All about Testosterone

We’ve all heard of hormones and one in particular, testosterone.  Although we may have heard of it, how much do we really know about testosterone?  This article is all about testosterone. 

What is testosterone and what does it do

Testosterone belongs to a group of hormones known as androgens which are sex hormones. Testosterone is a hormone found in both male and

Testosterone is produced in the Testicles
The Male Testicle

females.  However, it is mostly known as the male primary sex hormone as it plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as testes and prostate, as well as promoting secondary sexual characteristics like increased muscle and bone mass, as well as the growth of body hair.  Testosterone is primarily produced by the testicles in men.

In women, produced in small quantities, testosterone is a secondary sex hormone when combined with estrogen, the primary female sex hormone which is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands, assists with the growth, maintenance, and repair of a

Estogen is produced in the ovaries
Female ovary

woman’s reproductive tissues, bone mass, and human function.  An imbalance of testosterone within the body of a female can have damaging effects on a woman’s health and sex drive.

Men also have estrogen in their systems as a secondary sex hormone  Estrogen needs to stay in balance with testosterone to help control sex drive, the ability to have an erection, and the production of sperm.

What are the causes of low testosterone in men

Even though testosterone production naturally tapers off as a man ages, other issues may cause these hormone levels to drop. Injury to the testicles and cancer therapies such as chemotherapy or radiation can negatively affect testosterone production.

Persistent health conditions and stress can also reduce testosterone production. Some of these include:

  • AIDS

    Male Reproduction System

  • kidney disease
  • alcoholism
  • cirrhosis of the liver

A number of men have a testosterone insufficiency called male hypogonadism. This is a condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough testosterone. It may be caused by problems in the:

  • testicles
  • hypothalamus
  • pituitary gland

Men at risk for this condition include those who have had an injury to the testicles. If an individual has gone through chemotherapy or radiation therapy (as mentioned earlier), or had undecended testicles as an infant, he is also considered at risk for hypogonadism.

Symptoms of male hypogonadism in adulthood include:

For an individual who doesn’t have hypogonadism, but are interested in feeling more energetic and youthful, the following alternative methods may help increase testosterone levels without the use of hormone therapy.

  • Sustain a healthy weight. Overweight men are more likely to possess low testosterone levels. Losing weight can bring testosterone levels to normal.
  • Regular Exercise. Men that are sedentary tend to have reduced levels of testosterone, as the body doesn’t need as much. Weightlifting can increase testosterone production. The key is regularly using muscles and moving the body.
  • Get enough rest. Sleep 7 to 8 hours every night. Not enough of sleep affects the hormones in the body.
  • Try vitamin D supplements. A 2011 study
    of one hundred sixty-five men recommended that supplementing with about 3,300 IUs of vitamin D per day increased testosterone levels.
  • Get enough zinc. Zinc deficiency in men has been associated with hypogonadism.
  • Testosterone supplements.  There are natural testosterone supplements the prompt the body to produce testosterone on its own.  [Get Links]
  • Enjoy the morning Java (coffee). There is some evidence from a 2008 study that caffeine may increase testosterone levels.
  • Consume more nuts and beans. They’re rich in D-aspartic acid, which promotes the making of testosterone, consistent with one 2009 study.

What are the effects of low testosterone in men

Low levels of testosterone, also known as low T levels, will produce an assortment of symptoms in men, including: decreased sex drive, less energy, weight gain, depression, moodiness, low self-esteem, less body hair, thinner bones.

Treatment for low testosterone in men

Testosterone levels can be determined with a blood test. There’s a broad range of normal or healthy levels of testosterone circulating in the bloodstream.  The normal range of testosterone for men is between 280 and 1,100 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) for adult males, and between 15 and 70 ng/dL for adult females, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. Ranges can vary among different labs, Therefore it is important to speak with a physician regarding results.

If an adult male’s testosterone levels are below 300 ng/dL, a doctor may do a workup to determine the cause of low testosterone, according to the American Urological Association.

Low testosterone levels could be a sign of pituitary gland problems. The pituitary gland sends a signaling hormone to the testicles to produce more testosterone.  A low T test result in an adult man could mean the pituitary gland isn’t working properly. But a young teen with low testosterone levels might be experiencing delayed puberty.

 

Reduced testosterone production, a condition referred to as hypogonadism, doesn’t always require treatment.

An individual may be a candidate for testosterone replacement therapy if low T is interfering with health and quality of life. Artificial testosterone can be administered orally, through injections, or with gels or patches on the skin.

