With all the talk about women’s hormones, you’d think that men are immune to any hormonal problems. Not so! Balanced hormones are an important part of everyone’s health. One of the most important hormones for men is testosterone. Unfortunately, the effects of low testosterone are often overlooked.
Balanced and strong testosterone levels play an important role in a man’s life and in their identity. If you feel like you’ve lost your zest for life or your winning edge, then it’s possible that you suffer from low testosterone.
Read on to find out if Low T is keeping you down, and what you can do about it – naturally!
Even though men don’t usually start to experience obvious symptoms of testosterone deficiency until their 60s or 70s, testosterone levels naturally start to decline in your 30s! Some men may feel these changes more than others, and some may experience a faster decline. Up to 39% of men experience testosterone deficiency, and older age increases your risk.
Want to know if you could be one of these men? Then check out these common signs and symptoms of testosterone deficiency:
Signs and symptoms of testosterone deficiency
- Reduced Libido
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Fertility Problems
- Low Mood
- Mental Fogginess
- Loss of Enthusiasm
- Changing Body Composition and Declining Physical Fitness
- Poor Stamina
Testosterone deficiency is also associated with some more concerning health risks such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, prostate cancer and increased inflammation.
How do I know if my symptoms are due to low testosterone?
Though the symptoms listed above can be good indicators of a testosterone deficiency, there are many other factors that can also cause these symptoms. The best way to determine if your symptoms are caused by a testosterone deficiency is to discuss how you are feeling with your Naturopathic Doctor and to have some bloodwork done.
In addition to reviewing your symptoms, testing your total testosterone and bioavailable testosterone are usually enough to diagnose a testosterone deficiency. But there are other tests that can be useful too, such as sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which binds to the testosterone in your blood and can prevent it from performing its masculine ” duties. Your body can also convert testosterone to estrogen, and naturopathic doctors can test your estradiol or total estrogen to determine if your body is over converting.
How can I naturally boost my testosterone
Are you looking for that extra boost, but want to get it the right way? Here are four NATURAL ways to support healthy testosterone production.
Excess body fat is bad for your testosterone. Obese men are more likely to have low testosterone levels, possibly because more testosterone is converted to estrogen in fat cells. Maintaining a healthy weight by following a whole foods diet, staying well hydrated and getting regular exercise can help increase your testosterone levels.
But not just any exercise! The best form of exercise to boost your testosterone levels is HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training. This involves repetitions of high intensity exercise alternating with short recovery segments and is usually done in under 30 minutes! Aerobics or prolonged moderate exercise are either ineffective at boosting testosterone or can actually lower your testosterone.
Reduce Your Stress
Stress stimulates the release of cortisol, and high cortisol levels block the production and effects of testosterone. High cortisol can also make you gain weight around your middle, and you already know that excess fat is bad for testosterone levels. Exercise is a great stress buster and helps increase your testosterone in more ways than one! Meditation, acupuncture and spending time in nature are also great ways to reduce stress.
Zinc helps to reduce the amount of testosterone that is converted to estrogen, improves sperm count and morphology and supports testosterone levels. Good food sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chicken, oysters and shrimp. Ask your Naturopathic Doctor about zinc supplements, as they can be a great addition to your treatment plan, but long term use can deplete your body’s copper stores.
What about the testosterone boosting powders and supplements I see at bodybuilding stores?
The simple answer is to avoid these supplements. They tend to contain poor quality ingredients, use herbs and vitamins in doses that are likely ineffective, contain ingredients that haven’t been shown to be useful for improving testosterone levels and they typically have a long list of non-medicinal ingredients like fillers, dyes, sugars or sweeteners. .Many even contain proprietary blends and won’t even tell you what is in the supplement!
If you have questions, NDs have answers
If you feel like you’ve lost the pep in your step or you aren’t interested in things that used to get your motor running, then you may have a testosterone deficiency. Make sure you see a medical professional like an MD or an ND for testing & diagnosis before starting any kind of treatment plan. Come in for an appointment or a free consultation so we can identify the cause of your low T and get you back to normal.