What is testosterone?
Testosterone is an incredibly important hormone that is produced in the testes (and, to a lesser degree, the adrenal gland near the kidney). A hormone is a chemical messenger in the body. Hormones are made in different parts of the body, and once made, they themselves travel to other parts of the body where they help determine how cells, organs and vital biological processes work. (One well-known hormone is insulin that’s made by the pancreas and helps us regulate blood sugar.)
Both men and women produce testosterone – although men produce about ten times the amount. Whilst testosterone plays an important role in female biology (regulating ovarian function, bone health, libido, for example), we are looking at testosterone deficiency in men. Testosterone is vital for the health and well-being of men.
The role of testosterone in men
Testosterone plays many crucial roles in men, including:
- Muscle size, strength and growth
- Bone growth, mass and strength
- Penis and testes development
- Deepening of the voice during puberty
- Facial hair and, maybe, a role in balding
- Sex drive
- Sperm production
- Erection quality
- Red blood cell production
- Fat distribution
- May help regulate normal mood
- Energy levels
T-levels generally decline with age (from the age of 30 onwards) but many men do not know low testosterone can be a problem. Since any decline can happen slowly, it can go unnoticed which is why it’s important to get tested.
Low testosterone has been nicknamed “the male menopause” and it’s easy to see why. Many men feel a shadow of their former selves but simply put it down to ageing. The reality however, could be less your age and more to do with your testosterone levels. Because testosterone affects so many functions, its decrease can bring about significant physical and emotional changes. Low testosterone is generally associated with older men but it can affect younger men also.
What are the symptoms of low-testosterone?
Any man who is experiencing the following symptoms should have their testosterone levels tested:
- Erectile dysfunction, or problems developing or maintaining an erection
- Other changes in your erections, such as fewer spontaneous erections
- Decreased libido or sexual activity
- Low semen volume
- Rapid hair loss
- Reduced muscle mass or strength
- Increased body fat
- Enlarged breasts
- Sleep disturbances
- Persistent fatigue
- Brain fog
What causes low testosterone?
Declining testosterone levels are a natural part of the ageing process. Testosterone generally starts to decline at a rate of 1% per annum from the age of 30). However, there are many other reasons for low testosterone levels beside ageing – and young men can also experience low testosterone.
Common causes of low testosterone include (and there are many more):
- injury to or infection of the testes
- dysfunction of the pituitary gland
- certain medications
- obesity or extreme weight loss
Order a Testosterone Home Test Kit
Order a Testosterone Home Test Kit. Get the convenience of home testing with the reassurance of professional clinical analysis. Your results are delivered quickly and securely online.
Our Testosterone home blood test kit checks your testosterone levels. Measuring testosterone allows you to assess whether your body has too little of this essential hormone, which can often be treated by supplementation.
This Testosterone Test is advised if you:
- have a low sex drive & loss of libido;
- are a male who is concerned about energy and strength levels;
- are female with fertility issues, or having irregular or missing periods and would like to check for high testosterone levels
What’s included in the test kit?
- Gentle fingerprick blood testing kit
- FREE post & packaging
- Results usually within 24 Hours
- Accredited laboratory testing by clinical professionals
- Personalised report with detailed guidance in your online, secure dashboard
- The same accuracy and quality as your GP or hospital
What is tested?
- Testosterone. Testosterone is a hormone crucial in the regulation of male physical characteristics. In adult men key roles include healthy sperm production, aggression levels and the maintenance of bone and muscle strength.
Low testosterone treatment
Regardless of the reason you’re experiencing low testosterone, treatment options are available to increase testosterone or reduce unwanted side effects.
Testosterone therapy typically involves supplementation which can be delivered in several ways:
- injections into the muscle every few weeks
- patches or gels applied to the skin
- a patch that is applied inside the mouth
- pellets that are inserted under the skin of the buttocks every few months
Lifestyle changes to boost testosterone
There are also several lifestyle changes you can make to boost testosterone:
- Exercise and lift weights. All forms of exercise may increase your testosterone levels. Weight lifting and high-intensity interval training are the most effective.
- Eat protein, fat and carbs. A diet based mainly on whole foods is best, with a healthy balance of fat, protein and carbs. This can optimize both hormone levels and long-term health. Many on a ketogenic diet report positive results. Don’t overeat and don’t restrict calories too much for too long.
- Minimize stress and cortisol levels. High levels of stress are bad for your long-term health and can reduce your testosterone levels. For both optimal health and hormone levels, you should try to reduce repetitive stressful situations in your life.
- Get some sun or take a vitamin D supplement and zinc. Vitamin D3 supplements and zinc may boost testosterone levels, especially in the elderly and people who have low vitamin D blood levels.
- Get plenty of restful, high-quality sleep. Make sure you get plenty of high-quality sleep to maintain healthy testosterone levels and optimize your long-term health.
- Follow a healthy lifestyle and avoid estrogen-like compounds. Reducing exposure to estrogen-like chemicals, alcohol and drugs can positively affect your testosterone levels and health.