We’ve all heard of the hormone testosterone, but we might not know just how important it is that we look after our testosterone levels for our physical and mental health and wellbeing. Hormones themselves are the chemical messengers that the glands in our body send through our blood to our organs. They are necessary for growth, reproduction and wellbeing. The ones that are particularly important to men are the male sex hormones called androgens. Testosterone is the most important androgen and affects everything from our metabolism, our recovery time after physical exertion, our mood and of course our sex drive, performance and health. All things that we care about, that help define us as men and that we don’t want to compromise on.
As testosterone is such a vital part of living a full and healthy life, it’s important to keep a lookout for signs of testosterone issues, most commonly testosterone deficiency. It is normal for men to have their testosterone peak between 20 and 30 years of age; and from there fall gradually as we get older to one third of our maximum amount. In fact, by 45 years of age 4 out of every 10 men have symptoms of male hypogonadism (lowering testosterone). Despite it being common it is still important to keep an eye on it as testosterone deficiency can have severe consequences.
In our youth it can present as failure to go through normal puberty, including not having our voice break, not getting a normal growth spurt or even developing breasts. This is all to be avoided if possible! In adults there are a range of potential symptoms including weight gain, mood changes, reduced strength, difficulty getting erections and a lower sex drive. These symptoms and others can have a detrimental impact on our health and quality of life so being aware of testosterones’ role in our lives and the difficulties we can have with it is important to all men.
If we find ourselves experiencing these issues we should go to the doctor and have a simple blood test that will check our testosterone levels. If we are suffering from a severe deficiency it is likely we will be administered Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) in the form of injections, gels, lotions, creams, patches and tablets; some of which can come with negative side effects. Fortunately, there are ways to increase our testosterone short of pharmaceutical help. Primarily through lifestyle choices. That is getting enough sleep, avoiding alcohol and drugs, staying active; especially through weightlifting, minimising stress levels and getting all our vitamins and minerals through a balanced diet, will all have a significant impact on our testosterone levels and general health.
Like with most aspects of our health the same fundamentals affecting everything else also affect testosterone levels. Good health is a holistic process and if we do these things to take care of our testosterone we will enjoy the benefits of healthy testosterone levels throughout our lives. As always if there is any doubt it’s important to speak to your GP, especially when something as important as testosterone is involved.
Jaxon and the Team
The Regional Men’s Health Initiative
delivered by Wheatbelt Men’s Health (Inc.)
PO Box 768, Northam WA 6401
Phone: 08 9690 2277