Testosterone is a male play hormone that is important for sensual and reproductive development. It is produced by the testes, starting in the eighth week of a fetus’ life and continuing throughout a man’s life.
Hormone levels vary with age, peaking in early adulthood, then decreasing slightly as a man ages. But as some men age, they can experience a dramatic drop in testosterone, which can present health risks. Let us look at some of the signs of low testosterone.
Nose-diving play drive
Testosterone is the primary male sensual hormone and it helps to build muscle and bones during pubescent development. When the level of testosterone in the body is low, a man may experience reduced play drive. As men age, it is normal to have less interest in play; however, it is abnormal to have no interest in the act.
Hardness dysfunction is not always caused by low testosterone, as it can also be caused by heart disease, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, enlarged prostate or a variety of other conditions. The condition is characterized by the inability to get or maintain the hardness. For younger men, in particular, it may be a sign of low testosterone. Consult a doctor to discuss possibilities.
Consistent fatigue or lethargy can be linked to hypogonadism, which causes low testosterone levels. Fatigue can also be associated with depression, another symptom of low testosterone.
Inability to concentrate
Low testosterone levels in men have been associated with mood problems and difficulty concentrating. When the body’s natural chemicals become imbalanced, changes, including those that may not be obvious, may occur. According to studies, increasing testosterone is an effective means of treating mood disorders, including depression.
In addition to depression and fatigue, men with low testosterone may experience mood swings, including irritability and aggressive behavior. A New York Times piece debunks the myth of testosterone as the hormone of aggressive behavior, instead testosterone levels help maintain a balance within a man’s body. Without the appropriate amount of testosterone, men can suffer from mood swings, including edginess and irritability.
Shrinking of the testicles
With decreased output of testosterone, the testes may begin to shrink and become soft. Natural means can be used to boost testosterone production or men can undergo hormone replacement therapy. Continued decrease in testosterone can do irreversible harm to the sensual organs, so symptoms should not be ignored.
As testosterone is a key element in building bones, low levels of testosterone can lead to decreased bone density, making a man more prone to fractures. This symptom is more common in extreme cases of low testosterone, and if a man experiences frequent bone breaks, he should consult a doctor.
How to Drive Up Testosterone
Metabolism, muscle growth, mood regulation and cognitive function are all controlled by testosterone. Unfortunately, most men lose about 1.5 percent of their testosterone per year after the age of 30. Here are some natural ways to reverse a reduction in testosterone.
Work out – Exercise can be beneficial to men with a variety of conditions, including low testosterone. A 1993 study found that both moderate weightlifting and light weightlifting significantly increased the level of testosterone in the blood for a period of time immediately following the exercise.
Vitamin D – Study results have suggested that vitamin D could play a role in increasing testosterone levels. Vitamin D can be consumed through supplementation or through exposure to the sun.
Zinc – Zinc deficiency is linked to hypogonadism in men, a condition where the hot glands produce little or no hormones. In fact, zinc supplementation was linked to dramatic increases in testosterone in zinc-deficient young men and “significant” increases in elderly men with moderate zinc deficiency.
Caffeine – In a study published in the International Journal of Sport, Nutrition, and Exercise Metabolism, researchers found that, in addition to a boost in testosterone from exercise, those who took caffeine before a workout saw an additional 21 percent jump in testosterone.
Alcohol – Interestingly it is found that “heavy acute alcohol drinking” decreases blood testosterone in men. So be careful: don’t overdo it.
Stress – This one may be a bit concerning: a study from the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that testosterone “significantly” increased with stress. However, that jump in testosterone was directly correlated to hostility in men. Apparently stress combined with alcohol leads to bar fights.
Diet – Nuts, oysters, oatmeal, and organic foods have all been identified as being associated with increased testosterone levels. Oysters are high in zinc; nuts and oatmeal have the amino acid arginine, which helps reduce stiffness in the blood vessels.
Get lean and stay lean, because the more body fat that you have, the more likely that your hormones are going to be out of whack. In fact, there has actually been a lot of research done in this area, with many studies showing that the more fat you carry, the lower your testosterone levels will be.
Get 7-8 hours of sleep each and every night, and try to nap during the day if you can. Getting adequate sleep has a strong correlation to optimal testosterone levels.
Ensure that you’re getting an adequate intake of healthy fats such as fats from coconut oil, raw olive oil, nuts, avocado, fish oil and lean animal meats. This will ensure that there are high enough levels of cholesterol to support proper testosterone production functioning.
Limit your intake of alcohol (especially beer) as alcohol consumption definitely has a negative impact on testosterone levels, not to mention your waistline.
Reduce your exposure to environmental estrogens. Xenoestrogen is a chemical that imitates estrogen in the body. When we are exposed to too much of this estrogen-imitating chemical, our testosterone levels can drop significantly.
The scary part of this is that Xenoestrogens are everywhere – in our plastic, toothpaste, on our foods (that’s why it’s important to eat organic wherever possible), shopping bags, cleaning products, and even in our water.
Eat lots of vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Cruciferous vegetables contain indoles, which have been shown to remove the bad estrogens from our body.
Have the play more often, preferably with a partner. More play = more testosterone. Beyond that, having play more often will lead to an increase in confidence, as well as a decrease in stress. The combination of these factors can mean that having more play becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy in that the more play you have, the more play that you want to have.