Testosterone is well known as the male sex hormone. This hormone is responsible for the sex characteristics of men and also plays a role in libido as you get older. Unfortunately, many men have low testosterone levels that are affecting them negatively.
Testosterone is actually present in both men and women, just as both men and women have estrogen in their bodies. But in men the levels of testosterone tend to be much higher than those of women.
You need to learn how testosterone might be affecting you without even knowing it. And you also need to learn a few things you can do to improve your testosterone levels.
The thing that most men are concerned about when it comes to testosterone is libido. If you’re struggling with sexual desire, chances are your testosterone levels may be low.
Men with low testosterone report becoming disinterested in sex, even if they had been very interested in it during another period of life. Low testosterone can also make it difficult or even impossible to maintain an erection or orgasm.
When men have erectile dysfunction, they often turn to drugs like Viagra that improve circulation. But if your testosterone levels are low, that’s what needs to be addressed for treatment.
Men with low testosterone levels also tend to suffer from fertility problems. You may have a low sperm count if you don’t have enough of this hormone to help keep your sperm production high.
If you’re trying to conceive and are having trouble, low testosterone levels could be the culprit. Make sure to talk with your doctor about testing these levels to find out if they are low.
General Health Problems
While not directly related to sexual health, low testosterone can cause many health problems that can eventually lead to problems in the bedroom. For example, men who have low testosterone often have fatigue.
When you feel fatigue, it can lower sex on your priority list. And when you do have sex, fatigue can keep you from having the stamina you need for pleasing your partner.
Low testosterone levels can also lead to hair loss. This is a condition that causes many men to feel embarrassment and can lead to problems with relationships and dating. Not only might you lose hair on your head, you might also notice a decrease in body hair.
Your muscles can also suffer when you have a lack of testosterone. This hormone helps to maintain strength and muscle mass. When you start to feel your body weakening, this can affect your confidence and sexual stamina.
Men with low testosterone levels are also more likely to have high cholesterol. This can directly affect your circulation. In fact, men who have erectile dysfunction are often experiencing the first symptoms of heart disease.
If you’re having difficulties with any of these aspects, it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor about your testosterone levels and determine if they’re in the normal range for your age group.
Getting Testosterone Tested
It’s easy to get your testosterone levels evaluated. Your doctor will need to order this test, which can be done through the blood or, in some cases, saliva. Your doctor may ask you to have this tested in the morning when your levels are at their highest.
Testosterone levels can be either too high or too low. If your levels are too high it could be signal of testicular cancer or adrenal cancer. If your levels are too low it could be a problem with the testicles, a sign of illness, or a symptom of unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Once your results come back you can speak with your doctor about your levels and what they mean. In some cases, your doctor may decide that you need further testing. In other cases, you may be able to design a program to help boost levels.
Causes of Low Testosterone
When you have low testosterone, it’s important to understand the cause of it. In many cases there are lifestyle choices you can make that will improve your levels. In other cases, you may have underlying health conditions that need to be addressed.
When it comes to lifestyle choices, your testosterone levels can be affected by stress, excess alcohol consumption, and obesity. Changing your lifestyle to manage stress, eliminate or reduce alcohol, and lose weight can help restore your testosterone levels.
If you’re undergoing chemotherapy or radiation for cancer, it can also cause your testosterone levels to plummet. Genetic conditions like Klinefelter’s Syndrome can also lead to low testosterone levels. This is a condition when one has an additional X chromosome.
If your iron levels are too high, you might also have low testosterone. And just about any chronic illness can lead to a loss of testosterone levels and sexual health. It’s important that you identify any underlying causes before just adding testosterone to the body.
Medical Treatment for Low Testosterone
If you have low testosterone, you may want to seek medical treatment. This usually involves some form of medication containing the hormone. It can be delivered as an injection, a patch that’s worn on the body, or tablets.
There are also testosterone gels that are added to the skin where they’re absorbed into the bloodstream and there’s even a type of medication that’s rubbed onto the gums. But you can also try natural remedies before going with medical hormone replacement.
Hormone replacement doesn’t address the conditions that are causing your low testosterone levels in the first place. Natural remedies can help your body start producing adequate amounts of testosterone on its own.
It also carries some side effects such as acne, decreased testicular size, and an increase in mood swings and aggression. You might also have higher cholesterol or changes in your sperm count with this treatment.
It’s important to consider all of the possible side effects before choosing to participate in medical testosterone replacement therapy. However, it can be a good solution for some men with this problem.
