If you’ve been reading Hormone Therapeutics blogs and testosterone replacement therapy eBooks, you’re probably already completely aware of just how important testosterone is to male health. It boosts mental energy, physical energy, alertness, strength, sexual vitality, and just generally helps us live our lives better.
You might be wondering just how exactly it provides all these benefits, though. What’s the actual mechanism? What, precisely, does testosterone do?
The fact is, testosterone does all sorts of beneficial things in just about every part of the body. It’s a key hormone to maintaining our body systems, especially in men. Women actually also have small amounts of testosterone, but their bodies rely more on estrogen.
The importance of living with a fully functioning endocrine system has only really mattered this much in the past century as people are living longer due to improved medicine, sanitation and many other factors. 100 years ago the average life span was 48 and today it is 78 years. Many areas of the body do not hold up over time as well as others and require assistance like eye glasses, hearing aids or Lipitor. The same is true with balancing and optimizing the endocrine system through testosterone replacement therapy.
We now understand that a properly balanced endocrine system leads not just to the vanity aspects of it’s benefits but a healthier, happier, more effective and longer life.
So to satisfy your scientific curiosity, here’s a high-level rundown of what testosterone does in men, across each main part of the body.
The endocrine system is where our bodies produce hormones. It’s a series of glands distributed around various parts of the body that, as a whole, keep our hormone levels at their proper levels.
Testosterone is a hormone, so it’s also produced by the endocrine system. The process starts in the brain at the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus tells the pituitary gland what the body’s overall level of testosterone should be. The pituitary gland then directs the testicles and, to a lesser extent, the adrenal glands to actually produce the stuff. This is called the HPA axis.
This is where Testosterone levels can be thrown off. Typically, hypogonadism is to blame for low testosterone levels, and can cause a multitude of health problems. Although it’s normal for testosterone production to peak at 19 and drop gradually over time, about 1% per year after age 30, for some people it can fall too fast. In those cases, testosterone replacement therapy is indicated.
Testosterone production starts in male children surprisingly soon after conception. A seven-week old fetus has already developed enough to begin producing the hormone, as well as sperm.
If testosterone levels are too low later in life, a man can suffer from erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, and even prostate problems. Its bad news, and it’s why testosterone replacement therapy is so important under the right circumstances for men in need of hormone balancing and testosterone supplementation.
Testosterone is responsible for male puberty, as well. It’s the reason we start growing hair in new places, our voice (and other things) drop, and our muscles start to develop.
When boys start to notice girls, that’s the work of testosterone, and it carries through later in life. Low testosterone levels can impact our libido, and it’s actually a two-way street. Periods of minimal sexual activity can actually cause testosterone levels to drop in response, which can cause erectile dysfunction and lowered libido. It’s a snake that eats itself, and it’s best avoided.
The central nervous system is how our body communicates with itself. It’s a network that lets glands and organs communicate to trigger production of hormones, among other things. Hormones, including testosterone, have all kinds of effects on the body and mind. Testosterone drives our competitiveness and self-esteem.
That means lowered testosterone levels can make us lose our motivation and spark. It can literally make us sad. Like sexual desire, it’s a two-way street. Engaging in competitive activities like sports can spike our testosterone, which in turn makes us more motivated to strive for success. Lowered testosterone can make us lose our motivation, and sitting around can further lower the testosterone levels.
It starts at puberty. Hair starts growing in new and disturbing places. Pretty soon, we’ve got manly, hairy chests and armpits, as well as hair on points further south.
Testosterone is responsible for that, and lowered testosterone levels can have the opposite effect. Our body hair might actually start to fall out if testosterone gets too low!
The other thing about puberty, acne, is also an effect of testosterone. For that reason, you might need to stock up on some acne cream or gel when you’re undergoing testosterone replacement therapy. It’s a small price to pay for the benefits you’ll receive.
Testosterone is a major factor in the development of our muscles, both size and strength. Testosterone levels work to improve our muscles in a few different ways.
What that means overall is that testosterone makes strength training more effective. If you’re been hitting the weights and not seeing much gain, low testosterone levels might be to blame. The male hormone is also important to our skeleton. It increases bone density, and it’s what makes our bone marrow manufacture red blood cells. If you have low testosterone production, you might actually become more brittle and prone to fractures.
Finally, testosterone is important to burning fat, and low levels can be responsible for a higher body fat percentage.
Overall, testosterone levels are vital to your physical health.
Finally, testosterone is crucial to the health of our blood. As mentioned, it improves our red blood cell count, which is a positive because it carries more oxygen throughout our body. However, a physician needs to monitor and manage red blood cell and hematocrit levels to ensure blood does not get too viscous.
Some studies have shown that testosterone replacement therapy can also make our hearts healthier. These studies suggest that the hormone is effective in reducing cholesterol and blood pressure. It can even help destroy harmful clots.
Although testosterone replacement therapy shouldn’t be undergone lightly and without the advice of a medical professional, its benefits are becoming more and more apparent. If any of the symptoms and problems mentioned in this article ring a bell for you, get in touch with a doctor today.
Hormone Therapeutics aims to help people looking to improve and optimize their health through natural means or through the guidance of our physicians.
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Saleamp Design October 18th, 2016
Posted In: Testosterone Therapy
Tags: adrenal, Andropause, cognitive, endocrine system, energy, fatigue, gonads, growth hormone, hair, HPA axis, hypogonadism, hypothalamus, libido, mental, muscles, pituitary, puberty, reproductive system, sex, skin, sperm, strength, testes, testosterone, testosterone levels, testosterone production, Testosterone replacement therapy, vitality