Testosterone is famously called the male hormone. But in fact, testosterone is found in both men and women and is responsible for many important functions in the body.
The role of testosterone is most commonly associated with libido and sexual performance. However, its effects go far beyond sex. T has an impact on your brain, emotions, cognitive performance, muscle mass, mood and more.
Men need testosterone in order to create sperm. During puberty, it is responsible for voice deepening, growth spurts and growth of pubic and facial hair. Testosterone in women contributes towards sex drive and helps their bodies secrete the hormones necessary for menstruation.
Symptoms of unbalanced testosterone levels
Men have higher levels of testosterone than women do. But if testosterone levels become unbalanced, adverse symptoms can occur in either men or women.
When men have low levels of T, they suffer from low libido, fatigue, depression, concentration problems, reduced muscle tone and hair loss. A woman might experience missed periods, low libido, vaginal dryness, weak bones and fertility problems.
While it’s not common, overly high levels of testosterone can cause a man to want to behave more aggressively, take more risks and consume more alcohol or cigarettes. In children, high levels of T mean they’ll start puberty earlier than normal. Women who have high levels of testosterone develop PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). PCOS causes less frequent ovulation, irregular periods, excessive hair growth weight gain and acne. Additionally, it can make it difficult to get pregnant.
Seven reasons why you need testosterone
To increase your libido
When your T is low, your libido will likely be low too. It may result in fewer erections and might even affect fertility. Balancing T levels can impact your sex drive in a huge and noticeable way.
To stop fatigue
Fatigue can be caused from any number of health issues and so cannot be relied on as the sole indication of low testosterone. However, when T levels are low, energy levels really suffer and you will feel unmotivated, depleted and sluggish.
To improve your mood
Many people who suffer from low T levels find that they are also depressed or generally feeling down. Low T affects libido and muscle mass too, and many men feel that without the ability to perform in the bedroom and to grow muscles that they are not manly enough. This can really affect a man’s confidence and mood.
To prevent decreased strength and weak bones
If testosterone levels are running low, instead of producing muscle your body will break down muscle. You will find that your bones are weaker and that working out is more difficult. Having adequate levels of T will help you build muscles and feel generally stronger.
To prevent weight gain
Men with low levels of T find that, despite healthy eating and exercising, they are gaining weight around the waist.
Improved cognitive function
Low T has been linked with forgetfulness and difficulty thinking about complex matters or problem solving. Testosterone may also aid in preventing chronic diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.
Insomnia and sleep apnea is common in men who have low T. When testosterone levels are stable, there is a better sense of well-being including the ability to sleep better.