Testosterone is the primary sex hormone found in men that helps regulates fertility, muscle mass, fat distribution, and red blood cell production. Though women also produce testosterone, it is at much lower levels than men.
Testosterone belongs to a class of hormones called androgens, often referred to as steroids or anabolic steroids. According to Harvard Health, these hormones help bring on the physical changes for boys during puberty, as they transition into adult males, including:
Growth of the penis and testes
Growth of facial, pubic, and body hair
Deepening of the voice
Muscle strength and size
Bone growth and size
Sex drive (libido)
How is Testosterone Controlled?
Regulation of testosterone production helps ensure normal levels are present in the bloodstream. These levels vary throughout the day, but usually the highest amount of testosterone is present in the morning and will fall slowly throughout the day. The brain’s hypothalamus and pituitary gland control testosterone production, which is produced in the gonads where the Leydig cells make and secrete testosterone. The hypothalamus instructs the pituitary gland on how much testosterone to produce, and the pituitary gland sends this message to the gonads: in men the testes while in women the ovaries. Both men and women also produce a small amount of testosterone in the adrenal glands.
Low Testosterone and High Testosterone Levels
During one’s life, testosterone levels can become either too low or too high. Healthline states that the normal range for men typically falls between 300 to 1000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) and that men failing below 300 are then diagnosed with low testosterone (low T), also referred to as Hypogonadism.
Symptoms of low T include:
Low sex drive
Low semen volume
Loss of muscle mass
Increased body fat
Decreased bone mass
Smaller testicle size
Low blood counts
Abnormally high levels of testosterone can result from an adrenal gland disorder and sometimes cancer of the testes. Also, it can occur in less serious conditions, where boys with a higher level of testosterone can start puberty earlier than expected.
Treatment for Low Testosterone in the Twin Cities
If you’re experiencing symptoms of low T, it’s important to discuss your concerns with a men’s health care expert to find treatment and achieve better health and wellness. At EveresT, you have the option of two comprehensive men’s health clinics located in Plymouth and Woodbury. Schedule a consultation today and receive a $50 testosterone check and body composition screen at your first appointment.