Testosterone is a key player in male sexual health, and also contributes to additional functions, such as maintaining a healthy level of bone density and regulating the body’s ability to build lean muscle mass. While testosterone levels peak between the age of 20 and 25 in the male body, the production of this hormone tends to naturally slow down once a man turns 30. As a man ages, testosterone production gradually becomes slower. While the natural reduction in testosterone is usually not something that men should be concerned about, as healthy levels are still maintained even though production has slowed down, some men may experience a more significant impact on their testosterone production as they age. This can lead to a low level of circulating testosterone; a condition often referred to as andropause. Andropause, in turn, leads to the development of several unpleasant symptoms that may adversely impact a man’s quality-of-life.
Low Testosterone Symptoms
Approximately 9.5% of men may be suffering from a low testosterone level, with the most common contributing factors including obesity, diabetes and, of course, age. Education about low testosterone symptoms should be essential for the aging man, as identifying the presence of such symptoms early on can assist with a better approach to treatment and avoiding a further reduction in testosterone levels. One of the first symptoms that men often experience when testosterone deficiency becomes present is problems with their sexual function. A reduced libido makes the man less interested in having sex. Fertility might also be adversely affecting, making it difficult for the man to reproduce. In some man, erectile problems may also develop, and spontaneous erections while sleeping will also become less frequent.
Apart from sexual dysfunctions developing due to low testosterone, men may also experience a number of physical changes, as well as mental health problems. Physical changes usually include an increase in body fat, while muscle strength and mass become impaired. Bones may become fragile, which may lead to a higher chance of suffering from bone fractures and joint pain. Body hair may decrease, and breast tissue may become swollen and tender. Some men also experience fatigue, hot flashes and high cholesterol levels.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
After being diagnosed with low testosterone, a man might be offered an option to undergo testosterone replacement therapy. This type of treatment option places synthetic testosterone into the man’s body in order to increase levels of free circulating testosterone; thus providing the hormones required by numerous functions and tissues in the man’s body. While there are numerous benefits associated with using testosterone replacement therapy to treat a low testosterone level in men, there are some risks that also need to be considered as these can have an effect on the man’s well-being and daily function.
While not all men who undergo testosterone replacement therapy will experience side-effects, it is still important to know about the potential risks associated with the use of this treatment option. One of the most important risk factors associated with testosterone replacement therapy is an increase in red cell production, which can lead to the thickening of blood. In turn, this places a man at a higher risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Individuals with a red blood cell condition or obstructive pulmonary disease are at an especially high risk when undergoing testosterone replacement therapy.
In addition to these particular risk factors, it is also important to note that fluid retention might occur when a man suffers from impaired liver or kidney function, as well as when congestive heart failure has been diagnosed. The skin may also become oily and lead to acne breakouts. Other possible side-effects include sleep apnea, as well as gynecomastia, a condition where male breast tissue becomes enlarged. Some men do tend to opt for alternatives, often in the form of natural supplements that have been designed specifically for the purpose of possibly increasing testosterone – look at Testogen reviews for an example of such a supplement.
Natural Strategies For Increasing Testosterone
The risk factors that have been associated with testosterone replacement therapy causes a lot of men to be worried. Fortunately, there are some alternative options that men can opt for when it comes to increasing testosterone. Here, we are going to share some of the most effective natural strategies that can assist with providing a boost in testosterone without having to become exposed to the possible risks that are linked to the use of synthetic testosterone replacement options.
1. Maintain A Healthy Body Weight
A study presented in the Asian Journal of Andrology explains that obesity causes an impairment with the binding globulin of sex hormones, brought on by insulin resistance. Severe obesity leads to additional complications, most due to the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis being suppressed by the excess weight. Low testosterone levels can then contribute to further weight gain. Implementing strategies in your life to reduce weight, primarily by following a caloric-deficit diet and participating in regular physical exercise, can help to produce improvements in testosterone production.
