Testosterone is one of the important hormones of our body. It is produced by the endocrine system, in the organ testis. The hormones are accountable for development of male sex organs and also growth and maintenance of secondary sexual characteristics in males and females, such as bone density and muscle mass and body hair progress. The hormone is anabolic and androgenic in nature. A minute amount is required in females. The female sex characteristics are in the purview of hormones estrogen and progesterone, secreted by ovaries and adrenal gland (in small amounts).
How is it regulated?
Testosterone helps to prevent conditions like osteoporosis and bone frailty. This is used in the treatment of male hypogonadism (i.e. reduced functionality of gonads leading to inadequate biosynthesis of sex hormones) and certain Cancers. Testosterone reduces with age in males. This hormone is controlled by Hypothalamic-Pituitary-testicular axis. The time when the amount is little, hypothalamus releasesGonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRh) , in order to signal Pituitary to release Follicular Stimulating hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing hormone (LH), under the actions of which testosterone is synthesized. This whole cycle runs on a feedback loop, to act on hypothalamus and as a result pituitary, to inhibit or synthesize testosterone as per the requirement. Whenever there is discrepancy in the functioning of either in pituitary or testis itself, it leads to reduced production of testosterone, which may lead to requirement of Testosterone therapy. Let us go through a brief overview.
Testosterone therapy in details
Well, testosterone therapy is not recommended until and unless the low level of this hormone are not having an adverse impact on the well-being of the patient. The therapy is mainly suggested for the males having severe hypogonadism (and not late-onset gonadism, which begins on later stages of life, around the age of 40 and is completely natural) and people who have been suffering from low hormone levels persistently, for a very long time. It is not suggested to use hormone pills, supplements, injections, gels or patches when the levels are normal. This might be considered as abuse of your body! Normal levels of testosterone in adult males range from 300 or 350 ng/dL to 1,000 ng/dL. Free testosterone ranges about 45 pg/mL in an adolescent boy, while 150 to 250 pg/mL in average men.
Pros and cons
Always be careful while opting for this therapy. This is a costly business. Don’t forget to go through the brief overview of both pros and cons of it. Hormones are powerful and do not require bulk amounts to function. If you lose the balance, then you lose its proper functioning. Remember, Excess of anything is bad! The therapy might give benefits like increased sexual function, bone and muscle mass, reduced risks of cardiovascular problems, improved mood and cognition, & enhanced body composition. But there are detrimental risks too, like liver toxicity, erythrocytosis, sleep apnea, prostate hypertrophy or Prostrate Cancer and even potential cardiac problems. If you are not at all deficient, but still taking this therapy then you may suffer from gynecomastia, male pattern baldness, urinary tract problems, blood clots, infertility and much more.