Natural Testosterone Boosters
There are many ways you can help your body to naturally raise its testosterone levels without medication. Trying a few of these solutions could make a big difference in your libido and improve your sexual satisfaction and that of your partner.
Try to lose weight. The first thing to consider is weight loss and exercise. When you have extra fat on your body, those fat cells produce estrogen. Having an imbalance of estrogen can make testosterone levels plummet.
When you take off the excess pounds, you actually can improve your testosterone levels. The best way to do this is through eating a healthy diet and moderate exercises including cardiovascular training and strength training.
It’s important, though, that you don’t lose weight too fast. This can actually cause your testosterone levels to shut down. Stick to losing one or two pounds a week for the best benefits.
Enjoy morning sex. Testosterone levels are improved when you have an erection. When you have sex in the morning, the time when your body produces the most testosterone, you’re more likely to have higher levels all day.
This is usually the time when men have the highest sex drive due to natural hormone fluctuations. This is probably the most enjoyable way to increase your sex drive naturally.
Limit or eliminate alcohol use. Alcohol use can cause testosterone levels to go into decline. This is especially true if you’re abusing alcohol or are an alcoholic. If you’re concerned about testosterone levels, it’s best to limit alcohol to one or two drinks a day.
That’s easier said than done if you’re dealing with alcohol dependency. If you fear this may be the cause of your low testosterone, it’s important to talk to a professional who can help you with issues of addiction.
Add zinc to your diet. Zinc is an important nutrient that helps your body make needed testosterone. It’s found in many common foods such as red meat, liver, oysters, and peanuts.
Adding a few of these foods to your diet on a regular basis can help you to have higher testosterone production naturally. You can also take a vitamin supplement that includes zinc.
Don’t skip the fat. In this day and age many people are strictly limiting their fat intake. But you need to have fat in order to make hormones. Your diet needs to have at least 30 percent of its calories from fat.
It’s best if that fat comes from plant sources such as olive oil, vegetable oil, avocado, and coconut oil. But some saturated fat is acceptable and you’ll get it from the red meat that you eat to raise those zinc levels.
Get some sleep. Sleeping is important for rest and rejuvenation. When you don’t get at least eight hours of sleep each night, you could be causing your body’s natural hormonal cycles to be interrupted.
Make sure that you’re getting plenty of sleep. Try going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning. Having one or two off nights isn’t going to cause problems. But being consistently sleep deprived can knock your testosterone levels down quite a bit.
Perform high intensity exercise. Short, intense bursts of exercise have been shown to improve testosterone levels. A typical testosterone boosting workout might include a short five minute warm up, followed by a burst of intense exercise as hard as you can for 30 seconds, and a 90 second recovery.
You’ll want to repeat this cycle at least six or seven more times in order to boost testosterone levels. You can complete this entire interval-training workout in less than 20 minutes to get the best results.
Take vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D Supplements are also important for helping to develop testosterone, boost your sex drive, and improve your fertility. This is a vitamin your body makes naturally when exposed to sunlight.
However, most people spend too much time indoors and aren’t getting enough of this important nutrient. The best way to get this is from the sun, so if you can get outdoors more that will help the most. You can also take an oral supplement.
Reduce stress. Stress can cause many problems in the body mainly due to the overproduction of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone that tells your body you’re in an emergency situation.
Unfortunately when this hormone is around in levels that are too high for a long period of time it can cause you to have a decrease in testosterone. It can also cause problems with inflammation and weight gain in the body.
Learning to manage stress can help you to raise testosterone levels. It will also help you to get better sleep and reduce excess belly fat – this also will help you to increase testosterone levels.
Take male enhancement supplements. There are several male enhancement supplements on the market. These are generally formulated with herbs designed to raise testosterone levels.
These are often marketed as penis enlargement supplements or treatment for erectile dysfunction. They can help to increase your sex drive and improve your sexual satisfaction. Some may also help with fertility.
Say goodbye to sugar. Refined sugar actually causes a decrease in testosterone after it’s consumed. This is because sugar causes your insulin to spike. Try to avoid foods that contain added sugar such as soda, candy, breads, and pastas.
If you’re craving something sweet, look for natural sources of sweetness such as fruit to help quench your cravings. Make a plan to reduce how much sugar you eat a little at a time if you feel that you’re a sugar addict.
Don’t forget to look at added corn syrup and fructose in processed foods. These are simply forms of refined sugar that cause the same problems even though they sound like they come from more natural sources.
The best sweeteners to try include honey, agave, stevia, and maple syrup. These are sweeteners that aren’t refined in the same way as sugar. They can help you feel the satisfaction of sweets without the harmful effects. These still need to be consumed in moderation.