Hormones are well-known for their importance in the body. But did you know that your hormone levels, particularly testosterone, are declining faster than in previous generations? Figures have shown a steady decrease in testosterone levels in men in the United States. Read this article to find out why and how to retain your testosterone.
What Is Causing a Progressive Decline in U.S. Men’s Testosterone Levels?
A large-scale study that collected data on testosterone concentration in men from the 1980s found that testosterone levels in American men have steadily declined for the past few decades. Surprisingly, these decreases in male hormones were not attributed to aging. In addition, a report also shows that a drop in testosterone over time is more likely to result from other factors than from aging alone.
If testosterone declines as a natural part of aging, as many believe, testosterone in men should have remained consistent over time, whether it is the 1980s or this time. However, the findings above show otherwise. So, what might be the culprit behind a continuous decline in testosterone among men in the U.S.? First, let’s learn about the pivotal role of this male hormone in men’s health.
How Important Is Testosterone to Men?
Testosterone is a sex hormone produced primarily in the testes. It plays an essential role in developing and maintaining typical masculine characteristics, including forming muscle strength and mass, facial and body hair, and regulating sperm production. Testosterone also determines the deepening of the voice during puberty, meaning that adolescent boys with insufficient testosterone may not be able to acquire a deeper voice as typically seen in other adolescents.
Furthermore, testosterone is required for bone density, meaning that low levels of this hormone may result in weaker bones than usual. A person’s body composition is also affected by testosterone. According to a study, diminished activity of the testes accelerates fat mass expansion. In contrast, sufficient testosterone helps regulate total fat mass and fat distribution. Another important role, perhaps the most meaningful one, of this hormone is the fuel for a man’s sex drive and performance.
Normal Testosterone Levels in Men
So, how much testosterone does a man have? Before knowing how much of this fuel a healthy man should have to remain vigorous with time, it is necessary to learn how testosterone is produced. It starts from the brain as signals are sent to the pituitary gland, then transmitted to the testes. The amount of testosterone is regulated by a feedback loop. If testosterone levels are higher than expected, the brain sends signals to the pituitary gland to reduce testosterone production.
The normal range of testosterone is about 270-1070 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter), with an average level of around 700 ng/dL. Testosterone level usually peaks when a male reaches age 20, and then it slowly declines. Since a balance in testosterone and other hormones is essential, it is suggested that men should visit a healthcare provider to have their testosterone level examined every five years starting at age 35 to ensure that testosterone levels are in check.
Testosterone Levels in Men by Age
As men age, there are fewer signals from the pituitary gland to the testes, and the testes produce less testosterone. This male hormone level slowly declines at about 1 percent each year after age 30. The following are the typical testosterone levels for men by age group:
- Children: below 130 ng/dL
- Early Teens: 100-1,200 ng/dL
- Late Teens: 300-1,200 ng/dL
- Adults: 240- 950 ng/dL
However, the figures above might not be correct for some men with testosterone deficiency, especially those past middle adulthood. One study found that about 40 percent of men over age 45 may have levels below the normal range of this age. Other research found that this figure rises to 50 percent in those over 80. This abnormal decline in testosterone indicates that aging is not the only factor that impairs the male hormone.
Signs of Low Testosterone Levels in Men
Signs of low testosterone levels can include:
Changes in Sexual Function
- Low libido or reduced sexual desire
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decrease in testicle size
- Reduced sperm count
- Hair loss
- Increased body fat and weight
- Reduced muscle mass and strength
- Enlarged breast size
- Decreased bone density
- Low energy levels
- Decreased motivation or self-confidence
- Feeling sad, depressed, or irritable
- Having trouble concentrating or remembering
What Is Causing Low Testosterone Levels in Men?
Anyone can agree that aging is the worst enemy of hormones and overall health. However, it is not the only factor that degrades the male hormone, as mentioned earlier. So, what else can affect your masculinity?
Stress and Environment
We live in a stressful world. Tight schedules, deadlines, heavy traffic, and not even sleeping enough. These can cause physical and psychological stress and have huge impacts on testosterone levels. When the body is under pressure, it produces more cortisol, meaning that less testosterone is produced. Research has shown that higher cortisol levels in circulation will lower testosterone levels.
The environment also determines men’s testosterone levels to a great extent. According to a study, adolescents who grow up with high exposure to infectious diseases are more likely to have lower testosterone levels later in life. However, in adulthood, men’s testosterone is less influenced by their surroundings than in childhood. Another study shows that air pollutants also negatively affect testosterone and semen quality.
An imbalance in diet may also be the reason why testosterone is decreasing. According to a study, people who primarily consume bread and pastries, dairy products, and desserts rather than homemade foods and dark green vegetables are more likely to have low testosterone levels. An imbalanced diet may also lead to increased fat and decreased muscle mass, which are similar symptoms of low testosterone.
It is essential to determine if a low testosterone level is due to normal aging and other natural factors or a disease known as hypogonadism. This condition is characterized by the diminished functional activity of the testes or the pituitary gland, which may result in reduced testosterone production. Hypogonadism may be due to various causes, including an imbalance in the diet.
Hormone Therapy for Men
Suppose you are suffering from low testosterone or hypogonadism and wish to regain the vibrant health you used to have. Why not try enrolling in a hormone optimization program by Yunique Medical. In a hormone optimization program, you will be given testosterone in the form of injections or pellets that can help you achieve an optimal level of testosterone. You will surely be satisfied with the result of the program because we are medical professionals with years of experience in hormone therapy.
Hormone deficiency may be causing various problems to your overall health. So, do not hesitate to get back to the real you. Our personalized program will help you retain your manliness and younger self.
Yunique Medical provides FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE for optimized health and performance. We offer customized, scientifically advanced treatments to create a new state of human thriving. Why be ordinary when you can be optimal?
HUMAN 2.0 begins here!
Contact us to schedule your FREE consultation at one of our three locations in Florida – Ocala, Fruitland Park (The Villages), and Daytona.