How Testosterone Is Linked With Men's Health
Testosterone is an important hormone that plays a key role and throws a major influence on the muscle mass and body fat composition. It is a steroid hormone that is responsible for the development and maintenance of the masculine characteristics. Testosterone is produced in both males and females but in males, it is secreted in large amount by the testicles. It shows its effects during three different stages of life, prenatal period, puberty period and adulthood. The testosterone level in the body not only influence the development of masculine features such as penis, and beards but it also affects the behaviour of a person such as sexual behaviour, anxiety, aggression etc.. There is increasing evidence that shows that decreasing testosterone reduces the quality of life of a man. The decline in testosterone level has a major effect on psychological processes and it also affects the functioning of many organs. The impact of low testosterone has been witnessed on the functioning of the brain and on the functioning of the central nervous system. Therefore a reduction in the testosterone leads to symptoms that are caused by the disruption in these processes. There are many factors that affect the testosterone secretion such as alcohol use, smoking, stress, obesity, and medical illness.
Male hypogonadism is a clinical disorder that is caused by the deficiency of the testosterone and it is caused due to disruption in the levels of the hypothalamic pituitary gonadal axis. The hypothalamic pituitary gonadal axis controls the production of testosterone in men. Hypothalamus secretes gonadotropin releasing hormone and stimulates the pituitary gland to release the hormone called luteinizing. It further stimulates the testicular leydig cells and leads to the production of testosterone. Hypogonadism that results from the defect of the gonads is known as primary hypogonadism. Hypogonadism that results from the hypothalamic or pituitary defect is termed as secondary hypogonadism. With an advancing age, men often experience the deficiency of the testosterone in the body. It is also known as central hypogonadism.
Symptoms of hypogonadism
- Less rigid erections
- Decreased ability to concentrate
- Reduced libido
- Mood changes
Risk factors that are associated with the low testosterone level
Numerous studies have revealed that men with the low level of testosterone are at higher risk of developing diabetes and having diabetes is itself a risk factor for many other health problems in men, including sexual dysfunctions. Diabetes is a condition which occurs when the sugar level in the body goes too high. Low testosterone level is highly linked with reduced insulin sensitivity or insulin resistance. This means that the body can produce insulin but doesn’t have an ability to use it properly. This increases the total glucose level in the body and can lead to diabetes and an increased risk of various diseases, including cardiovascular diseases.
2. Erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is a physical and psychological condition which is characterized by an inability of a man to get to maintain proper erections during the sexual activity. The low testosterone level in the body is one of the major cause of erectile dysfunction as deficiency of testosterone leads to the problems with erections.
3. Prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a medical condition in which the cancerous cells develop in the prostate, a small gland in the male reproductive system. Deficiency of testosterone in the body is said to be one of the main characteristics that cause prostate cancer. Testosterone in the body plays a key role in the etiology of the prostate cancer as testosterone is vital for the growth and maintenance of prostate gland. Also, the testosterone level decreases with an advancing age and the risk of prostate cancer increases with an age. Therefore, according to many researchers, this can be linked and can be taken as an evidence to suggests that the low testosterone level can be the cause of prostate cancer.
4. Benign prostatic hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a condition in which men experience an increased size of the prostate. It is also known as prostate enlargement. The normal testosterone level in the body allows the development of normal prostatic growth. Low testosterone influences the benign prostatic hyperplasia. This medical condition usually begins after the age of 40 and half of the males age 50 or over are affected by the benign prostatic hyperplasia.
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