Replacement therapy may produce desired results, like greater muscle mass and a stronger sex drive. But the treatment does carry some side effects. These include:

  • oily skin
  • fluid retention
  • testicles shrinking
  • limit sperm production
  • decrease in sperm production
  • contribute to sleep apnea
  • enlarge the breasts
  • increase the risk of heart disease

Studies
have found no greater risk of prostate cancer with testosterone replacement therapy, but it continues to be a topic of ongoing research.

One study
suggests that there’s a lower risk of aggressive prostate cancers for those on testosterone replacement therapy, but more research is additionally needed.

Research shows little evidence of abnormal or unhealthy psychological changes in men receiving supervised testosterone therapy to treat their low T, according to a 2009 study within the journal of Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management.

What are the causes of low testosterone in women

The two main causes of low testosterone in woman are:

  • A reduction within the levels of the hormone as a traditional consequence of menopause and aging.
  • A problem with the ovaries or the pituitary or adrenal glands.

Testosterone decreases naturally a female ages. Levels of other hormones, like estrogen, also reduce over time, especially when a female reaches menopause.

Around the time that menopause commence, a female could also be more

The Female Reproduction System

likely to possess less testosterone because the ovaries are producing fewer hormones.  Also, medicines that treat the side effects of menopause can lower testosterone levels. One such medicine is oral estrogen.

Issues with the ovaries and adrenal glands can additionally cause lower levels of testosterone.  A female may have reduced levels if her ovaries are removed, for instance, or if she has adrenal insufficiency, which suggests that the adrenal glands aren’t working properly.

Please note that at this point, there aren’t any conclusive guidelines for what should be considered “low” testosterone levels in women.

What are the effects of low testosterone in women

Low testosterone can cause one or more of the subsequent symptoms in women:

  • sleep disturbances
  • sluggishness
  • decreased sexual satisfaction
  • fertility issues
  • irregular menstrual cycles
  • muscle weakness
  • fatigue
  • reduced sex drive
  • weight gain
  • loss of bone density
  • vaginal dryness

It is important to point out that research concerning this area is still limited.  Because of this, since the symptoms linked to low testosterone are so widespread, a doctor will search for signs of other issues or conditions before making a final diagnosis.

The doctor may initially check for the conditions listed below:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • chronic stress
  • thyroid disease
  • transition to menopause

Treatment for low testosterone in women

SOME estrogen replacement drugs contain testosterone.

However, the quantity of testosterone contained in the drugs might not be enough to boost levels, or the body might not be ready to absorb them adequately.

A doctor can dispense testosterone injections or pellets, expecting these treatments to possess an equivalent effect on women as on men such as: raising energy levels, decreasing fatigue, and increasing the sex drive.

However, many doctors advise women to not take testosterone. Likewise, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved only a small number of testosterone-based treatments for ladies. This is often because the side effects can include:

  • hair loss
  • acne
  • excess facial hair
  • a deepening voice
  • an enlarged clitoris

The 2014 task force advised against treating low testosterone levels in women because of a scarcity of research. However, they noted as an exception that ladies with a condition called hypoactive desire for sex disorder should receive treatment.

A doctor may as an alternative recommend alternative therapies to treat the symptoms of low testosterone in women. These treatments and lifestyle changes can include:

  • sex therapy
  • taking steps to manage stress
  • getting enough sleep
  • eating a healthful diet
  • taking over-the-counter dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplements

DHEA is a steroid hormone that is also produced by the adrenal glands.   The Endocrine Society advise against routine supplementation with DHEA, however, as researchers have yet to prove that supplementation is safe and efficient in the long term.

The side effects of DHEA supplementation are often almost like those of excess testosterone.

Moderately elevated testosterone levels in men tend to provide few noticeable symptoms. Boys with higher levels of testosterone may begin puberty earlier than usual. Women with higher than normal testosterone may develop masculine features.

If Low T is suspected and the natural methods named above has unsatisfactory results, it’s best to consult a physician and have a test to check sex hormones levels.  He or she will then administer the proper treatment.

Please leave any question, comment, or concern below.

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All about Knee Pain

After lower back pain, knee pain is the second most common. Therefore, it

All about Knee Pain
Knee Inflammation

may be a good idea to know all about knee pain because sooner or later everybody experiences it to some degree. It is one of the most common complaints from individuals of all ages.

What causes knee pain

Knee pain can result from an injury or medical condition such as arthritis or other condition. The location and degree of knee pain often varies with each individual depending on the cause of the problem.

