Testosterone is a crucial hormone in men. Not only does it account for a variety of developmental growth, wellbeing, and overall health, testosterone affects almost every aspect of a man’s life. From the moment he is in the womb until old age, healthy testosterone levels set the foundation for optimizing their performance, be it biological or psychological.
However, should your testosterone levels be low, what’s important to know is that less than 10% of those affected with low testosterone are effectively treated. Those with the highest levels of natural testosterone also have the highest longevity. Testosterone doesn’t just affect how much you can enjoy your daily life–it also changes how much life you even have left to enjoy.
For men with low testosterone, the average mortality rate is increased by 6 times. If your testosterone levels are within the normal range (500-1000), you will have a 56% less likely probability to die. You will also be 24% less likely to have a heart attack and 36% less likely to have a stroke. Studies have also shown that there is an inverse relationship for testosterone and cardiovascular disease risk. So the higher and healthier your testosterone levels are, the lower your probability of getting a heart disease or having cardiovascular issues.
As such, having knowledge of your hormone levels is valuable information–this is data that could significantly change your life for the better. With a personalized hormone program that might involve testosterone boosts, you will be able to have optimal levels of testosterone. Your health will thank you for it.
Cellular Information about Testosterone
Testosterone plays a vital role in how humans develop early on and throughout their lifespan. First, your body’s DNA contains all the information it needs to control how your cells behave by influencing when these cells move and grow, and also assists in deciding which part of the body those cells belong to. However, these cellular functions do not happen spontaneously on their own—they need the help of proteins that control access to your DNA. One of these proteins is called the Androgen Receptor (AR). This protein contributes to the development of reproductive organs and the cardiovascular system, and most importantly, is activated by the presence of testosterone.
Testosterone, along with other closely related hormones, is considered an androgen. Androgens work by entering a cell and coming into contact with the AR protein. This contact starts a reaction whereby the AR protein changes its shape and becomes activated. Despite the relatively miniscule change of this interaction, the effect is far-reaching because it allows AR to enter the nucleus and latch onto the DNA.
Effectively, controlling gene expression means AR can control the behavior of our cells, and that means these hormones can affect our physiology in numerous different tissues.
AR has the potential to regulate many different genes and by extension many different behaviors. For example, AR activation by testosterone in some cell types can lead to increased expression of the FADS1 gene, which increases production of important and healthy fats. In prostate cells, AR influences other genes that are crucial for cell duplication. In particular, during the development of an embryo, AR regulates when the body needs to generate more cells to build organs.
Here is a short summary of how testosterone plays a part in the body’s early development: testosterone binds to its receptive receptors. Those receptors then attach to the DNA, and, once bound, the hormone receptors change which genes are to be used by the cell. A cell’s behavior and role to serve in the body are dictated by the genes it uses. Testosterone thus affects your life on a cellular, genetic level.
Testosterone in the Body
Testosterone helps the brain function, and it serves as a key player in the connection between the body, mind and hormones. There are three main behavior regulators inside the brain, all of which are affected by testosterone.
First, the amygdala is an area with significant quantities of androgen (testosterone) receptors, all providing a critical role in brain activity. Testosterone supplies the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), which is the connector between the amygdala and hippocampus, helping to moderate regions of emotion processing. Second, the prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that moderates decision making, your personality, and social behavior. Too much BNST leads to the brain producing cortisol, causing stress. Third is the hippocampus, which helps you learn as well as create new memories and emotions. Testosterone regulates stress responses in all three of these brain regions. Without proper testosterone levels, your stress response within the brain will eventually lead to mental fogginess and moodiness, among other symptoms. As a regulator of the brain and its activities, testosterone is a major factor in maintaining not just a baseline level of health but also optimization.
As for your body, testosterone provides numerous functions. It regulates blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels, increasing HDL while lowering LDL. Your glucose levels determine a large number of functions within the body, preventing heart disease as well as diabetes.
Testosterone supports the immune system and increases your oxygen intake. With healthy levels of testosterone, you will have improved cognitive function. This equates to having better verbal fluency, verbal memory, and spatial reasoning/proficiency. Optimal oxygen levels can improve your vision, mental clarity/intelligence, immune system, and respiratory system.
Another byproduct of healthy testosterone levels is mood regulation. Having lower levels of testosterone is associated with depression. And coupled with stress or high cortisol levels, your mood can be drastically affected should you have lower levels of testosterone, making you prone to anger, irritability, and depression. Since testosterone is the hormone responsible for the growth of the male sex organs, it’s also responsible for your libido and sexual performance. Lastly, it may prevent Alzheimer’s disease. So should you start on a personalized hormone program, know that a testosterone boost could also help in numerous other aspects of your life.
One study demonstrated that optimal levels of testosterone reduces stiffness in one’s arteries and increases the pliability of the veins. In a sense, testosterone functions like a medication called calcium channel blocker, a common treatment for high blood pressure. Effectively, testosterone reduces your blood pressure levels and regulates them. The best way to find out about your testosterone level and to make sure it is healthy is to get a personalized hormone program.
