Testosterone is a hormone that is responsible for the growth and development of sexual characteristics in men.
It is part of the androgen male hormones where its production is primarily from the testes, and partly from the adrenal glands.
However, women produce testosterone but in negligible quantity.
Explanation of what are the Healthy Testosterone Levels in Men
Testosterone levels in men vary depending on a variety of factors such as age, health, and even the time of the day.
Below are some of the secondary male characteristics that occur as a result of testosterone in men:
- Growth of body and facial hair.
- Growth of muscles.
- Development of a deeper voice
- Sperm production.
- Bone mass enlargement.
To determine the ideal testosterone levels in men, one must understand how they work in the body.
Here are ways in which testosterone work:
- The two classes of testosterone hormones are free and bound.
- 98% of the hormones are bound.
- The bound class of testosterone attaches itself to the Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHGB) protein in the blood.
- The rest of the free testosterone (2%) does not attach themselves to any substances.
Since the testosterone levels depend on an individual’s age, it is worth noting that the hormone levels are different at each stage of a male’s life.
The level of hormones is further measured through a blood test using nanograms per deciliter(ng/dl).
The following outline shows the expected rates at different stages of a man’s life.
Infants and children
- 0 to 5 months: 75-400 ng/dl
- 6 months to 9years: less than 7-20 ng/dl
- 10 to 11 years: less than 7-130 ng/dl
- 12 to 13 years: less than 7-800 ng/dl
- 14 years: less than 7-1200 ng/dl
- 15 to 16 years: 100-1200
- 17 to 18 years: 300-1200 ng/dl
- 19 years and older: 240-950 ng/dl
Also, the general determination of low testosterone levels in adult men is usually declared when the test results show that the hormone is below 300 ng/dL.
The normal hormone levels are further said to range between 500-1000 ng/dL where the pick is between the ages of 20-30.
Causes of Low Testosterone in Men
Recent studies indicate that testosterone also has a role in response to pain, health, and cardiovascular functions in humans.
When a man hits the age of 40, the levels of testosterone naturally start to decline at a rate of 1% per year.
It is for this reason that suspicion of low testosterone is not only tested by a blood sample alone, but doctors also check the overall health of the man.
Some of the other causative factors to low testosterone apart from age include weight and medications that one may be taking.
Besides, health conditions such as thyroid disorders and diabetes can also contribute to low testosterone levels.
Below is a list of some of the symptoms to look out for in case one suspects they are experiencing low testosterone levels.
- General body weakness
- Low libido
- Mood swings
- High cholesterol levels
- Decrease of muscle mass
- Night sweats
- Hair loss
On the contrary, it is rare to have males with abnormally high testosterone hormone levels.
If it happens in children, it is usually accompanied by the growth and development of male secondary characteristics (puberty) at an earlier age.
High levels of testosterone can also potentially cause health issues or even result in infertility in men.
How one can boost their Testosterone Levels
There are various ways in which men can boost their testosterone levels.
Lifestyle choices are the easiest way; it includes factors such as diet, sleep, exercise, mental health, avoiding smoking.
You can also use medications such as Testosterone Enanthate, a steroid that boosts the male testosterone hormone.
Moreover, it is important for your doctor to prescribe the medications as some may cause undesirable effects such as sexual dysfunction.
After a diagnosis of low testosterone, the doctor may select one of the treatment options that best suit you such as the use of patches, injections, gels, or creams.
The NCBI report states that the intake of onions can enhance testosterone levels in males. Other ways that can help in avoiding low testosterone levels are:
- Lowering of blood sugars
- Consumption of zinc
- Avoiding unhealthy fats
- Optimizing Vitamin D intake
It is important for men to know about their health especially on striking a balance on the testosterone levels.
If one shows symptoms of low testosterone levels, they should seek medical advice to get a proper diagnosis from a qualified doctor.
Additionally, according to some of the doctors, men should ensure that they test for their testosterone levels preferably after every five years, once they hit the age of 35 years.