Low Testosterone

Men need testosterone for development of muscle tissue, bones, and many other processes in the body. It tells the body where to store fat cells and keeps up sperm production. When males suffer from low testosterone, there can be many effects on the body.

The production of testosterone peaks in late puberty and begins to decline around the age of 30. It will steadily decline at about 1% each year during the normal aging process. When testosterone drops to low early in life, it is known as hypogonadism and is considered a medical condition that may require treatment.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Low Testosterone?

Men who suffer from low testosterone may not feel any symptoms for a long time after levels begin to drop, as it usually happens gradually. Men often think it is something else like stress or over-work. Symptoms include:

  • Decreasing sex drive
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Depressed moods
  • Trouble with erections
  • Weakness
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Increase in body fat stores
  • Lower muscle mass

If you have any of these symptoms, it is time to check in with your doctor. This is especially true if you have never experienced any of them before or they are not relieved by changes in lifestyle. You can always try changing your diet, getting more rest and adding exercise. If those things don’t help, you may be suffering from low testosterone.

How Will I Know If I Have Low Testosterone?

When you see your doctor, he or she will take a list of symptoms and your medical history. They can do a physical exam to check for signs of low testosterone and confirm your levels with a blood test. Testosterone levels change over the course of a day, so you may need to have one done in the morning hours and another at a different time during the day to compare.

What Are the Causes of Low Testosterone?

There are three types of causes for low testosterone and they are known as primary, secondary and tertiary:

Primary – Primary hypogonadism is caused by the actual failure of the testicles. It can also be caused by an injury to the organs, testicles that haven’t descended all the way down, mumps infection, chemotherapy and radiation. Other causes include problems with chromosomes, and an infection known as orchitis.

Secondary and Tertiary – This refers to hypogonadism where the direct cause is the pituitary gland or hypothalamus in the brain that regulate the hormone. The causes of these types of low testosterone are usually because of the following:

  • Anabolic steroid use by body builders and athletes
  • Pituitary or hypothalamus tumors
  • Inflammation of the pituitary gland (Infection or disease)
  • Chemotherapy on tumors in the brain
  • Reduced blood flow to the brain or glands (pituitary, hypothalamus)
  • Congenital malformed glands (pituitary, hypothalamus)

Other tertiary causes include being overweight (excess fat turns testosterone into estrogen), kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, COPD, drug abuse, and smoking.

What Are the Treatments for Low Testosterone?

The effects of low testosterone can be minimized with proper treatment. Doctors usually don’t treat older men unless absolutely necessary, but younger men may benefit from hormone replacement. This is usually done with the following methods:

  • Injections – Injections of testosterone can be given into a muscle.
  • Skin patches (Transdermal) – Patches that contain testosterone can be place on the skin once daily. There is also a patch that can be placed on the gums two times a day.
  • Pellets – Tiny pellets of testosterone are placed into the soft tissue and slowly release testosterone over time.
  • Gel – These allow you to dab a small amount of testosterone right onto your skin. Sometimes it is hard to get the dose just right, but can easily be done with premeasured doses.

Currently there is no hormone replacement pills for testosterone. Studies show that taking this hormone orally can cause liver issues.

7 Effective Natural Methods to Enhance Testosterone Level

  • Lose excess weight. Losing extra pounds can help raise testosterone levels. Excess body fat can convert testosterone to estrogen. Studies show that getting rid of extra fat stores lower estrogen and raise testosterone levels.
  • Take proper exercise. Doing short bursts of high intensity interval exercise has been shown to help raise testosterone and keep it from going too low. Too much cardio like aerobics may even lower testosterone or not raise them at all.
  • Increase dietary zinc. Zinc is an important mineral to help boost testosterone levels. Not getting enough zinc in the diet can lower testosterone levels, while getting enough through supplementation can prevent testosterone loss from exercise.The recommended daily allowance for men is around 11 mg daily. You can get this from dietary sources including red meat, oysters, yogurt, legumes, pumpkin seeds, and whole grains.
  • Get enough vitamin D. Vitamin Dis a steroid hormone used by the body to help develop sperm cells, boost sex drive, and increase testosterone. Recommended daily allowance for men is 600 IU to 1,000 IU daily. Try to get plenty of sunlight, fortified dairy, mushrooms, and fortified orange juice every day.
  • Lower stress levels. Stress raises the cortisol levels that can block testosterone in the body. Cortisol blocks the natural hormones so you don’t reproduce during bad times in your life. Try meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises.
  • Give up sugar. Sugar pushes down testosterone levels due to higher levels of insulin. Insulin blocks testosterone in the body. Less sugar → less insulin → higher testosterone.
  • Increase healthy fat intake. Healthy fats from vegetarian sources help raise testosterone levels. Too much fat from animal sources can lower testosterone. Try to get 35 to 40% of your daily fat intake from saturated fats and monounsaturated fats. Get these healthy fats from avocados, dairy products, nuts, egg yolks and flax seeds.

Watch this video to find out more foods that increase testosterone levels:

 

 
 
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