Injuries 

A knee injury can cause problems to any of the numerous ligaments, tendons, cartilage or bursae sacs that surround or are a part of the knee joint. Some of the most common knee injuries are:

      • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)Causes of Knee Pain
      • Meniscus
      • Bursitis
      • Tendinitis

Let’s look at these individually:

Anterior curciate Liagament (ACL) – This is a major ligament of the knee that helps to stabilize the knee joint. It joins the thighbone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia). ACL injuries occur mostly during sports that involve abrupt stops or changes in direction, jumping and landing — such as soccer, basketball, football and skiing.

Depending on the severity of the ACL injury, treatment can include rest and rehabilitation exercises to help regain strength and stability. Surgery may be needed to replace the torn ligament followed by rehabilitation. An appropriate training program can help reduce the risk of this type of injury.

Symptoms of an ACL injury include:

      • A noisy “pop” or a “popping” feeling in the knee
      • Serious pain and incapability to continue activity
      • Abrupt swelling
      • Decrease in range of motion
      • A feeling of unsteadiness or “giving way” with weight bearing

Individuals who experience an ACL injury are at higher risk of developing osteoarthritis in the knee.

Correct training and exercise can help reduce the risk of an ACL injury

Meniscus – The meniscus is a piece of tough, rubbery cartilage that acts as a shock absorber and supplies a cushion between the shinbone and thighbone and is C-shaped. It can be torn if by a sudden twist of the knee while applying weight on it.

A torn meniscus causes pain, swelling and stiffness. An individual might also feel a block to knee motion and have difficulty extending the knee fully.

A torn meniscus can result from any activity that causes an individual to forcefully twist or rotate the knee, such as forceful pivoting or abrupt stops and turns. Even kneeling, deep squatting or lifting something heavy can on occasion lead to a torn meniscus.

In older, senior adults, degenerative changes of the knee can contribute to a torn meniscus with little or no trauma.

Obesity also increases the risk of a torn meniscus.

Treatment can be moderate which would include rest, ice and medication. This is sometimes enough to relieve the pain of a torn meniscus and give the injury time to heal on its own. However, in other cases, a torn meniscus requires surgical repair.

Symptoms include:

      • A popping sensation
      • Swelling and or stiffness
      • Pain, mostly when twisting or rotating the knee
      • Difficulty straightening the knee completely
      • A Feeling as though the knee is locked in place when attempting to move it
      • Feeling of the knee giving way

An individual might be more likely to develop osteoarthritis with this type of knee injury.

Bursitis – can be a painful condition that affects the tiny, fluid-filled sacs — Bursitiscalled bursae (bur-SEE) which cushion the bones, tendons and muscles near the joints. Bursitis occurs when bursae grow to be inflamed.

The most common locations for bursitis are within the shoulder, elbow and hip. But it can also occur in the knee, heel and the base of the big toe. More often than not, this injury is caused by repetitive movements.

The most familiar causes of bursitis are repetitive actions or postures that put pressure on the bursae around a joint. Examples include:

      • Pitching a baseball or hoisting something over your head repeatedly
      • Leaning on your elbows for long periods
      • Considerable kneeling for tasks such as laying carpet or scrubbing floors

Other causes can include injury or trauma to the affected area, inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and infection.

An injury can also cause irritation to the tissue inside the bursa and cause inflammation. Bursitis caused by an injury generally takes time to develop. The joints, tendons, or muscles that are near the bursa might have been overused.

Symptoms of the infected joint include:

      • Feeling achy or stiff
      • Hurt more when it is moved or pressed on
      • Appears swollen and red

Even though not all types of bursitis can be prevented, an individual can reduce the risk and the gravity of flare-ups by changing the way certain tasks are performed. Examples include:

      • Lifting properly. Bending the knees when lifting. Failing to do so puts extra stress on the bursae in the hips.
      • Wheeling heavy loads. Carrying heavy loads puts stress on the bursae in the shoulders. Use a dolly or a wheeled cart instead.
      • Using kneeling pads. Use some form of padding to lessen the pressure on the knees if the job or hobby requires a lot of kneeling.
      • Taking frequent breaks. Alternate repetitive tasks with rest or other activities.
      • Maintaining a healthy weight. Excessive weight places more stress on the joints.
      • Exercising. Strengthening the muscles can help protect the affected joint.
      • Warming up and stretching before strenuous activities to protect the joints from injury.

Tendinitis – Tendinitis is irritation or inflammation of a tendon (s). They are the thick fibrous cords that attach muscle to bone. This condition causesKnee Pain - Tendonitis pain and tenderness just outside of a joint.

While tendinitis can occur in any of the tendons, it’s most typical in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees and heels.

