What is Testosterone?
When you think of testosterone, the image that comes to mind may be of a very muscular, aggressive, possibly even angry male. But testosterone plays a crucial role in wellness for both men and women. Testosterone is a necessary sex hormone that affects many bodily processes, most specifically the male reproductive system, and it has less to do with machismo than you think.
Testosterone is a major hormone in men and its production is controlled by the pituitary gland at the base of a man’s brain. The pituitary gland receives messages from the brain to produce testosterone and then relays this message to the testes to produce testosterone. The body regulates the amount of testosterone in the blood and when levels are too high, a signal is sent from the brain to the pituitary gland to slow production.
Testosterone is necessary for women, as well, although levels of testosterone are obviously much lower in women. Testosterone in women is produced in the adrenal glands and the ovaries and is important for bone strength, ovarian function, and sexual behavior.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll be focusing on the importance of maintaining testosterone production levels in men, the symptoms of low testosterone, diagnosing low testosterone levels, and how the effects of low testosterone can affect a man’s well-being.
What Does Testosterone Do?
Being responsible for the development of male characteristics affects many aspects of male life; testosterone is necessary to help develop and maintain:
- Sex organs and genitalia
- Muscle mass
- Facial/pubic hair growth starting in puberty; later in life, it may play a role in balding
- Adequate levels of red blood cells
- Bone density
- Sense of well-being
- Sexual and reproductive function
Inadequate levels of testosterone in adolescent boys may result in abnormal masculinization. The results of this would mean the genitals not enlarging, facial and body hair not growing or being sparse, and the voice not deepening normally.
Less than average levels of testosterone, often referred to as a testosterone deficiency, in grown men, can culminate in a variety of symptoms that should be paid attention to. The quality of a man’s life can be affected greatly by the level of testosterone in his body.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone in Men
There are more than five symptoms that occur in men as a result of low testosterone, but we’ll focus on the five main symptoms to pay attention to. The more symptoms that you notice, the higher the likelihood that you have low testosterone levels. However, there are things you can do to bring testosterone levels up, and those will be addressed as well.
Reduced Sex Drive
Many men first realize they have low testosterone levels due to libido problems. Testosterone plays a key role in your sex drive and libido, and if you notice a drop in these feelings, low testosterone levels may be to blame.
Erectile dysfunction may also be an indication that testosterone levels are low. Testosterone aids in achieving and maintaining an erection. It tells brain receptors to produce nitric oxide, which is a molecule that helps trigger a series of chemical reactions to produce an erection. With low testosterone, you may have difficulty achieving an erection before sex or have erectile function issues like spontaneous erections.
Constant fatigue and the lack of energy to do much of anything can be signs of low testosterone levels. Low levels of testosterone can cause decreased motivation, insomnia, and sleep apnea which can all contribute to daytime fatigue and low energy levels.
Decreased motivation can make you feel tired and lazy. Instead of doing the activities you love, like going to the gym, you’d rather sit on the couch. You may also find that you’re getting all the sleep your body needs, but you still wake up feeling tired.
Fatigue is a common symptom for many conditions, however, if you feel like your energy levels are zapped even when you’re getting enough sleep, having your testosterone levels checked is a good idea. Depending on your testosterone levels, a form of testosterone therapy may be beneficial.
Since testosterone is responsible for building muscle mass and muscle strength, weight gain is often accompanied by loss of muscle mass and increased body fat. The most common areas to gain weight because of low testosterone levels are the stomach and hips, however, some men may develop enlarged breast tissue, referred to as gynecomastia. This results from a declining ratio of testosterone to estrogen in the body.
Being overweight can also be responsible for declining testosterone levels. Testosterone levels in men tend to reflect overall wellness, so if you are overweight, your testosterone levels tend not to be in the normal range.
Mood and Memory Changes
With age tends to come cognitive decline, as well as lower testosterone levels in men. However, some studies have suggested that men with lower testosterone levels tend to have poorer cognitive function than those of the same age with higher testosterone levels. Many men with low testosterone also have an increased risk of focus or memory problems.
Paying attention to mood swings and feelings of anxiety and depression is important to overall wellness. When testosterone levels are normal, these feelings should dissipate. Checking your testosterone levels, especially if these types of feelings spring up, is vital to your well-being.
While aging can be responsible for hair loss, low testosterone levels can also play a major part. When testosterone levels are low, your body produces higher amounts of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a byproduct of testosterone that binds to receptors in the scalp and follicles, causing them to shrink until they eventually stop producing hair altogether. You may notice bald spots or increased thinning of hair on multiple areas of your body.
Having your testosterone levels checked is an effective way of finding out if your hair loss is connected to your testosterone level. If it is, then there are steps you can take to treat symptoms of your hair loss and prevent more from occurring.
