What is testosterone?
Testosterone Pronounced As: testostron, principal androgen, or male sex hormone. One of the group of compounds known as anabolic steroids, testosterone is secreted by the testes but is also synthesized in small quantities in the ovaries, cortices of the adrenal glands, and placenta, usually from cholesterol. Testosterone is necessary in the fetus for the development of male external genitalia; increased levels of testosterone at puberty are responsible for further growth of male genitalia and for the development and maintenance of male secondary sex characteristics such as facial hair and voice changes. Testosterone also stimulates protein synthesis and accounts for the greater muscular development of the male (see metabolism). For many years, synthetic steroids similar to testosterone research have been used by athletes with the goal of improving performance, although recent medical research has shown that these drugs may have a wide range of harmful side effects.
Testosterone replacement in the past has been associated with increased cholesterol levels. We feel this is probably secondary to the use of synthetic testosterone that resulted in liver dysfunction and the concomitant elevation of cholesterol. Studies now show that replenished with natural testosterone results in a decreased cholesterol and increased HDL, similar to what has been realized in women taking estrogen.
When does it decline?
Testosterone begins to decline in men at about age 25. Testosterone has a number of effects on muscles, bones, the central nervous system, and bone marrow, the prostate and sexual function. Androgens, especially testosterone, regulate the normal growth and development of male sex organs and promote other male characteristics, such as body hair, muscle mass and a deep voice. The most common type of treatment for testosterone deficiency is known as testosterone replacement therapy.
Men who receive testosterone replacement consequently report that they feel sexier, stronger and healthier. They state that it makes them feel as they did when they were in their prime. After all, this is what replenishment of hormones is all about. It is about restoring hormones to youthful levels so you can feel as you did when you were at the peak of your physical and mental ability. Testosterone can stop and reverse the physical decline that robs men of their energy, strength and libido. Testosterone can restore muscle tone and improve stamina. Testosterone Therapy can restore healthy sexual excitement and desire, which in turn, results in an improvement in mood and overall wellbeing.
Testosterone is responsible for the sex drive for both men and women. As testosterone diminishes with age, so does the sexual functioning in both men and women. Restoring testosterone to youthful levels in both men and women can reverse the situation. All too often, men and women automatically assume that as they age, their sexual capacity will diminish. There is no need to accept this loss of sexuality. Testosterone can play a critical role in helping to preserve and even restore sexual function so that we can live our extended life span with the same excitement and enthusiasm we enjoyed during our youth.
Physicians are witnessing an explosion of interest in testosterone as a result of our growing realization that testosterone levels decline with age and that many men suffer serious consequences to their physical and mental health as a result. In women, it is expressed as menopause, whereas, in men, it is expressed as andropause. Many of these symptoms and disease processes that we come to accept as normal aging are processes that are actually secondary to low testosterone levels and are easily correctable. Testosterone supplementation results in increased muscle strength, muscle size, increased energy level, decreased fat and increased desire and endurance for exercise. Now both men and women may be treated for their sex hormone deficiencies.