How to treat low testosterone

Testosterone is a male sex hormone that is significant for sexual and reproductive health. The National Institutes of Health sees testosterone as the primary male hormone. Women also produce testosterone, however at lower levels than men. In order to treat low testosterone in men, the doctor identifies the reason for it, since there is numerous reason for it.

Testosterone has a place with a class of male hormones called androgens, which are some of the time called steroids or anabolic steroids.

In men, testosterone is delivered primarily in the testicles, with a limited quantity made in the adrenal organs. The hypothalamus and pituitary organ control testosterone creation.

Testosterone levels decline with age, however for some men testosterone level drops far too early in life.

As per FDA normal testosterone level is 280-1,100 ng/dl. Testosterone levels below this threshold qualify for hypogonadism.

How it’s created?

The hypothalamus trains the pituitary organ on how much testosterone to deliver, and the pituitary organ gives the message to the testicles. 

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Testosterone is engaged with the advancement of male sex organs before birth and the improvement of optional sex qualities during adolescence.

The hormone likewise assumes a part in sex drive, sperm creation, fat distribution, red cell creation, and upkeep of muscle strength and mass, as indicated by the Mayo Clinic.

Why is testosterone so important?

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Sleep can assist with improving your testosterone levels.

Some of  the most prominent  advantages of healthy testosterone levels include: 

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  • Keeping a healthy sex drive. This is the thing that the hormone is most commonly associated with, as lower levels of testosterone can decrease sex drive in people in the same. A significant number of men suffering from erectile problems have low testosterone levels. 
  • Building muscle. The hormone plays a role in enhancing strength and building muscle. 
  • Burning fat. Higher testosterone levels have been associated with a more muscle-to-fat ratio, which means a decent night’s rest is vital to effectively manage weight.
  • Injury prevention. Players who experienced a drop in testosterone levels showed high injury incidence.
  • Brain health. As well as benefiting your body, testosterone is also vital for brain health. A  study found that increased testosterone levels had a positive effect on the brain’s ability to respond to external threats.

What occurs with lower testosterone levels

The National Institutes of Health includes the following as potential side effects of low testosterone: 

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  • Decreased sex drive 
  • Erectile dysfunction or impotence 
  • Expanded breast size 
  • Low sperm count 
  • Hot flashes 
  • Shrunken testes
  • Contracted and mollified testicles 
  • Loss of muscles mass
  • Decrease bone density 
  • Poor concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Low energy

What is the cause of testosterone deficiency?

Testosterone deficiency occurs when the body is unable to make enough testosterone. It is sometimes called hypogonadism. Testosterone deficiency can significantly affect a man’s health and quality of life.

Your lifestyle choices influence yur testosterone levels. Healthy choices lead to healthy testosterone levels as you age.

But unhealthy ones can be destructive and lead to serious testosterone-related issues later in life.

Old Age– Testosterone levels in men decrease by 1% to 2% every after they reach 30 years.

Eating junk foods – If you’re regularly eating junk food, your body is going to suffer badly and testosterone levels will decrease. Overeating or eating processed junk foods has unhealthy levels of calories and sodium, which can lower testosterone quickly.

Not Eating enough healthy fats – Low-fat diets could be one of the reasons behind your lower testosterone levels. Always include healthy fats as an integral part of your diet like walnuts, avocados, and fish to boost testosterone.

Deficiency of Vitamin D – Vitamin D deficiency is a common health problem. If you don’t get sufficient sunlight, there is a correlation between this deficiency and low testosterone. So boost your vitamin D by taking supplements of Vitamin D3 or exposure to sunlight.

Lack of physical activity and exercise – A lack of physical activity is one of the most common culprits of low testosterone. Regular exercise and physical activity is the best way to increase your testosterone levels quickly. When exercising regularly, increased testosterone production allows your muscle to recover quickly and grow stronger.

Abuse of supplements – While supplements can raise your T-levels, synthetic supplements lower your natural testosterone production. So you need to be careful while using those drugs or supplements.

Chronic stress Chronic stress produces a hormone known as cortisol, which lowers your testosterone levels. Make sure to get the required rest by your body and mind. And try to balance your work and personal life to reduce stress and manage your testosterone levels healthily.

Obesity– Obesity is one of the causes of lower testosterone levels in men. A study found that a four-inch increase in waist size lowered testosterone levels by 75%. So reducing weight should be very important for managing your testosterone levels to normal.

How Sleep deprivation lowers testosterone? 

Some people experience paradoxical sleep deprivation which is characterized by little or no sleep over long periods of time without problems.

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Sleep Deprivation

People often experience heightened awareness of their surroundings when they sleep.

The timing of sleep may be more important than sleep length itself in determining testosterone levels. Sleeping in the second half reduces testosterone more than the first half.

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The first 3–4 h of sleep is critical to determine the increase in testosterone. A recent study has shown that restriction of sleep time to 4.5 h was associated with a lower morning testosterone level.  

Restriction of sleep for eight nights to 5 h a night decreased testosterone levels by 10%–15%.

Shift work

The most common form of circadian rhythm disturbance occurs as a result of shift work.

Shift work has an adverse effect on testosterone levels since disturbed sleep leads to an increased need for sleep and recovery, increasing cortisol levels and thus lowering testosterone levels.

Testosterone and sleep quality

Testosterone levels have been shown to affect sleep quality. In a study of men aged 65 years and over, those with lower testosterone levels had low sleep efficiency, and increased night wakefulness.

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Some Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep With Low Testosterone 
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To improve your sleep, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) suggests that you:

  • Get consistent sleep. One way to do this is to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Avoid afternoon naps. This may interrupt your night-time sleep.
  • Remove distractions. Get rid of the source of excess noise and light. 
  • See a doctor about sleep problems. Sleep apnea is among the treatable conditions that could be interrupting your sleep. 
  • Lose weight. Losing weight is good for sleep.
  • Be active. If you do aerobics and exercise you get sound sleep.