There are a few common names for various tendinitis problems which are:

      • Pitcher’s shoulder
      • Swimmer’s shoulder
      • Tennis elbow
      • Golfer’s elbow
      • Jumper’s knee

Even though tendinitis can be caused by a sudden injury, as with bursitis the condition is much more likely to stem from the repetition of a particular movement over time. The majority of individuals develop tendinitis because their occupations or hobbies involve repetitive motions that put stress on the tendons.

Using the proper technique is particularly important when engaging in repetitive sports movements or job-related activities. Improper technique can overwork the tendon — which it the case with tennis elbow — and lead to tendinitis.

Signs and symptoms of tendinitis tend to occur at the location where a tendon attaches to a bone. This typically includes:

      • Pain often depicted as a dull ache, especially when moving the affected limb or joint
      • Mild swelling
      • Tenderness
  • – Risk factors for developing tendinitis consist of age, working in particular occupations or participating in certain sports.
      •  Age – As individuals get older, their tendons become less flexible — which makes them easier to injure.
      •  Occupation – Tendinitis is more common in people whose jobs involve:
          •  Repetitive motions
          •  Awkward positions
          •  Frequent overhead reaching
          •  Vibration
          •  Forceful exertion
      •  Sports – One may be more likely to develop tendinitis if they participate in certain sports that entail repetitive motions, especially if their technique isn’t the best. This can occur with:
          •  Baseball
          •  Basketball
          •  Bowling
          •  Golf
          •  Running
          •  Swimming
          •  Tennis

Without suitable treatment, tendinitis can increase the risk of experiencing tendon rupture — a much more serious condition that may require surgery.

If tendon irritation persists for several weeks or months, a condition known as tendinosis may result. This condition involves changes that can weaken the tendon, along with abnormal new blood vessel growth.

Medical Conditions
Osteoarthritus
The Results of Osteoarthritis

In addition to injuries, there are other medical conditions that can cause knee pain. A major one is arthritis. There are more than one-hundred (100) different types of arthritis in existence. Examples of the ones that cause knee pain are:

    • Osteoarthritis – (AKA OA)—is a progressive condition that slowly wears away joint cartilage. It is the most common chronic joint condition. OA is most likely to occur after middle age although it can occur at any age. The most common symptoms are:
        • pain
        • tenderness (discomfort when pressing on the area with your fingers)
        • stiffness
        • inflammation
    • Rheumatoid arthritis – OA and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) share the same symptoms but are very different conditions. OA is a degenerative condition, which means that it increases in severity over time. RA, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disorder (basically when the immune system attacks the body). People with RA have immune systems that mistake the soft lining around joints to be a threat to the body, causing it to attack that area. This soft lining, which includes the synovial fluid, is called the synovium (connective tissue). As the immune system launches its assault, fluid buildup within the joint occurs, causing stiffness, pain, swelling, and inflammation.
    • Gout – is a painful form of inflammatory arthritis that usually affects the big toe, however, it can develop in any joint, including one or both of the knees. Gout forms when the body has high levels of uric acid. This substance forms sharp crystals that cause sudden bouts of pain, swelling, and tenderness. The main symptom of gout within the knee is pain and discomfort in the surrounding area.
    • Pseudogout – a type of arthritis that causes impulsive, painful swelling in the joints. It happens when crystals form in the synovial fluid, the fluid that lubricates the joints. This leads to inflammation and pain. This condition most often affects the knees, but it can affect other joints as well. It’s more frequent in adults over the age of 60.
Mechanical problems

Another class of problems that can cause knee pain is mechanical problems. These include:

      • Loose piece of cartilage or bone
      • Dislocated kneecap
      • Gait (how you walk) change because of hip or foot pain

Treatments

Not all knee pain is serious, but a range of injuries and conditions can lead to increased pain, joint damage and disability if left untreated. There are numerous ways to treat knee pain, depending on the severity of the pain and the damage to the knee. Examples of knee pain treatment include:

      • Medication
      • Physical therapy
      • Injections
      • Osteopathic manipulation
      • Surgery

There are additional ways that knee pain can be treated at home, such as over-the-counter pain medication, ice, rest, elevation and compression.

While it is not always possible to prevent knee pain, there are a few options that can help stave off knee problems in the future:

      • Maintain a healthy weight
      • Warm up and stretch before physical activity
      • Exercise appropriately for your body
      • Build up muscle
      • Wear proper shoes

There is one more thing that can help ward off knee and joint issues: take a Limbex (30 Day Supply) Glucosamine & Chondroitin with Tumeric for Joint Healthsupplement. We’ve come a long way since the singular multiple-vitamin.

There are supplements specifically for joint health and maintenance. Click here (Paid link) for more information.

Prevention is better than cure!

Please feel free to leave any comment, question, or concern below.

Good Health!

 

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