How to Diagnose Low Testosterone Levels
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, or you just don’t feel like yourself, having your testosterone levels checked is a good place to start. Testosterone levels are connected to so much going on in your body, and if levels are low, they may be responsible for you not feeling your best. The most effective way to measure your testosterone levels is through a blood test.
Blood tests are painless and easy to complete, but they can tell you so much about the current state of your well-being. Knowing whether the symptoms you are experiencing are because of low testosterone levels can also give you peace of mind.
10X Health’s Blood Test
10X Health offers blood testing that analyzes over 70 biomarkers for health in your blood, including testosterone levels. We prepare a comprehensive report based on your blood test results that will give you the best overall snapshot of your current health. Along with this comprehensive report, we provide personalized feedback on how you can improve your wellness based on your results.
Our blood tests not only measure your hormone levels, but our expert medical team also analyzes your blood for nutrient deficiencies and measures glucose control. All three of these important human elements in your blood sample provide the best information about your overall wellness and give us what we need to help you reach your optimal well-being.
Based on the measurable results of the testosterone levels in your blood, 10X Health can recommend whether testosterone replacement therapy is a viable option to increase your hormone levels.
One other test to consider is a genetic test. 10X Health provides this type of testing as well. Sometimes nutritional deficiencies can present symptoms similar to the symptoms of a hormone imbalance. A blood test will tell you what your testosterone level is, and a genetic test will determine if there may be other causes for the symptoms you are experiencing.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Testosterone replacement therapy, abbreviated TRT, is a treatment used to replace the testosterone that is not being produced naturally by the body. Age, and sometimes circumstances, can lead to low testosterone levels in men. TRT aims to fill the gap in testosterone and eliminate the symptoms you may be experiencing from low testosterone levels.
Forms of TRT
Testosterone replacement therapy is available in many forms, all of which can improve testosterone levels. This type of testosterone treatment includes:
- Skin patch (transdermal): A skin patch that includes testosterone can be worn on the arm or upper body. The hormone is absorbed through the skin and is usually applied once a day.
- Gels: Testosterone gel is available and applied once a day, this gel is also absorbed through the skin.
- Injections and implants: Testosterone can also be injected directly into the muscles or implanted as pellets in the soft tissues. Your body slowly absorbs the testosterone into the bloodstream.
When considering using any form of TRT, make sure the provider has a way to precisely measure your current testosterone levels to avoid the risk of injecting too much and putting you past the optimal level. Also, ensure the provider is using only prescription-grade testosterone and has trained professionals administering the treatments.
Types of TRT
There are three types of TRT that may be used depending on your situation and goals. These include:
Enanthate: This form of testosterone is used for men who don’t produce enough testosterone on their own and is usually given via intramuscular injection every five to seven days.
Cypionate: This type of testosterone is considered “long-acting” because it stays in your system a bit longer, so it’s usually injected every seven days.
Propionate: This form of testosterone is only used in special cases because it must be administered frequently to keep testosterone at the desired level, but it is very fast-releasing and can peak in the blood within hours.
One type of testosterone injection isn’t better than another. Choosing which type of TRT injection you use depends on your preferences, your goals, and what a qualified provider recommends.
Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
It is impossible to predict the benefits of TRT because every man is different. Many men report improvement in energy level, sex drive, and quality of erections. Testosterone also increases bone density, muscle mass, and insulin sensitivity in some men.
An increase in testosterone in the body can also help you burn fat and gain muscle more efficiently while improving bone density, which all leads to a stronger, more balanced body. Additionally, even if you don’t feel like you’re having issues with your libido, TRT can help improve sexual performance.
10X Health Testosterone Replacement Therapy
10X Health offers TRT to our clients after looking over the comprehensive feedback from their blood test. We have experience in prescribing and administering TRT and are precise in what we recommend to our clients. We also provide a wellness advisor as a point of contact throughout the process so that all questions are answered, any side effects are explained and noted, and the goals of the treatment are maintained and worked towards.
10X Health also offers a supplement, Alpha, that can support testosterone levels and provide numerous advantages to overall wellness.
10X Health is excited to offer a new supplement to our line-up of high-quality supplements, 10X Alpha Testosterone Support. 10X Alpha promotes muscle development, amplifies physical prowess, and promotes optimal testosterone levels. It may also improve your mood and reduce stress, leading to an overall calming effect.
10X Alpha may help heighten your vitality, virility, and superior physical performance as well. All 10X supplements are made from the finest ingredients available on the market and are not diluted with any unnecessary fillers.
If you are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone, the best course of action is to get your hormone levels checked through a blood test. 10X Health’s wellness experts can provide you with a plan to improve your hormone levels through TRT and get you on the way to optimal wellness. Reach out to us today!