The body strives to maintain its levels of key hormones, like testosterone, through an unconscious process called homeostasis. The body works to keep testosterone, cholesterol levels, sodium, calcium, blood pH and other factors in a constrained, narrow range to prevent problems and maximize fitness. Different men have different genetic programming, so what is considered a “normal” testosterone level for a man will depend on that man’s genes and metabolic history.
All that said, if a man’s T levels drop below 300 nanograms per deciliter, his doctor would diagnose him with “Low T.” Many factors can influence a man’s testosterone levels, including:
- His diet;
- His metabolic and hormonal history;
- His stage of life development (T levels fluctuate wildly in young male fetuses, in men going through puberty, and in men who experience medical problems or diseases);
- Whether or not his is sick or injured;
- Whether or not he his cohabitating with a pregnant woman (a father-to-be may see his sex hormone levels change radically while his partner is pregnant);
- Stressful events or exciting events can also elicit profound changes in testosterone levels. For instance, when a man watches a football game, his testosterone levels will climb. If his team wins the game or scores, he will experience a boost in testosterone. If his team loses, his testosterone levels will decline. Some researchers believe there may be evolutionary reasons for such changes. A primitive man who succeeded at a hunt might find it beneficial to continue to hunt and build off that “winning streak” to collect more food for himself and his tribe. Conversely, if a man loses at a hunt (or a game), he may need to slow down and conserve his energy to avoid getting killed or burning himself out. Hence, his testosterone levels may drop after a loss.
As journalist Matthew Perrone noted in a blockbuster article published in 2012: “Adding to the confusion over what defines “low testosterone,” there’s not much understanding of whether testosterone replacement therapy actually improves men’s symptoms. Evidence of the benefits of testosterone is mixed, and the potential health risks are serious. The largest study conducted to date, a 2008 trial involving 230 patients in the Netherlands, found no improvement in muscle strength, cognitive thinking, bone density or overall quality of life among men taking testosterone. Muscle mass increased 1.2 percent, but not enough to improve physical mobility.”
But what causes Low T in the first place? The next post in this series will address that important question in depth.
For insight into your Testosterone case, call the Davis & Crump team now at 800-277-0300 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.