Effects of Low Testosterone:
As for complications that are associated with low testosterone, there are many. We at Interlinked know that keeping hormone levels in check is absolutely vital to your health and wellbeing. So below is a list of the primary concerns of having low testosterone:
If getting or maintaining an erection is difficult, as well as experiencing a reduction in sexual desire, then you could be suffering from sexual or erectile dysfunction. Furthermore, sexual arousal is a complex process that involves not just your physiological response, but also includes the brain, emotions, nerves, and hormone levels. Additionally, stress and mental health concerns can also cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. Mild and moderate erectile dysfunction affects over 60% of men over 60 years of age, with that percentage increasing with age. A testosterone program that is personalized to you could potentially solve this problem. Some of the programs might also include a testosterone booster, as it has been shown to assist men with sexual and erectile dysfunction.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) and vascular stiffness
Should your blood pressure become high, severe headaches, nosebleeds, difficulty breathing, chest pain and irregular heartbeat are some of the numerous symptoms that can occur. Additionally, untreated hypertension can lead to serious diseases, such as stroke, heart disease, kidney failure, and eye problems.
An increase in the glucose levels of your blood, hyperglycemia leads to frequent urination, increased thirst, blurred vision, fatigue, and headache.
This is a precursor to developing diabetes. Insulin resistance advances into being overweight, having high triglycerides, and having elevated blood pressure.
Defined as having blood lipid levels that are too high or low. Blood lipids are fatty substances, such as triglycerides and cholesterol. There are a wide range of conditions associated with dyslipidemia, but the most common are high levels of bad cholesterol, low levels of good cholesterol, leg pain, chest pain, tightness or pressure in the chest and shortness of breath pain, indigestion, heartburn, sleep problems, daytime exhaustion, dizziness, and heart palpitations.
It is defined as a narrowing of the arteries, the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the rest of the body, due to buildup of plaque. Chest pain, leg pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, confusion, and muscle weakness in your legs from lack of circulation are all potential signs of atherosclerosis.
This is a collection of conditions that occur together. Only having one of these conditions increases the risk and complications, but it does not mean that you have metabolic syndrome. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. One visible sign that you might have it is a high waist circumference. But lifestyle changes as well as testosterone therapy can potentially assist with managing metabolic syndrome.
Your bones are constantly renewing, but as you age, new bone mass is not as quickly created. Symptoms of osteoporosis include back pain, stooped posture, loss of height, and the tendency for bones to break much more easily than expected. Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist or spine.
HPA axis dysregulation
The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is your body’s main system for handling stress. Symptoms include fatigue, difficulty falling asleep, brain fog, struggling to wake up, low appetite, low blood pressure, substance dependency (caffeine, nicotine, etc.), nausea, increased cravings for sugar and/or salt, among others.
Decreased Oxygen Uptake
If your oxygen levels are too low, your body may not work the way it is supposed to. In addition to difficulty breathing, there is the possibility of a racing heart, chest pain, confusion, dizziness, headache, and rapid breathing.
The proteins that function as molecular messengers between cells are called cytokines. As part of the immune system, cytokines regulate the body’s response to disease and infection, as well as mediate normal cellular processes in your body. When there is a significant increase in cytokine levels, you may experience muscle and joint pain, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing and heartbeat, low blood pressure, headache, confusion, and coordination loss.
Although these are the main concerns for having low levels of testosterone, there are some other considerations that you should take into account if testosterone levels are low. One of these is immune dysregulation, which is a breakdown in the molecular processes of the immune system. A low testosterone count also contributes to worsening cognitive function, and a decrease of lean body mass. Bear in mind that many of these conditions and symptoms might be treated through a personalized hormone program.
Should you be experiencing or have any of the above conditions due to low testosterone levels, know that hormone testing is the first step to getting on track.
Testosterone is absolutely vital to your health. Without the right care and attention to maintaining your testosterone levels, your body and mind will suffer. Your sex drive, your immune system, your mood, your ability to think–all are at stake when it comes to testosterone. This illustrates how crucial testosterone levels are to your health, and it is linked with almost everything your body does.
However, instead of thinking solely about how to prevent the negative aspects of low testosterone, we would also like to remind you of how maintaining your testosterone can augment your overall quality and duration of life. Studies have shown that having optimal levels of testosterone can yield an incredible number of benefits. These include but are not limited to the following: a healthy sex drive, better cognitive function, decreased body fat, muscle mass increase, and greater cardiovascular health. A testosterone boost could also be the best way to get this started.
Imagine how you can get back to doing the things you love doing, and how your mind feels sharper. Having the right testosterone is also the freedom to choose what you want to do with your body and your life. Instead of being swept up by the forces of nature and aging, you can do your part to take control and take a stand against the current.
We at Interlinked MD believe that having proper hormone testing done, coupled with a personalized hormone program can get you on the right track if you are in any doubt about your testosterone levels. Schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr Husain today.