As we age and go through life, our hormones change. Testosterone levels, which may have been normal at the age 20 years old is not the same as we approach our 40s, 50s and 60s. Men tend to lose between one and 2% of their overall serum testosterone levels each year on average. A testosterone level that’s on the lower end may be due to several factors. This is one of the reasons why during your initial consultation with Dr. Mackey at NovaGenix, we review your past medical history, family history, and blood work to try and determine what may be the causes of your symptoms. Before starting testosterone replacement therapy, patients may want to try to increase their testosterone levels naturally before trying TRT.
Simply put this is one of the most important and effective ways of maintaining optimize, the hormone production for men and women. In regards to testosterone production, as belly fat increases there’s an increase in aromatization, which is when a specific enzyme turns testosterone in fat cells into estrogen. The more fat, a man has, the more estrogen he produces in the more his natural testosterone production is suppressed. It’s a vicious cycle that can be difficult to overcome without discipline, diet and exercise. Fat deposits, tend to accumulate in the chest, hips and thighs, as well as increases the risk of prostate enlargement, and potentially even prostate cancer. With every single point decrease in BMI, testosterone levels can increase by approximately one point. Management of obesity may not only prevent decreased total testosterone levels in an aging mail, but may also increase life expectancy in quality of life.
Diabetes can increase the risk of having lower total testosterone levels. Then what’s considered normal ranges. In a ten-year period, the risk of developing low T levels can double in diabetic men. Through diet and exercise, not only will you maintain a more ideal body weight, but you may also prevent the development of diabetes later in life, which can help to maintain optimal hormone levels.
As it turns out, exercise will help to boost your tea levels naturally. Both aerobic and resistance training have been shown to increase testosterone production in men. This is also important for preventing some of the more common diseases that men typically suffer from later in life, such as heart disease and cancer. Strength training improves not just physical characteristics such as lean muscle, mass development, weight management, and improvement in bone density, but will also have mental and psychological benefits as well. Staying physically active as we get older is extremely important for patients, wishing to maintain their quality of life. It goes without saying, proper guidance from an experienced trainer and clearance from your physician needs to be taken into consideration before embarking on any exercise regimen.
Both alcohol and tobacco will reduce testosterone levels. Studies have shown that more than two alcoholic beverages a day can increase the conversion of testosterone into estrogen, starting a dangerous cycle which will cause a hormonal imbalance in men.
Pain medication’s whether they are prescribed by a physician or not have been shown to have detrimental effect on testosterone production. Levels may drop as soon as just a couple of hours after taking any opioids. The higher the dose of pain medication, the higher the risk of having low T. The side effects are typically reversible after stopping taking the pain medication. For those patients who have been prescribed a pain medication, follow your physicians advice, but be aware that there are many side effects associated with taking them such as lowering your testosterone.
When we sleep, we enter a phase, known as REM, which is short for rapid eye-movement. This is when the majority of our testosterone is produced. A sleep cycle that’s less than optimal, or when someone is waking up throughout the night may result in interruption of testosterone production, and may ultimately lower a males hormone levels.
There are lots of chemicals in the environment that can mimic hormones. Average testosterone levels in men have declined over the past several decades, and many researchers believe this is due to environmental toxins that have accumulated. Some of the chemicals that we know about which can lower hormone levels include the following.
Bisphenol A (BPA). This is a chemical found in plastics. Microwaving food and plastic containers may increase absorption. Also, try to avoid any containers that have the numbers three, six or seven engraved in the triangle imprinted on the product. If you can buy BPA free water bottles, and drink water out of containers that have the numbers 245 or seven is recommended. Drinking out of Styrofoam containers will only increase the likelihood of BPA consumption.
Phthalates. These are chemicals which are often used in plastics, lubricants, binders, and coatings. Often they can be found in hygiene products like shampoo or cologne. There are websites which may help one find safe alternatives to some of the products they may be using, which contain these chemicals.
Organophosphates. These are chemicals which are used in both pesticides and herbicides, to avoid exposure, handle these chemicals, carefully, wash your fruit and vegetables, thoroughly before consumption, or eat organically when possible.
Clearly, this is easier said than done, however, research has shown that increased cortisol levels in the blood can increase fat deposits, and ultimately result in more testosterone being converted directly into estrogen. Stress also will interfere with sleep patterns, well-being, and motivation, causing a cycle which may drastically interfere with two levels. Trying to avoid stress is a daunting task, and something that may not always be possible however, finding activities such as yoga, meditation, exercise, or reading, may help reduce stress during difficult times. Avoid confrontation, drama and stress, whenever possible to help maintain a Happy, healthy, balanced life.
One of the contributing causes to obesity, disease, and premature mortality is poor nutrition. Not only can it cause people with unhealthy diet to die early, but it will take its toll much sooner by causing a hormonal imbalance in men. There are many dietary and nutritional steps that one can take to potentially optimize their bodies ability to produce testosterone.
Avoid drugs and alcohol as much as possible. As mentioned before, avoid alcohol as it can lower T levels and increase estradiol conversion.
Avoid some of the following foods in excess. Moderation is key with the following:
· Sugar and syrups.
· Caffeine and energy drinks
· Excessive dairy
· Food dyes and chemicals.
· Processed and fast food.
Instead, try to consume more of the following foods:
· Foods, high in vitamin D, and zinc
· A variety of fruits and vegetables
· Healthy nuts
· Foods high in fiber
· Foods high in Omega-3’s
Some of the following supplements may help to maintain healthy testosterone levels in men. Always consult a physician regarding any dietary changes or the addition of supplements to your diet.
· Zinc- Studies have shown zinc deficiency to cause a drastic effect on testosterone production in men, causing serum testosterone levels to plumet. Low levels of zinc in men were also proven to interfere with the production of sperm as well.
· Vitamin D- Studies have shown vitamin D may have a beneficial effect on testosterone levels. During a clinical study, daily vitamin D supplementation was shown to increase total, free and bioactive testosterone levels in men, while the placebo group who weren’t given vitamin D showed no improvement in their testosterone levels.
· Magnesium- Research has shown that magnesium supplementation can have a positive effect on anabolic hormones like testosterone.
· Multivitamins- A good multivitamin which can help overall hormonal health and contain the aforementioned supplements and may be a great option for those who are looking to optimize their hormonal production.
The following is a list of resources and sources, which may be useful in helping to learn more about how you can boost your T levels naturally. For more information, or to schedule a consultation with an experienced doctor, who specializes in testosterone therapy for men, please visit our website or call us at 561-277-8260 to see how we may be able to help raise your testosterone levels.
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