What Is Testosterone?
Lucky for you, my grandma is not answering this question. She would say something like, “Testosterone is a hormone that’s made in a man’s nether-regions. It’s the reason why men are so aggressive and girl crazy. Just look at Ralph (our dog). He is so much sweeter since he was snipped!”
Actually, testosterone is found in both men and women, but is primarily known as a male hormone because it produces masculine effects, and is found in much higher levels in men. Testosterone is a hormone that acts on many areas of the body. It is responsible for the growth and development of male reproductive organs, and it affects muscle and bone development, energy levels, and libido.
What Happens When A Man Has Low Testosterone?
Hypogonadism (low testosterone) is a condition in which men have lower than normal levels of testosterone. This can affect a man on many levels. Lower energy levels, decreased muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, and lowered sex drive are all symptoms of “Low T.”
So, what causes this to happen? For one thing, decreasing hormone levels happen naturally as men age, usually beginning around age 40. Other contributing factors are obesity, performance enhancing drugs, and injury to the testis and scrotum.
Some suggest environmental factors play a role. Studies have found that the average 40-year-old man has lower testosterone than did his ancestors.
Why the change? It has been discovered that a common pesticide called atrazine is so high in estrogen that it can turn male frogs into reproducing females!
Another study shows that men who are active parents also have lower levels of testosterone. This is said to make fathers more nurturing. Basically, if you’re over 40, have children, are overweight, and you spend any time outdoors, you might well have lower than desired testosterone levels.
How Can You Treat Low Testosterone?
Has this ever happened to you: you’re driving down the road, with your lady friend in the passenger seat, when suddenly on the radio you hear a voice say, “Attention, men! Have you suffered from low energy, weight gain, and low libido? We have a solution that you and your lady will love!”
If this happens to you, keep calm and try not to wonder if the woman beside you is wondering if you fall under the dreaded category of men who suffer from “Low T.” Rest assured that if you have this problem, there are many solutions to try.
There are several medications to choose from, however, there are some things you can do to boost your testosterone naturally:
- Exercise and lose weight. Obesity contributes to low testosterone levels. Exercise not only helps you lose weight, but it relieves stress and makes you feel better.
- Eat foods that contain high levels of Zinc. Zinc contributes to testosterone production. Eating a diet that is supplemented with zinc for 6 weeks can greatly improve testosterone levels.
- Reduce stress. The stress hormone cortisol blocks the effects of testosterone. (This might explain why fathers often have lower “T” levels).
Interesting Facts about Testosterone:
- Women who are in love have more testosterone than those who are not, while the opposite is true for men.
- Men who are more confident have higher levels of testosterone, as do men who earn more money.
- Taking too much testosterone as a performance booster can cause the testicles to shrink, and can kill brain cells.
- Testosterone therapy does not cause prostate cancer.
- In men and boys, the right pointer finger is shorter in relation to their right ring finger than it is in girls. This has been attributed to men having higher levels of testosterone during early development.
Healthy levels of testosterone are essential for all men. If you have any of the symptoms of low testosterone as described above, consult your doctor, and remember that you’ve got nothing to ashamed about and you aren’t alone.