Mister, do you at times feel low, exhausted and maybe too tired for sex as well, which makes you want to pop a T supplement to keep you going? Well, most of the times, the low ‘T’ thing is just on our minds (hyped a little by the ads), wherein, if you get your T- levels checked, you might find them to be just fine! So what is testosterone and how important is it for you? Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. A male fetus starts producing testosterone from as early as seven weeks after conception, which helps in the development of the male genitals. The level rises during puberty and reaches its peak during the late teens. Once a man reaches his thirties, his testosterone levels start dropping by 1% every passing year, making the levels quite low by the time he reaches his sixties.
To get a better understanding of what testosterone does for us, let us see what the basic functions of testosterone apart from its sexual ones are:
- Testosterone plays an essential role in sperm production. Sperm production is a continuous process and generally requires a steady supply of testosterone to work correctly.
- Testosterone is an important hormone for developing and maintaining bone density in men. Men who have low T-levels are at a higher risk of bone fracture due to low bone density. Men especially, above the age of 65, are more susceptible to the same, due to low levels of testosterone.
- Testosterone is responsible for building your muscle mass, which includes muscle size and strength. Various studies have shown that T-hormone helps increase muscle mass by increasing muscle protein synthesis.
- Testosterone helps red blood cell production through the bone marrow. This hormone has an erythropoietic effect, which leads to an increase in hemoglobin or red blood cell count.
- It helps in improving verbal memory and mathematical reasoning. This is also one of the reasons why men with higher levels of testosterone have a reduced incidence or risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- It helps spark the spirit of competitiveness, as well as helps to boost self-esteem. That is why taking part in competitive activities can lead to a rise or fall in a man’s T- levels.
- It affects your mood. It’s common for men with low levels of T, to show symptoms like fatigue, depression, and irritability.
- It helps a man burn fat more effectively, thereby leading to weight loss.
- Testosterone regulates hair growth and is responsible for different types of hair growth in men like facial, pubic and scalp hair.
- It plays an important role in the development of post-pubertal male voice. This is because, in teenage boys, an increase in T- levels cause the vocal folds or vocal cords to thicken, lengthen and mature.
Thus, from the above, it is evident that testosterone plays many a vital role for a man, apart from fuelling his sexual desires and helping him in getting an erection. So if you get the feeling that your T- levels are low, the best thing would be to get your T-levels tested through a blood test. If your testosterone levels are between 264 and 916 nanograms per deciliter of blood, it is generally considered normal. But if it’s anything lower than that, then it would be a smart thing to consult your doctor. Also, sometimes T-levels can come low in a blood test depending on when you do it. For example, if you had a tiring day with little or no sleep, then also T-levels might come low. For younger men, the best time to get tested for T-level would be 10 am, when their T-levels are at its peak, while for older men, anytime is fine, as long as they are not tired and fatigued.
Unfortunately, ads these days have linked testosterone to everything and anything. Like low mood, take a testosterone supplement, low libido, the T supplement is again there for you. But testosterone supplement is only required if your T-levels are really low and the best person to decide that would be your health care practitioner. Usually, if you have really low T-levels, your doctor might prescribe you a drug, (that which tells your pituitary glands to ask your gonad to make more testosterone) or advise you for TRT (testosterone replacement therapy). But before going in for either, a very natural way by which many men do manage to increase their T-levels is by living healthier. By healthy living, we mean, eating healthy, sleeping well and reducing stress. This can help your T-levels to rise, naturally.
Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP