Maintaining a normal testosterone level is essential to maintaining an overall sense of fitness and happiness. Testosterone is a male steroid hormone synthesized in the testes and adrenal glands. It is responsible for the normal growth of male sex and reproductive organs as well as the development of secondary male sex characteristics including musculature, bone mass, hair patterns, laryngeal enlargement and vocal chord thickening.
Normal testosterone level in the bloodstream is between 350 and 1230 nanograms per deciliter. Insufficient hormone production causes low sex drive, constant tiredness, depression and loss of strength. Although testosterone is considered as a male hormone, females also need a small quantity of it to retain the strength of muscle and bone. The hormone production in females is about one-tenth the total in males.
Testosterone production is rapid in teenage years. When a person reaches middle age, however, hormone levels begin to drop by about one percent each year. By the time the man reaches his 70’s and 80’s, the high rate of testosterone decreasing causes the risk of obesity, brittle bones, muscle loss and impotence. Very low levels may also increase the risk of dying from a heart attack.
There are also many other factors that decrease the level of testosterone. These include acute and chronic emotional stress, physical inactivity, use of anabolic steroids, excessive use of alcohol, prescription or recreational medication and certain diseases. A person can improve his hormonal level by eliminating these factors, improving diet, beginning or modifying exercise programs and restoring nutritional diet.
Different treatment options are also available to treat lower testosterone levels in men. The common treatments include testosterone injections, patches, gels and pills. To diagnose testosterone levels, simple blood tests and saliva self-tests are used. Many products including herbal supplements and vitamin products that claim to boost hormone levels are available in the market.
According to the FDA (food and drug administration), more than four million men experience low testosterone levels. Around 95% of them fail to seek any treatment, often because they just take the sign as a normal part of getting older.
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