Millions of men use testosterone therapy to restore low levels and feel more alert, energetic, mentally sharp, and sexually functional. But it's not that simple. A man's general health also affects his testosterone levels. For instance, being overweight, having diabetes or thyroid problems, and taking certain medications, such as glucocorticoids and other steroids, can affect levels. Therefore, simply having low levels does not always call for taking extra testosterone.
A previous meta-analysis has confirmed that treatment of hypogonadal patients with testosterone improves erections compared to placebo (Jain et al 2000). A number of studies have investigated the effect of testosterone levels on erectile dysfunction in normal young men by inducing a hypogonadal state, for example by using a GnRH analogue, and then replacing testosterone at varying doses to produce levels ranging from low-normal to high (Buena et al 1993; Hirshkowitz et al 1997). These studies have shown no significant effects of testosterone on erectile function. These findings contrast with a similar study conducted in healthy men aged 60–75, showing that free testosterone levels achieved with treatment during the study correlate with overall sexual function, including morning erections, spontaneous erections and libido (Gray et al 2005). This suggests that the men in this older age group are particularly likely to suffer sexual symptoms if their testosterone is low. Furthermore, the severity of erectile dysfunction positively correlates with lower testosterone levels in men with type 2 diabetes (Kapoor, Clarke et al 2007).
The hormone also plays a role in sex drive, sperm production, fat distribution, red cell production, and maintenance of muscle strength and mass, according to the Mayo Clinic. For these reasons, testosterone is associated with overall health and well-being in men. One 2008 study published in the journal Frontiers of Hormone Research even linked testosterone to the prevention of osteoporosis in men.
Testosterone may increase competitiveness. Men are known to be a competitive bunch and testosterone is likely responsible for our drive to win. Testosterone is linked with a man’s desire for power and status (Dabbs & Dabbs 2000). Testosterone ramps up before a fight or competition – producing effects on muscle mass and hemoglobin, quickening reactions, improving visual acuity, and increasing your feelings of endurance and indomitability. It also increases your “gameness:” One study showed that a man’s testosterone level after losing a game predicted whether or not he got back in for another round. Men who experienced a severe drop were less likely to play again, while men who experienced little or no drop in T levels got back into the game. Researchers concluded from this observation that T is one of the factors driving competitiveness in men.
Testosterone does a lot more than you’d think, whether we’re talking about male or female biology. It’s the hormone that helps you burn fat, build muscle , and increase your sex drive , and its power doesn’t stop there. Keeping your testosterone levels in a normal range can make you happier, too , and testosterone can even improve your cardiovascular health and decrease your risk of mortality (from all causes!), according to a study of 83,000 older men who underwent testosterone replacement therapy .
Testosterone makes you angry. This is probably the most common myth about T. The reality is that there’s no concrete evidence that high testosterone levels cause anger and violent outbursts. In fact, the opposite might be true; low testosterone, not high T, is what causes anger and irritability in men. As discussed above, having low T levels has been linked to depression in men and it just so happens that two of the primary symptoms of depression in men are increased angry outbursts and irritability. So if you’re chronically angry, you might be depressed, and you might be depressed because you have low T. As I mentioned above, I became less moody and irritable during my experiment, which I attribute to the boost in my testosterone levels.
Looking purely at the biochemical numbers, The Endocrine Society* considers low testosterone to be a total testosterone level of less than 300 ng/dl, and I think that’s a reasonable guide. But no one quite agrees on a number. It’s not like diabetes, where if your fasting glucose is above a certain level, they’ll say, “Okay, you’ve got it.” With testosterone, that break point is not quite as clear.
The International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance recently studied tennis players, rugby teams, and wrestlers to find a link between testosterone and competitive outcome. They found that the difference between winning and losing was reflected in testosterone levels! The athletes' own natural testosterone prior to the game was directly related to the outcome after the game -- the higher the testosterone, the more frequently the athlete won.6
Recently my testosterone level came back at 380. and I am on max dose of 1% 8 pumps per day. The Dr. put me on 1.62% 8 pumps once a day and I will test in a few weeks to see how my level has changed. The issue is I am afraid of is putting 4 pumps a day in each shoulder and upper arm. Has anyone used this much to get there levels up? I am very fit and workout 4 times a week . The other issue is cost because 1.62% is not available 1n generic and cost has skyrocketed.
Sharma, R., Oni, O. A., Gupta, K., Chen, G., Sharma, M., Dawn, B., … & Barua, R. S. (2015, August 6). Normalization of testosterone level is associated with reduced incidence of myocardial infarction. European Heart Journal, 36(40), 2706-2715. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article/36/40/2706/2293361/Normalization-of-testosterone-level-is-associated