As most of you fellow bodybuilders know, testosterone is the male hormone responsible for the development of the male sex and reproduction organs; in addition to also promoting male characteristics such as a deep voice, facial hair, increased levels of muscle mass, aggressiveness, confidence, and supports a healthy sex drive. Men's testicles produce this hormone in large quantities while female's ovaries produce some of it in very small quantities.
Low levels of this hormone create metabolic issues that have immediate and long-term consequences for the person suffering from a deficiency.
Maladies Of Low Testosterone Levels
Needless to say low levels of testosterone can cause a male to first and foremost lose his sex drive. Also energy levels will plummet as well as muscle mass and strength.
Even if you are giving it all you got in the gym and following your diet, you may find that getting a good pump at the gym is hard, and also that gaining muscle is becoming a very hard task to accomplish. Worst of all, fat loss seems harder than ever as well.
If you suffer from low testosterone your mood may also take a dive and you may often feel depressed. In addition to the above, the following are also maladies of low testosterone levels:
*Increased insulin resistance (which makes it hard to lose body fat as insulin levels will increase in the body due to the fact that the cells are not accepting this hormone efficiently).
* Constant fatigue and reduced zest for life.
* Depression, bad moods and aggressive behavior (something that oddly enough has been mistakenly blamed on high testosterone levels for years).
* Reduced mental capacity and even Alzheimer's disease.
Age For Testosterone Level Decline
At what age does this decline start happening? The time at which this decline in levels begins is still much debated amongst experts but recent research seems to indicate that it can begin as early as 25-30 years old. My advice to you is that if your sex drive is low, then you should have your levels checked because this is the most common symptom of low testosterone. A simple blood work will show you what your testosterone levels look like. Typically, this is not a test that the Doctor orders when you get your physical so you need to request it from your Doctor when you get your next physical.
What are the Normal Values for Testosterone Levels?
Normal values of testosterone levels for males: normal range of total testosterone for men is between 300 - 1200 nanograms per deciliters (ng/dl). Normal ranges for free testosterone (the actual active testosterone that your body can use) are: 8.7 - 25 picograms per milliliters (pg/ml).
Normal values of testosterone levels for women: normal range of total testosterone for women is between 15 - 70 nanograms per deciliters (ng/dl). Normal ranges for free testosterone (the actual active testosterone that your body can use) are: 0.5 - 5 picograms per milliliters (pg/ml).
Needless to say the closer to the upper level you are in both ranges the better.
What to Do If Your Test Shows Low Testosterone Levels?
If you come up with low testosterone levels in your test results, I would first try to use some natural testosterone boosters in order to see if these can help you to restore your levels. If using these testosterone boosters in conjunction with stress reduction techniques, the proper bodybuilding program and with sufficient rest (preferably 8 hours of sleep each night) for a period of 12-16 weeks does not cause an increase in your levels then you will need to visit a well qualified endocrinologist in order to see what the cause of your low testosterone levels is and explore the possibilities of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).