. However, it can be found in both men and women and plays a large role in mood, sex drive, sperm production for men, as well as muscle and bone production. Testosterone also plays a role in red blood cell production.
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There are possibilities where men or women can have too much or too little testosterone in health. This can affect mental and physical health. With that being said, in this article, we will break down what testosterone is as well as the role it plays in our health.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone that is found in humans as well as certain animals. For men, it is produced in the testicles and for women, it is produced in the ovaries, although in significantly smaller amounts.
A hormone is a chemical substance that is secreted by one tissue and travels through body fluids to other tissues in your body. Hormones can be seen as chemical messengers that help your body to grow and affect your behaviour.
Testosterone production significantly increases during puberty for both males and females and will begin to dip in production levels after 30 or so years of age. The level of testosterone in one’s health can depend on certain factors such as genetics, lifestyle factors, as well as personal health conditions.
About Testosterone Levels
1. Low Testosterone Levels
Also known as low T levels, low level of testosterone is usually more common in people 30 and above. The older you get, the lower amounts of testosterone you will produce. Other variables may also be the cause of low testosterone levels. Symptoms of low levels of testosterone include:
- decreases sex drive
- Unexplained weight gain
- Mood swings or easily being easily irritated
- Less hair production on the body
- Lower set-esteem
- Feeling sad or depressed
- Thinner bones
- Weaker joints
- Decrease in energy
As you get older, these symptoms may become more apparent or more prominent. However, if you notice these symptoms occurring before your 30’s or during your adolescents, speak with a doctor regarding the matter. You will then be diagnosed and treated accordingly. Low levels of testosterone can also be the result of chronic health conditions. Reasons why testosterone production may decrease include:
- Physical injury to the testicles or groin region
- Cancer treatments including chemotherapy or radiation
- kidney disease
- Cirrhosis of the liver
2. High Testosterone Levels
The opposite of low levels of testosterone, it is possible for your body to produce too much of it. When the body produces too much testosterone, for men, undesirable symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Heightened aggression and aggressive behaviour
- Excess hair growth on the body
- Oily skin
- Sleep difficulties
- Sleep apnea
Women can also have too much testosterone levels in their body. The symptoms of this include:
- Increased acne development
- Higher muscle mass
- Weight gain
- Deeper voice
- Excess hair growth on the body
Studies have also suggested that high levels of testosterone in women can possibly lead to infertility and is also common in polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is an endocrine condition that may occur in women during their childbearing ages and finding it difficult to become pregnant. The symptoms of the polycystic ovarian syndrome and women with high levels of testosterone can be very similar and include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Excess hair growth or hair thinning
- Acne breakouts
- Menstrual irregularity
- An apple-shaped body
When to Speak With a Doctor?
Low testosterone and high testosterone levels are not health conditions or complications that happen to anyone. Most of the time, an imbalance of testosterone levels can be due to injury or genetic factors.
As long as you are checking up with your doctor every time you get a severe physical injury, notice any of the symptoms listed above of low and high levels of testosterone, you should be fine.
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, The normal range of testosterone for men is between 280 and 1,100 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) for adult males, and between 15 and 70 ng/dL for adult females. If you suspect that you have imbalanced testosterone levels, you can speak with your doctor and have it checked up through a blood test.
This way they will be able to determine whether testosterone may be the reason behind your symptoms. They will then be able to give you treatment based on your personal condition and health.
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