Sleeping aids

If you’re unable to get relief from chronic insomnia using natural methods medication may be useful. Over-the-counter sleep aids contain antihistamines and can be effective for an occasional sleepless night. Benadryl and Unisom are among the antihistamines with side effects including hangover, drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision, and constipation

Melatonin. The hormone melatonin is responsible for the natural sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin supplements are is useful for short-term insomnia and sleep problems, side effects can include headaches and daytime sleepiness.

How to treat low testosterone level

If you’re experiencing low testosterone, treatment options are available to increase testosterone or reduce its effects. Doctors recommend treating men for hypogonadism if they have symptoms of low testosterone and their testosterone falls below 300 nanograms for every deciliter.

Testosterone therapy

Testosterone therapy can be conducted in several ways injecting into the muscle, gels applied to the skin, and patches inside the mouth.

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  • Injections. Testosterone injections can be given every 14 days. Testosterone levels can shoot up for a few days after the injection and then slowly reduces, which can have an adverse effect on mood and energy levels.
  • Skin patch. A patch is applied every day in the evening which releases a small quantity of the testosterone hormone into the skin.
  • Gels. Topical gels are applied to the skin like arms, shoulders, or thighs. It is necessary to wash your hands and cover the area to prevent exposing the testosterone hormone to others.
  • Oral therapy. Capsules are swallowed or tablets are attached to the inner cheek and testosterone is then absorbed in the body.
  • Pellets. Pellets can be inserted under the hips or buttocks to slowly release testosterone. Pellets are changed under six months.

Testosterone therapy is not recommended for those at high risk of prostate cancer.

Losing weight and being physically active

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Regular exercise improves testosterone levels

Exercising and lowering body weight is an excellent way to slow the decrease of testosterone your body is experiencing.

As per the study, if you are obese then you may have 30% fewer testosterone levels than others with healthy BMI. More than 70% of morbidly obese men have hypogonadism, a condition characterized by abnormally low levels of this hormone.

You can reverse hypogonadism may if you reduce weight loss. Abdominal fat is responsible for converting testosterone into Estrogen.  

As mentioned earlier, not all exercises affect T levels in the same way. Here are some of the best exercises that can help increase testosterone.

Resistance training

Resistance exercises are a proven way to increase short- and long-term testosterone levels.

Weightlifting regularly can boost testosterone in both the short and long term. Those who lift weights have higher testosterone levels.

A study found that men who did regular weightlifting 3 days a week, 3 sets of 8 to 10 weightlifting reps had higher levels of testosterone levels after a workout and over a long time.

Best Foods that Boost Testosterone

1. Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are needed to boost testosterone levels. Several studies found that when men increased their healthy fat intake, testosterone and free testosterone also increased. This shows you need to add healthy fats which include Avocado, Flaxseeds, nuts, walnuts, butter, and fish.

2. Lean Protein

To boost testosterone levels, it’s important to consume the required amount of protein sources. Eating good-quality protein sources also helps you prevent overeating. Healthy proteins include chicken breast, eggs, beans, lentils, nuts, and whey protein.

3. Complex Carbohydrates

You need to eat complex carbohydrates for boosting testosterone levels and maintaining energy. This is important for athletes or men who are into sports and weight training. Complex carbohydrates include oats, brown rice, beans, and sweet potatoes.

4. Ginger

Ginger boosts testosterone production, especially among males with oxidative stress. Studies found that ginger improves testosterone levels by increasing luteinizing hormone production and reducing oxidative stress.

5. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an herb that helps enhance the body’s ability to deal with stress and lowers cortisol. Research also found that it also increases muscle mass, endurance, and increases testosterone levels. Ashwagandha is available as tea capsules and powders.

6. Zinc  & Magnesium

Zinc is an important nutrient for hormonal health, and it plays an important role in hormone production by increasing testosterone naturally. 

Magnesium helps in vitamin D metabolism and improves sleep quality which further helps testosterone production. The top magnesium and Zinc rich foods that boost testosterone include: Legumes, Grains, and Yogurt Soybeans 

Food bad for testosterone

While you want to eat more foods that boost testosterone, the following foods you want to avoid in order to support your T levels.

1. Sugar

Sugar is the primary reason men suffer from hypogonadism, sugar has been linked to depleting testosterone levels in several ways.

As per the CDC,  type II diabetics are twice as likely to develop low testosterone levels. 

2. Refined Grains

Refined grains are like sugar, they spike blood sugar levels and lead to insulin resistance. Since diabetes lowers testosterone levels so avoid  refined grains like white bread, white pasta, and rice

3. Alcohol

Studies have found that heavy alcohol consumption reduces testosterone levels.

Testosterone deficiency & impotence

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Impotence is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex.

Chronic physical problems like diabetes or heart conditions and mental health problems like stress or anxiety can also be the reason for impotence since it reduces testosterone as well.

This can cause several complications unsatisfactory sex life, low self-esteem, and relationship problems.

If your most concerning symptom from lower testosterone is erectile dysfunction, so medications may help these symptoms.

Viagra and Cialis enhance the effects of nitric oxide, a natural chemical your body needs to relax muscles giving a firm penis.

Conclusion

Testosterone affects a men’s sexual development and sex drive. It helps in building muscle and bone strength. So this hormone is vital for men’s healthy life. Healthy habits like eating a balanced diet and exercising are the primary way to improve this testosterone. Stress and lack of sleep also reduce testosterone. People with chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart condition, and obesity should seek doctors to treat low testosterone levels to enjoy good sex life.

By John Gurung

A former software developer who is now a blogging enthusiast. A true digital nomad.

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