Testosterone is a steroidal hormone from the androgen class that is essential to all living beings. While it is naturally produced by men and women, men require substantially higher amounts than their female counterparts. While both men and women can be affected by their testosterone levels when they rise above or fall below a normal range, the effects of low testosterone levels in men are often more pronounced and common. For many years these "problems" have largely been attributed to unavoidable circumstances but increasingly many men have begun to understand such problems can easily be remedied. As the issue of low testosterone can be a problem, we must address and never neglect understanding as it pertains to higher than normal levels as well. Granted, in this case we are speaking of an entirely different group of people but if you can understand both the good and the bad, the high and the low then you'll have a better understanding of testosterone levels as a whole.
Understanding Testosterone Production:
Testosterone is an androgen steroid produced in the testicles and while the testicles are where it's produced it is the pituitary gland that regulates testosterone levels in the body. This is largely controlled by the release of the luteinizing hormone (LH) a hormone released by the pituitary gland that signals the testicles to produce thereby increasing testosterone levels. It's actually a very simple process; testosterone levels begin to drop, the pituitary releases LH, the testicles are stimulated by the LH and produce the testosterone needed by the body.
Although testosterone production is a simple process, as we age our testosterone levels inevitably begin to fall; however, the rate of decline can vary from person to person but all are susceptible to this decline. While the lack of production can simply be caused by advancement in years, issues regarding pituitary and testicle function can often contribute to low testosterone levelsbeyond the simple fact of age progression. While the effects of low testosterone levels can be very problematic there are cases of naturally occurring high testosterone levels; although these high levels will normally only be achieved in an unnatural fashion, for many men they produce a desired affect and benefits(s).
The Effects of Low Testosterone Levels
While many of the effects of low testosterone are commonly associated with age
they are not by any means something we must inevitably accept. As discussed,
many men suffer from improper functioning pituitary glands and thereby see their
levels fall faster and much sooner than they would otherwise. Further, for those
who still possess proper function, as they age the levels will still drop,
although perhaps not as dramatically as those who do not possess proper
function. Common symptoms of low
include and may not be limited to:
- Decreased Libido/Sex Drive
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Decreased Energy Levels
- Decreased Clarity of Thought
- Decreased Strength
- Decreased Muscle Tissue
- Increased Levels of Body-Fat
If you suffer from any of these symptoms you may in-fact suffer from low testosterone levels. If you find this to be the case you are strongly urged to have your levels checked; a simple process with a simple remedy to follow if you in-fact suffer from this very problematic condition. While it is less common for younger men; after all, our testosterone levels are at their peaks as young men, however, 50% of men 40 years of age suffer from low testosterone with the total grouping reaching 80% of all men by the age of 50.
The Effects of High Testosterone Levels
By High Testosterone Levels we are going beyond what is considered normal and entering the world or performance enhancing. There is an interesting note we cannot ignore regarding "Normal Levels" as the range of normal is by no means set in stone; in-fact "normal" is a very relative term; what may be normal for you will not be normal for the next man. For example, "Normal" testosterone levels in the medical community have a vast range regarding both Total Testosterone and Free Testosterone; the accepted ranges are as follows:
Total Testosterone: Men 20-39 - 270-1,080 ng/dL (9.00-37.48 nmol/L)
Free Testosterone: 44 to 244 pg/mL (0.68 to 3.76)
As you can easily see this is quite a dramatic range however, for those who supplement with exogenous testosterone (synthetic testosterone not produced naturally by the body) they can expect their testosterone levels to far surpass any range we have available.
For these individuals, those seeking high testosterone levels, in all cases it is to bring about a desired effect of increased performance. This increased performance may be defined several different ways; it may be in an attempt to compete at a higher level in competitive sports, from baseball to football to bodybuilding and power-lifting and everything in-between. However, for many this increase is purely for physical appearance with no competition in mind; increased testosterone levels, thereby increasing muscle mass or better yet lean tissue. The benefits of increased testosterone levels are truly great and while increasing testosterone back to normal levels or beyond to a higher level will produce the same effects, it will do so in a far more pronounced manner in those seeking high levels through supraphysiological doses. Increased testosterone levels will produce the following benefits:
- Increased Libido/Sex Drive
- Increased Energy Levels
- A Greater Sense of Well-Being
- Increased Strength
- Increased Muscle Tissue
- Decreased Levels of Body-Fat
- Increased Recovery Abilities
Checking Testosterone Levels
To find out where your testosterone levels fall the process is a very simple one. It will require a visit to your local doctor or a hormone replacement clinic and a simple blood work test. By the administration of this test your testosterone levels will be determined by how much of the androgen is in your blood. The majority of our testosterone is found in the blood bound to a protein known as SHBG or Sex Hormone Binding Globulin. However, there is some testosterone that does not fall into this category, it is not bound and is known as "Free Testosterone." While free testosterone levels will be much lower than what is bound to SHBG the same blood test will reveal the total amounts of each.
Remedies for Low Testosterone Levels
If your testosterone levels are low you have many options from which to choose but in the end each one will simply be testosterone therapy. While all testosterone therapy will provide, you guessed it, testosterone, it is the mode of administration that will vary as well as the amounts or dosages needed to meet your needs. The three most common forms of administration include:
- Injectable Testosterone
- AndroGel (Transdermal Cream)
- Androderm (Transdermal Patch)
All three options will provide the testosterone you need with the most efficient and effective being in the exact order listed above. In the end you and your doctor will decide which mode of action is right for you and which type of testosterone you need.
While it has become increasingly common for testosterone therapy to be used by many men who suffer from low levels the most common reason anyone uses testosterone is for performance enhancing. Again, this is an instance where the desire is to increase testosterone levels far beyond a normal range in order to reach and often surpass a desired goal. For this individual a much higher dose of testosterone will need to be administered and normally on a more frequent basis. While there are many forms of testosterone applications for the performance enhancer injectable remedies will be the ones used most due to their higher levels of efficiency. Although administration will typically be injectable there are several forms of testosterone in-which you may choose from and all are acceptable; they most commonly include:
Each form listed above is simply testosterone and each one will more than adequately increase your levels far beyond a normal range when adequate doses are applied. The difference in these various forms largely lies within the ester that is attached, which will affect frequency of injection and half-life or active duration; in the end, whichever one you choose you're receiving the same androgenic steroidal hormone.