Before knowing the importance of testosterone, let us understand what is testosterone? Testosterone is a male sex hormone, produced in testicles that plays various roles in the body. It regulates bone mass, muscle strength and mass, fat distribution, sex drive, and the production of red blood cells. Various functions and roles demonstrate the importance of testosterone in the body.
Role of Testosterone in Male
- Growth and development of the reproductive system
- Deepening of the voice during puberty
- Spurs the growth of hair on the face, in the armpits, and around the genitals, on the arms, legs, and chest
- Sperm production
- Burn fat
- Maintain a normal mood
Testosterone, in a small amount, is converted to estradiol, a form of estrogen which helps in the maturation of the sperm and maintenance of a healthy libido. Men produce less testosterone as they age, and so the production of estradiol becomes very less. In a male, testosterone level increases during puberty, reaches peak level during the late teenage, and then goes down. After age 30 or so, a man’s testosterone levels decrease slightly every year.
Testosterone is present in lower amounts in females. It affects menstruation, fertility, and sexual behavior that shows the importance of testosterone in females.
Problems Associated with Low Testosterone Level in Male
- Reductions in muscle size, muscle strength, and leg-press strength
- Loss of bone density results in an increased risk of fracture
- Loss of body hair
- Increase in body fat
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Increased breast size
- Low sperm count
- Poor concentration and depression
Problems Associated with High Testosterone Level in Male
- Heart muscle damage and increased risk of cardiovascular disease
- Prostate enlargement with difficulty in urination
- Liver disease
- High blood pressure
- Increase in bad cholesterol level
- Fluid retention in the body results in swelling of the legs and feet
- Weight gain due to increased appetite
- Increased risk of blood clots
- Mood swings
- Increased muscle mass
Side-effects of both low and high levels of testosterone show the importance of testosterone at a balanced level in the body.
Testosterone levels can be balanced by giving hormone therapy to men with low levels. Doctors recommend certain medications, dietary changes, and exercise programs to maintain testosterone levels.
If you suspect a low or high testosterone level in your body, undergo an evaluation by getting your testosterone test done.