Whenever we talk about testosterone, we either think about adults wanting to gain big muscles or we think about mid-age people wanting to live a healthy life but we never think about testosterone in context with children.
If you think about it, testosterone level in children should be a primary concern for their parents, the reason being, the changes implemented by the T at a young age can’t be replicated by the same level of testosterone at later stage.
What I mean by that is, that there are few benefits of testosterone that you will get only when you are at a young age, and once you cross that age then no matter how much testosterone you have it won’t be the same. As you read down the article you’ll know what I mean.
Cycling increased my height!
You might have heard about people who claim that after cycling their height suddenly increased. Or I started playing basketball and I became 4 inches taller. Is there some basis to these claims? Yes, I think there is. Testosterone as we all know, is a growth hormone and its deficiency prevent children from growing(physically) up to their real potential.
And, as we all know the leg has our biggest muscles and when we work our legs out, a great level of testosterone is released by our body. So, when we cycle or play basketball, we subject our leg muscles to great tension. Hence, more testosterone secretion and thereby increase in height.
So, for our children to have proper growth over the time, they need to have a good level of testosterone flowing through their body. As they are young, it is our job to see to it. And, testosterone is not only about height, it also determines many masculine features, like good jawline, deep voice, great physique. You obviously want your child to look good. For that he needs testosterone!
How would I know if my kid have testosterone deficiency?
First of all, there are many signs that people with low testosterone show, like less beard, thin voice etc. When your kid hit the puberty his body should start showing masculine features, if it doesn’t, like he/she is not getting tall or growing beard or he is fat, then it can be a sign of low testosterone.
But, this is not enough, the next step is taking him to the doctor. He’ll do blood or saliva test in order to determine the testosterone level. It will give you a good idea of how to go about it. But, you have to keep in mind, how doctors think. For example, if the ideal testosterone range of a 13 old boy is 150 ng/dl – 800 ng/dl, then if your blood test shows your testosterone level to be 155 ng/dl, he/she will consider it under a normal range. Although, it would be under normal range, it won’t be good enough.
My kid is testosterone deficient, what to do now?
The first step towards solving a problem, is finding out, what is causing it. You can start with checking for deficiency of any of the “building blocks” of testosterone, in your child. Like, cholesterol is converted into testosterone and if there is low cholesterol in your kid, then it will lead to testosterone deficiency. Apart from cholesterol, Zinc is also very important mineral for T production.
There can be other causes that can lead to low T level, like alcohol abuse and excessive masturbation. There is a chance your kid might not talk about it with you. So, a doctor can be a good intermediary.
2nd step-Increasing the testosterone
After cutting all the reasons for low T, you should see a tremendous change. And, if there are changes, but not satisfactory, then your kid needs to increase the T level. There are two ways to do that 1) Naturally 2) Testosterone replacement therapy . Many doctors treat their patients with Zinc supplement also.
TRT is usually not advised for people so young, unless there is a medical condition that is prohibiting the production of testosterone. At young age body is fully capable of producing large amounts of testosterone on its own. A little workout can be of great help. Here is an article in which I have discussed few exercises to increase testosterone. Apart from this, a proper diet is also necessary, you must include, meat, eggs, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds in your diet.
Will heavy lifting for testosterone stunt the height?
Many people claim that after lifting weights their height stopped increasing. But, on the other hand, there are also a lot of people who say otherwise. Although, there is no study which proves anything. Personally, I feel people on both sides are correct.
Genetics plays a very important role in this. If genetically a person is programmed to be taller, then it is very difficult for him to remain short, no matter what he does. But, still there are other factors, like diet, which also have some say in this matter.
It is believed that heavy lifting stunt height, because the testosterone that must be used for height, is used for building muscles. But, when your body is building more muscles, it automatically increases the production of testosterone. The way around it is that, your child can focus on exercises that do not require weights, like squats, pull ups, cycling, swimming. And, diet should also be maintained accordingly.
Whatever your child does, tell him to keep it short and intense. Long training often, decrease testosterone instead of increasing it.
Mental benefits of testosterone
Now days, kids have a lot of things to study, they need to have good concentration. You know where I am going. Testosterone is known to increase concentration and memory, studies have confirmed it. Apart from that, the great “T” also helps in managing the stress level. People with high testosterone are usually in good mood. So, if you child is in a bad mood all the time, instead it being a baggage of teenage, it can be a sign of low t. Read here about many other benefits of testosterone.