What age has to do with testosterone level?

Emibileclinic Trending Topic: Testosterone

The importance of hormones to human body cannot be underestimated, they are chemical messengers made by glands in the body that are carried in the blood to act on other organs in the body which are instruments for growth, reproduction and well-being of human life. Testosterone is the most important androgen (male sex hormone) in men and it is needed for normal reproductive and sexual function.

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It is important for the physical changes that happen during male puberty, such as development of the penis and testes, and for the features typical of adult men such as facial and body hair. Testosterone also acts on cells in the testes to make sperm.

Testosterone is also important for overall good health. It helps the growth of bones and muscles, and affects mood and libido (sex drive). Some testosterone is changed into oestrogen, the female sex hormone, and this is important for bone health in men. Testosterone is mainly made in the testes. A small amount of testosterone is also made by the adrenal glands, which are walnut-sized glands that sit on top of the kidneys.

How do hormones control the testes?

The pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, located at the base of the brain, control the production of male hormones and sperm. Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) are the two important messenger hormones made by the pituitary gland that act on the testes.

LH is needed for the Leydig cells in the testes to make testosterone, the male sex hormone. Testosterone and FSH from the pituitary gland then act together on the seminiferous tubules (sperm-producing tubes) in the testes to make sperm.

Testosterone deficiency

Testosterone deficiency is when the body is not able to make enough testosterone for the body to function normally. Although not a life-threatening problem, androgen deficiency can affect your quality of life.

Testosterone deficiency is due to diseases of the testes or hypothalamus-pituitary affects about one in 200 men under 60 years of age. It is likely that androgen deficiency is under-diagnosed and that many men are missing out on the benefits of treatment. About one in 10 older men may have testosterone levels lower than those in young men, but this is usually linked with chronic illness and obesity. The benefits of testosterone treatment for such men are not yet known.

Ageing and testosterone levels

The peak of testosterone levels in men are from ages of 20 to 30 years. As men aged, there is a small gradual drop in testosterone levels; they may drop by up to one third between 30 and 80 years of age.

Some obese men will have a greater drop in testosterone levels as they age, while the healthy older men with normal body weight may not experience any drop in serum testosterone levels.

Symptoms of testosterone deficiency

Erectile dysfunction or impotence

Increased breast size

Lowered sperm count

Depression, irritability and inability to concentrate

Shrunken and softened testes

Loss of muscle mass or hair

Bones becoming prone to fracture

Low energy levels

Mood swings

 Reduced muscle strength

Low sex drive

Stages of life testosterone deficiency possible symptoms

Early childhood: penis and testes do not grow to expected size

Early teenage years (puberty): failure to go through full normal puberty, poor development of facial, body or pubic hair, poor muscle development, voice does not deepen  and poor growth(height) , breast development 

Adulthood : mood changes (low mood and irritability),poor concentration, low energy, reduced muscle strength, increased body fat, longer time to recover from exercise, decreased libido (low interest in sex), difficulty getting and keeping erections, low semen volume, reduced beard or body hair growth, breast development, hot flushes, sweats, osteoporosis (thinning of bones)

After 60 years: mood changes (low mood and irritability), poor concentration, easily fatigued, poor muscle strength, increased body fat, decreased libido (low interest in sex), difficulty getting and keeping erections, breast development, osteoporosis (thinning of bones)

Causes of testosterone deficiency

A common chromosomal disorder that causes testosterone deficiency is Klinefelter’s syndrome. It could also be caused by any of the under listed:

Genetic disorders

Medical problems

Damage to the testes or pituitary gland.

Problems within the testes or with hormone production in the brain.

Testosterone therapy

People who are worried about testosterone level require a blood test to measure the amount of the hormone in the blood. If the outcome is low, the doctor may prescribe testosterone therapy, in which the patient takes an artificial version of the hormone. This is available in the following forms: a gel to be applied to the upper arms, shoulders or abdomen daily; a skin patch put on the body or scrotum twice a day; a solution applied to the armpit; injections every two or three weeks; a patch put on the gums twice a day; or implants that last four to six months.

In older men with true testosterone deficiencies, testosterone treatment has been shown to increase strength and sex drive.

 

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