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Testosterone Myths & Facts

Posted in General Health 09 Jul, 2015

Testosterone. It's the stuff you can smell at Thruxton and Brands Hatch through the smoke and chip fat. It makes you a real man; it even sounds like the word testicles. It's a favourite snack of the Incredible Hulk; the more you have the better you are.

Hmmm. I'm not sure about that. Let's take a look at the assumptions around testosterone, because they may be balls.

What Is Testosterone?

It's a sex hormone. It's what makes a foetus male in the early stages. It affects sexually maturity, physical appearance and much more during puberty. Testosterone is produced by signals to the testes from the brain, via the pituitary gland - the hormone-deploying centre. All males have differing levels of testosterone, and they are only thought to be lacking if they experience symptoms. Speaking of symptoms, let's get on with it.

Fact - If You Have Low Testosterone You Don't Want Sex

Partly true. You may suffer from lack of sex-drive, but that's not the only symptom. Here are some others:

  • Fatigue
  • Low energy
  • Lack of motivation
  • Mood swings
  • A decrease in bone density or muscle mass
  • An increase in body fat

Myth - Low Testosterone Is a Normal Part of Aging

No. Men produce less testosterone as they age, but they should not have such low levels of testosterone that it produces symptoms. If you are suffering from loss of sex drive, fatigue or erectile dysfunction then see your GP for a blood test. You shouldn't accept low testosterone symptoms as an unavoidable part of ageing.

Myth - Only Feminine Men Have Low Testosterone

Nope. Any man can suffer from low testosterone. Those with diabetes, damage to testicles, obesity, or damage to the pituary gland are more prone, but anyone can suffer. Even Batman and Gladiator may have suffered with low testosterone problems.

Myth - You'll Need Medicine to Recover

Not necessarily. Exercise and a good diet can work wonders. Tests show that there is a link between obesity and low testosterone levels, and that 200 minutes of exercise a week will increase them.

Myth - Too Much Testosterone Makes Men Aggressive

No, it doesn't appear that way. It may be that testosterone is raised temporarily by having sex, or winning the football (or a fight), but that is a reaction to stimuli. It may be linked to behaviour such as risk-taking though, as demonstrated by pubescent boys and lads in their early twenties. This is when levels are at their highest.

Fact - Bald Men have More Testosterone

This could go either way. It's thought by some that bald men have a higher sex drive and greater levels of testosterone. Researchers aren't sure, but testosterone is linked to hair growth. Bald men have none on their head, but often good beard growth and body hair. The jury is out.

If you think you're affected by testosterone problems, there is no reason why you can't talk to your doctor about it. Your levels will be checked by a simple blood test, with a low reading remedied by medicinal or lifestyle changes. Either way, you're going to feel better afterwards.

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