When we are younger, the world seems to be at our fingertips. We can do anything, go anywhere, and have the energy to fuel that desire. Late nights followed by early mornings drive both our social and professional lifestyle. We do this year in and year out without questioning the consequences. But as we start to get older, we tend to slow down a bit. Our muscles tend to get sore more readily than it used to from what seems like trivial physical work. On top of that, it takes longer for that soreness to go away.
The drive that once fuelled the human powerhouse takes a backseat in such times.
While many factors play into this decrease in the overall drive, one of the primary components is the drop in natural testosterone levels. Testosterone plays a vital role in muscle growth and recovery, and bone strength. It also helps in regulation of libido (sex drive), brain function, hair growth, sperm production, and so on. With its complex role in so many of our daily functions, it’s clear that a decrease in its level would lead to some serious health issues. But this decline isn’t only due to the factors related to the aging process.
In some cases, test levels can be low due to either gonadal deficiency (ovaries in women and testes in men) or pituitary deficiencies that fail to produce what our body needs. This deficiency is defined as hypogonadism and is fairly common. The interesting thing is that many people go years without even realizing that they are suffering from it. Common signs or symptoms include reduced sexual drive, sexual dysfunction/erectile dysfunction (ED), infertility, depression, mood swings, and muscle fatigue/soreness.
Testosterone deficiency in males is related to a considerable decrease in protein synthesis, strength, and fat oxidation, and increased adiposity, which are all considered negative physiological conditions for any individual. The decrease in strength and muscle mass can lead to other health complications. Low testosterone, which affects millions of men, also leads to lethargy, poor sleep, impaired sexual function, depression, and weight gain. These negative effects can have a profound effect on lifestyle. Thus, maintaining normal levels of testosterone is paramount to lean muscle mass and strength.
There’s good news though, getting a test done to determine if low testosterone is the cause of your symptoms is as simple as a visit to the doctor. A blood test is all that’s needed to give a current readout of the total testosterone levels circulating in our blood and the amount of free testosterone that’s readily available for use. If it is determined that the symptoms are indeed caused by low T, there are a few treatment options out there. Testosterone replacement therapy (injection of lab-made testosterone), estrogen blockers (aimed to block excess elevated estrogen levels), and herbal testosterone boosting remedies are the most common approaches to fixing this issue.
Anyone suffering from the above-listed symptoms or someone who is curious about their current testosterone level should seek the help of a medical professional to determine which approach is best for them.