Testosterone deficiency is a frequent topic of commercials and medical journals but seldom do we hear about the opposite end of the spectrum, high testosterone. High testosterone or hypergonadism, is equally concerning but less common than low T. Hypergonadism can stunt growth in adolescents and predispose adult men to a slew of secondary conditions, some of which can turn deadly if untreated.
What Does Testosterone Do For Men?
Androgens like testosterone help us to grow and shape who we are physically and mentally. Inutero, T participates in the formation of male genitals, and during adolescence, it’s responsible for the onset of puberty.
Besides facilitating our reproductive growth, T is highly involved in the creation and maintenance of sperm. Along with sending out the biochemical signals to make more sperm, it also controls the numbers of sperm-producing cells within the testes.
T is known as a reproductive hormone, but this vastly underrepresents it’s responsibilities within the male body. While it’s indeed a sex hormone, T holds significant sway over our cardiovascular, muscular, skeletal, neurological and digestive systems.
According to the Journal of Endocrinology, T “plays a key role in carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism” and “has a major influence on body fat composition and muscle mass in the male.”
Testosterone also is an important component for muscle-protein synthesis, which is our body’s ability to convert digested proteins into muscle mass.
T has a profound effect on the skeletal system since it helps regulate the activity of bone-building osteoblasts. Besides its physiological effects, T also influences many aspects of our mental state. Many androgen receptors are concentrated in the areas of our brain involved with emotion and problem-solving, this may explain why T has such a pronounced effect on mood.
What Happens When You Produce Too Much?
Outward signs of high T are breakouts, oily hair and skin, thanks to increased sebum production, and increased body and facial hair. Pronounced muscle growth with no notable changes in activity, may also indicate too much T.
Testicular shrinkage is one of the most concerning physical changes and often is an indicator that sperm production and quality are suffering. Swelling of the prostate is another common symptom, which can inhibit the flow of urine making going to the bathroom difficult.
Blood tests of men with high T often reveal abnormally high red blood cell counts, which some experts believe can lead to a heightened risk of blood clots. Edema or the swelling of extremities is seen in more severe cases, particularly in patients with a history of high blood pressure.
Emotional changes and irritability are common with this condition, and can sometimes progress to abnormal behaviors and psychosis. High T can disrupt our body’s circadian rhythm making high-quality sleep hard to come by. Sleep deprivation can also exacerbate these mental and emotional symptoms.
High testosterone levels can raise cholesterol levels and blood pressure, which can translate into frequent headaches for many sufferers. These cardiovascular changes increase the risk of stroke and heart attack, which is why it’s imperative to seek treatment if you or someone you love are experiencing any of these symptoms.
What Happens When You Produce Too Little?
Low testosterone can create a slew of unpleasant side effects for men and in some cases lead to secondary conditions. Abnormally low libido is one of the first signs men experience as their levels begin to fall. Sluggishness often follows, since T has a significant impact on our neurological functions.
For some guys, this simply means less energy, but others may experience impacted cognitive function and memory recall. According to some studies, men with low T are significantly more likely to develop clinical depression than men with normal levels in the same age group.
Testosterone is a key building block of muscle growth, which’s why when we have too little, it can lead to muscle weakness and atrophy. Gynecomastia, or the growth of female-like breast tissue, can also signal a drop in levels.
Much like female menopause, hypogonadism can cause hot flashes and changes in sleeping patterns for men. Another similarity between andropause and menopause is weight gain, which can make matters worse since belly fat typically increases estrogen levels.
Low T that goes untreated can predispose men to brittle bone disease, which raises the odds of bone breaks and fractures. The increased risk of osteoporosis is why many doctors suggest testosterone replacement for men with low T.
How Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) Can Help
In a nutshell, TRT involves supplemental doses of bioidentical testosterone given monthly or bi-weekly, to regulate circulating levels of T. These medications function exactly like naturally-made T, binding to the same receptors and carrying out the same physiological processes.
Return of libido and energy are some of the first changes noticed by patients as the TRT starts to take effect. In some cases, Studies show that TRT may also help symptoms of erectile dysfunction, due to its vasodilating effects, and impact on libido and cholesterol. One six-month clinical study found TRT increased levels of healthy lipids and drastically reduced levels of bad cholesterol with no adverse side effects.
Improved cognitive function, followed by better mood and increased muscle mass was the most common improvement noted by patients in a TRT patient satisfaction study.
Weight Loss comes easier for a lot of TRT patients since T prioritizes fat metabolism and muscle building over fat storage. While it won’t work as a diet pill, it’ll make your efforts in the gym and dietary changes more effective.
Some of the most significant effects associated with TRT happen internally, like bone resurfacing, better red blood cell counts, and improved cholesterol. Though these changes can only be seen with scans and blood analyses, they can curb the development of secondary conditions like osteoporosis and high cholesterol, and in some cases even reverse them.
If you’d like to learn more about what TRT can do for you, then please contact Renew Vitality to set up a consultation.