Testosterone levels can change throughout the course of a man’s life. Typically known as the male hormone, testosterone is responsible for putting hair on a man’s chest, building muscle, boosting the size of the penis and is responsible for sex drive.
Testosterone levels begin to take a dip around the age of 30, which can contribute to low libido. Complications related to low testosterone are injury to the testicles, hormonal disorders, chronic liver or kidney disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Boosting testosterone better than replacement therapy
Findings published in BJU International found that boosting testosterone is more effective than replacement therapy. The researchers found that replacement therapy tricks the body into believing it is producing too much testosterone, so it stops naturally producing it on its own. This decrease in testosterone can also have negative effects on sperm count and fertility.
The researchers suggest a viable, more effective method is to find ways to boost the body’s own ability to produce sperm. This can be done with medications similar to the ones that help boost women’s ovulation.
The researchers compared a drug to boost testosterone with replacement therapy in overweight men with low testosterone. Forty-four men started with 12.5 mg of the medication and progressed to 25 mg, 42 men received a topical testosterone replacement therapy, and 41 men received a placebo. Over the course of five months the participants had 10 clinic visits with one overnight stay.
Within 16 weeks the researchers found that the testosterone-boosting pills were more effective than the replacement therapy. Also, the replacement therapy reduced sperm concentration and the pills did not.
Lead researcher, Dr. Edward Kim, concluded, “One of the basic tenets in medicine is to do no harm. As this study has shown in a randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled manner, exogenous testosterone therapy with [replacement therapy] can clearly decrease sperm production and potentially impact fertility. This study confirmed that [testosterone-boosting drugs] can maintain spermatogenesis while restoring testosterone levels to normal.”
Warning signs of low testosterone
Aside from getting tested by a doctor, there are ways to spot the warning signs of low testosterone on your own. Here are the warning signs of low testosterone so you can begin taking action.
- Low sex drive
- Difficulty achieving an erection
- Low semen volume
- Hair loss
- Lack of energy and fatigue
- Loss of muscle mass
- Increase in body fat
- Decrease in bone mass
- Changes in mood
Tests to measure testosterone levels
Aside from spotting the signs associated with low testosterone levels, there are tests that a doctor can perform to accurately measure testosterone levels. The most effective way to measure testosterone levels is with a blood test.
For highest accuracy it’s best to perform a blood test for testosterone levels between the hours of seven and 10 a.m. If the test returns with low results, then a second test may be conducted to confirm the initial testing.
Natural ways to boost testosterone levels
As you age you will want to maintain normal testosterone levels, so it can help maintain muscle mass, boost libido, maintain body hair, protect bones, boost energy and manage insulin. Below are some ways you can naturally boost testosterone levels.
- Maintain a healthy weight and lose body fat – high amounts of body fat negatively impacts hormones, causing them to be out of whack.
- Get proper amount of sleep – proper sleep has been linked with healthy testosterone levels.
- Consume healthy fats – although you should drop excess fats, you should still consume healthy fats like omegas and monounsaturated fat. This can help boost good cholesterol, which can improve testosterone.
- Drink in moderation, but minimize intake of beer especially – alcohol has a negative impact on testosterone levels.
- Consume high protein/medium fat/low carbohydrates for breakfast – this can consist of eggs with vegetables and some nuts – this increases energy, keeps you satisfied for longer and maintains a healthy weight.
- Control your carbohydrate intake – this can contribute to low testosterone if too many carbohydrates are consumed.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise, but keep it under 45 minutes – intense exercise after 45 minutes will begin to decrease testosterone.
- Partake in strength training when exercising – squats, deadlifts, bench-presses.
- Manage your stress.
- Have sex – having sex boosts testosterone.
- Minimize sweets and processed foods or added sugar.
- Increase vitamin D.
- Consume more zinc.
If you follow these tips you can help your body naturally boost testosterone levels without the side effects of testosterone replacement therapy.
Testosterone levels were found to be normal after laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery in obese men. Dr. John Morton from Stanford University School of Medicine in California said, “This surgical solution to weight loss offers more than one benefit. If you are an obese man and you have low testosterone, before you think of testosterone replacement, you should consider surgery.” Continue reading…
When we say the word testosterone, most people will automatically think of men. Typically known as a male hormone, it’s quite rare for women to be concerned about their testosterone levels, but they should be. Continue reading…