Testosterone production is by the gonads i.e the testes in men and by the ovaries in women. Although, small quantities are also produced by the adrenal glands.
Testosterone influences the physical appearance, and sexual development. It declines with ageing. Its production increases during puberty and pregnancy in females. It starts to decline at the rate of about 1% per year after age 30 in males and declines after menopause in females.
Surgical removal of ovary, sedentary lifestyle, stress and pituitary tumor can cause a decline in testosterone level. Regulation of testosterone level is by hormones released by the hypothalamus, and by the pituitary glands.
The normal range of testosterone level in the male is about 300ng/dl to 1000ng/dl while in females, it is 15ng/dl to 70ng/dl. Problems associated with low testosterone level is usually centered on male adults.
Although, the definition of low testosterone in females is less clear. It is usually based more on presenting symptoms than test values. Plasma testosterone test is always checked to confirm the diagnosis of low testosterone.
Some symptoms of low testosterone are also seen is other medical conditions. For example, type 2 diabetes, depression, hypertension, and coronary heart disease. This is why it is important to carry out serum testosterone test to confirm its diagnosis.
Some of the functions of testosterone in the body are:
• Stimulation of sperm production
• Stimulation and maintenance of sexual drive
• Helps in building muscle and bone mass which results in a larger bone, and muscle development in males
• Helps in the development of male characteristics. For example, facial hair, penile enlargement, libido, deep voice, and so on
• Helps with proper fat distribution
• Helps in the stimulation of red blood cells
Low level of testosterone causes some physical and emotional changes. Identifying these signs is important to get the necessary help.
1. Changes in sexual function
Testosterone plays a key role in the sex drive of men. Some men may experience a decline in sex drive as they age. People with low testosterone level will experience a decrease in sexual desire. This is regardless of the age.
Low testosterone results in having difficulty in erection before sex or having spontaneous erections. Other signs are low sperm production, infertility, and decreased ovulation. If you notice these signs, you have to seek for ways to increase testosterone naturally.
2. Emotional changes
People with low testosterone level can experience changes in mood. This is because testosterone has an effect on many physical processes in the body.
It can also influence mood and mental capacity. People with low level of testosterone face depression, irritability, and lack of focus. They often lose their drive and initiative.
Despite getting sleep, they often find it hard to get motivated. This leads to difficulty in daily activities. Other signs include reduced self-confidence and motivation, forgetfulness, and decrease in your attention span.
3. Physical changes
Low level of testosterone results in body and facial hair loss. It also reduces muscle bulk and strength leading to decreased bone density. This can lead to osteopenia or osteoporosis.
The lower your testosterone levels, the harder it is seeing gains when one does a workout. Men with low testosterone levels report finding it difficult to build muscle mass.
Also, some people notice muscle wasting in the arms, legs, and chest. It increases susceptibility to fractures, increased body fat distribution, swollen or tender breasts
4. Easy fatigue
One of the trademark symptoms of low testosterone in men is chronic fatigue — the type of tiredness that doesn’t get better after rest. The feeling of tiredness all the time unrelieved by sleep. This can happen early in the morning and throughout the day.
5. Sleep patterns
Researchers claim low levels of testosterone affects the brain “syncs.” The perfect synchronization allows the brain to a certain level of sleep. Inadequate testosterone levels in the body prevent this syncing. Thus, preventing people from reaching the deep phase of the sleep cycle.