Has your man been a bit moody lately? Is he feeling more tired and sluggish?
Not as motivated as he once was? Not as strong in the bedroom?
If this is how things are, there is a real chance that he needs to have his testosterone checked. In much the same way that estrogen makes a woman, it is testosterone that makes a man.
Men have significantly higher levels of testosterone in circulation than females. When those levels falter, the guys really feel it and it manifests physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Here are five tips to help you better understand how this manly hormone functions, and the appropriate workup he needs today.
1) Low testosterone is not just a concern of middle-aged men.
While it is true that levels tend to decline after about 25-30 years old, actual low levels can occur at any age. Men in their early 20s and 30s can be at risk for low levels, especially if they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and/or testicular failure. A low level is considered less than 300 ng/dL total testosterone and under 35 pg/mL for free testosterone.
2) The type and timing of testosterone is important.
Testosterone is highest in the morning (hence those morning erections) therefore men should have their blood drawn before 9 a.m. — closer to 8 a.m. is even better.
In addition, it is important to look at both the total and free testosterone levels, in addition to sex hormone-binding globulin. SHBG will bind up excess testosterone (and estrogen) to keep it in check. The higher the SHBG, the lower the testosterone levels.
3) If testosterone over-converts into estrogen, he is at risk.
He can experience mood swings, weight gain, and breast development. This process is called aromatization. It is important that his estrogen is tested as well, especially if he has these symptoms.
4) Some testosterone converts into dihydrotestosterone, or DHT.
DHT is the most potent androgen and if it's too high, it can cause aggression, anger, mood swings, prostate problems, and male pattern baldness.