Several decades old scientific studies have confirmed male testosterone levels have declined to an all-time low.
What is Testosterone?
This chief male hormone is produced primarily inside a man’s testicles. The substance’s primary role is aiding men in reproduction. However, it has a number of other critical functions impacting numerous regions of the body.
How Does This Hormone Impact a Man’s Body?
When the hormone is released into a man’s bloodstream, it has many different functions. Arguably, the biggest is in fostering the growth and performance of male sexual organs like the penis and testes. The substance also is critical to a man’s libido and aids in regulating both sperm count and quality. In addition to reproductive matters, the hormone also plays a significant part in regulating physical characteristics such as hair growth, bone development and muscle mass. Also, the chemical can greatly impact a man’s feelings and mood.
What Problems Could Arise From a Decline?
Decreasing amounts of the hormone often results in several notable changes. Typically, the most notable manifestations are sexually related. Often, men will experience a diminished sex drive (libido), fewer erections and a lower sperm count. An alteration of physical characteristics also often occurs. Symptoms including an increased level of body fat, a decrease in bone density that could cause fractures, a weakening of muscles and decrease of muscle mass, tiredness, a slowing of the metabolism and, in certain instances, a swelling of breast tissue may be seen. Men may also experience emotional issues like memory and concentration problems and possibly depression, all of these changes are scientifically known as andropause.
Scientific Studies Conducted
Several scientific studies have been conducted documenting how the decrease in this important male hormone has rapidly increased in men of differing ages and ethnicities dating as far back as the late 1980s to early 1990s. Unfortunately, the scientific community believes the problem is worsening and shows no signs of ebbing. Scientists have also expressed concern over the fact these hormonal decreases have given rise to serious reproductive disorders and illnesses including lower sperm counts and quality, testicular cancer and cryptorchidism, which is a condition in which one or both testes fail to descend into the scrotum.
What are the Causes?
Discerning the reasons for hormone depletion is not always easy. In some cases, doctors and scientists cannot offer any clear cut answer. However, environmental factors such as increased exposure to toxins, lifestyle matters like sleep deprivation, alcohol abuse and dietary issues including the overconsumption of carbohydrates and vitamin deficiencies are considered among possible culprits.
That said, others in the medical community attribute this growing problem to a condition known as andropause or “male menopause,” in which hormone depletion may be the result of age, but can also occur for unknown causes.
How Can the Problem be Treated?
In instances where hormone depletion can be traced to a lifestyle or dietary issue, men are recommended to make necessary alterations. Hormone therapy might also be a treatment option. However, this method offers no guarantees and comes with the possibility of some potentially serious side effects.