Testosterone is the male hormone produced in the testicles and adrenal glands. It is responsible for a man’s sex drive. Low testosterone levels not only affect our sex drive and ability to get erections, but is also associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, and prostate cancer.
How do you know if you have Low T? A “yes” to questions one or seven, or to three of the ten questions is concerning and would prompt an evaluation.
1. Do you have a decrease in libido (sex drive)?
2. Do you have a lack of energy?
3. Do you have a decrease in strength and/or endurance?
4. Have you lost height?
5. Have you noticed a decreased “enjoyment of life”?
6. Are you sad and/or grumpy?
7. Are your erections less strong?
8. Have you noticed a recent deterioration in your ability to play sports or recovery from activity?
9. Are you falling asleep after dinner?
10. Has there been a recent deterioration in your work performance?
When I recommend supplementation, it is simply to normalize the testosterone level, not to create the next home run king. And when I recommend supplementation, it is not to create an annuity where you will come to me for weekly injections for the rest of your life. My goal is to help bridge the transition to a whole new health program. I want you to start producing testosterone normally and to reverse all of the conditions ganging up on your testicles that put you at risk for all of the so-called Western diseases. Which means that when I write a prescription, we also have a long talk about how you can help jump start the old testosterone machine yourself. Here are some of the things you can do to naturally increase your testosterone levels:
1. Get Rid Of Excess Fat
Fifty percent of obese men have Low T. This is a catch-22: the extra fat can turn your natural testosterone into estrogen, which then turns off the testosterone machine. This causes more fat storage, and lower T. Supplementation with or without estrogen blockade will help, but is not a long-term solution. You must re-evaluate your eating habits and how you exercise.
2. Get Rid of Stress
When we are under stress, either acutely or chronically, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol suppresses testosterone production. You can take testosterone until the cows come home, but you must look at your levels of stress and figure out how to reduce or eliminate it altogether.
Exercise helps reduce stress levels as well as helps you to lose fat, so this is a no-brainer. Yoga is a great stress reliever and one of the hardest workouts around for strength, balance, and flexibility. Scientific publications support the claim that Yoga increases testosterone.
The proper kind of exercise is essential. Do you like Spin classes and getting your heart rate into that “orange zone”? You may be doing more harm than good. Studies support a low heart rate. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to maintain a normal conversation without being out of breath. Occasional sprint training is a great way to boost Human Growth Hormone (HGH) levels and testosterone and to burn fat (thus decreasing the ability of fat to convert testosterone to estrogen, etc.)
Shoot for eight hours of sleep. Do you watch TV, check emails, or play computer games before bed? The digital stimulation may be preventing your brain from settling into sleep mode. Ideally, you would go to bed when the sun sets and awaken with the sun rise (our bodies were designed for this). Easier said than done, but when I am able to do that, I am so full of energy, I almost don’t need coffee. A recent study showed that men who slept less than eight hours had testosterone levels 15% lower than men who slept more than eight hours.
5. Give Your Pancreas A Vacation
Sugar causes your pancreas to produce insulin. Insulin decreases testosterone. It’s as simple as that. And I don’t mean the obvious sources of sugar, like cookies and ice cream. As smart as our bodies are, they can’t tell the difference between a Snickers bar and a slice of bread or pasta. Whatever the source of the carbohydrate, your pancreas will pump out insulin to digest it. Too much carbohydrate equals too much insulin equals low testosterone. The average American diet consists of 600 grams of carbohydrates a day. There is compelling evidence that suggests the human body was not meant to take in more than 150 grams a day. Do a personal experiment and chart your food intake over a few days; there are a ton of simple APPs for your smart phone to make it easy to do. Are you over 150 grams? Do you feel like crap?
If any of this resonated with you and you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. This is my passion and I love helping men to feel better about themselves. Get in touch with me at http://www.ed-specialists.com.