Among all the hormones that are in a male body, it is undeniably testosterone that is the most distinguished. Testosterone is a sex hormone that is mainly produced in males. You read that right—mainly. Women also produce their own testosterone but not that much compared to those produced by men. This hormone is very important to all men because it is the one that’s responsible in making man “man”.
Before birth, testosterones are the catalysts in the formation of primary male sex organs. They continue their very important jobs in the shaping of secondary male characteristics such as deep voice, Adam’s apple, body hair, muscles, etc. It is also essential in a few important bodily functions such as bone, muscle and red blood cell formation. But I guess it’s most significant contribution in the male specie is in fueling sex drive, sperm production and reproduction.
Testosterones play a vital role in a man’s health that imbalances can have various adverse effects. Low testosterone levels can cause bone problems, diabetes, and even heart diseases. It also greatly affects behavior among men that an imbalance can cause depression and other negative behavior. However, changes in the “testosterone meter” are very normal in every man. It comes with aging.
In measuring testosterone levels, it is divided into two: total testosterone and free testosterone levels. Total testosterone levels are measured by the amount of testosterone freely flowing in your blood.
These testosterones are bound to SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin) and the protein albumin. On the other hand, free testosterone levels are actually included in your total testosterone level but are measured separately as well for other health information purposes.
Free testosterones are those that are, as what its name implies, free or unbound. The unit of measurement used in measuring testosterone levels is ng/dl or nanograms per deciliter.
Testosterone levels are at its peak during puberty and early adolescence, especially at the age of 18 wherein it can reach up to 1,200 ng/dl. For the average adult male, normal testosterone levels are within the range of 270-1,070 ng/dl. By the time a man goes beyond 30, there will already be an estimated 1% decrease of testosterone levels every year. Below are the normal ranges of total testosterone levels for every age range.
|Age||Total testosterone level (ng/dl)|
|0 to 5 months||75-400|
|6 months to 9 years||<7-20|
|9 to 11 years||<7-130|
|12 to 13 years||<7-800|
|15 to 16 years||100-1,200|
|17 to 18 years||300-1,200|
|Average adult male||270-1,070|
|30+ years||-1% per year|
There is nothing to worry about when your testosterone levels start to decline. It is very normal and it happens to everybody. It is part of aging and is something that every man needs to accept. We don’t always stay lean and all muscled forever.
However it is important to make sure that the depletion or the lowering of your testosterone levels are due to aging and not because of hypogonadism. Hypogonadism is a condition wherein the body does not produce the normal amount (sometimes doesn’t produce at all) of testosterone needed by the body. If this is true to your case, then it is best to consult your doctor.
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