2. Avoid Eating Too Much Sugar
Sugar is linked to a number of potential health risks, with the most common being the development of type 2 diabetes. One study by the Massachusetts General Hospital provided evidence that the consumption of glucose causes a disruption in testosterone production amongst a group that consisted of 74 men, aged between 19 and 74. The study showed that testosterone levels decline by an average of 25% amongst all men – regardless of BMI and overall health status – for at time period of 120 minutes following the intake of glucose. Try to limit the amount of sugar you consume, and consider switching to a healthier alternative, such as organic maple syrup or stevia.
3. Eat More Foods High In BCAAs
Branched-chain amino acids are a collective group of amino acids, consisting of valine, isoleucine and leucine, that is incredibly important for muscle growth and additional functions in the human body. When participating in the right types of training programs, the utilization of branched-chain amino acids as a pre and post workout supplement can assist with providing a significant boost in testosterone production. Whey protein powder is one of the top sources for increasing your intake of branched-chain amino acids. Some of the best testosterone boosters also provide a dosage of branched-chain amino acids.
4. Eat More Foods High In Healthy Fats
While some types of fat are considered unhealthy and associated with an increase in cholesterol, as well as a higher risk of suffering a stroke and heart attack, some fats can provide your body with numerous benefits. To best benefit from fats, you should increase your intake of both saturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids, while reducing your intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Thus, increase your intake of olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, while reducing your take of cottonseed oil, canola oil, soybean oil and margarine.
5. Avoid Or Reduce Stressors In Your Life
Stress is something that we cannot avoid in the modern world, but managing your stress levels can be helpful in providing a boost in testosterone. One study explains that the release of prolactin and cortisol, both hormones that are released in the body in response to stressors, causes circulating testosterone levels to reduce. Thus, by limiting your exposure to stressors, and practicing better stress management techniques, testosterone reductions brought on by cortisol and other stress hormones, can be avoided.
6. Participate In High-Intensity Interval Training Exercises
Physical exercise is vital for maintaining healthy muscle mass, promoting healthy bones, supporting heart function and keeping the brain healthy. Exercise also helps to reduce body fat. Ultimately, the positive impact that exercise has on the human body can greatly contribute to improvements in overall circulating testosterone levels. High-intensity interval training can help to boost both human-growth hormone and testosterone, as well as provide improvements in nitric oxide levels.
7. Take Vitamin D Supplements
While vitamin D is known to synthesize naturally in the body when exposed to the sun, sun exposure can be harmful and most people do not get in the sun enough for optimal vitamin D synthesis. Taking vitamin D supplements can help you truly benefit from this prohormone. A study by the Medical University of Graz in Austria provided evidence that daily supplementation of vitamin D can provide an impressive increase in total testosterone levels, bioavailable testosterone levels and free testosterone levels.
8. Take Zinc Supplements
Zinc is a mineral supplement that helps to regulate a healthy immune system, and is also known to contribute to optimal sperm production and motility. A link has also been made between zinc and testosterone levels. Individuals with a low zinc count in their blood circulatory system may also suffer from a low serum testosterone count; thus by increasing the daily zinc intake of a man suffering from low testosterone, the production of testosterone may, in some cases, become elevated.
9. Take DHEA Supplements
Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, is another supplement that may be of assistance amongst men with low testosterone levels. This is a hormone that is already naturally produced in the adrenal gland of the body, and is known as a precursor to testosterone in men. One study found that a daily supplementation of DHEA provides a relatively quick-acting positive effect on testosterone. While total testosterone was not improved amongst participants, there was a considerable increase in free and circulating testosterone levels.
Low levels of testosterone can be hazardous to a man’s life, causing him to feel weak, experience reductions in his muscle mass and lead to an increase in body fat. Sexual dysfunction can also be a complication of low testosterone, such as a low libido and possibly erectile dysfunction. Overcoming these problems can be achieved through numerous options, with testosterone replacement therapy being a particularly popular pharmaceutical approach. The side-effects, however, can be unpleasant and cause further disruptions in a man’s health. Opting for natural methods to increase testosterone reduces the risk of experiencing side-effects, while providing men improvements in both physical and mental wellbeing.