What Causes Low Testosterone Levels and What Can Be Done About It
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If you’re a man that can’t seem to quite feel like himself anymore, you might be one of many struggling with low testosterone.
Around 40% of men aged 45 or over have low testosterone levels. Let that sink in for a minute.
While testosterone naturally decreases with age, your levels should still fall within a healthy range when taking a decline into consideration. If your levels are low, it can negatively affect your life in numerous ways.
Here’s a primer to get you up to speed on what you should know about testosterone deficiency.
What Causes Low Testosterone Levels?
So what might cause a man to become deficient in testosterone?
There are several root causes that you should explore. Here are some of the most common reasons that men end up seeking testosterone treatment:
1. You’re Obese and Out of Shape
Your body is a machine that has plenty of systems. These systems work optimally when you keep yourself in optimal shape. Period.
With so many people obese today, it’s no wonder that more men are also dealing with low testosterone.
Accumulating body fat, particularly in the gut region, will decrease your testosterone levels. Your body will also experience poor blood circulation and suboptimal hormone production as a result.
Get readings for things like your body fat, blood pressure, cholesterol, and body mass index (BMI) if you believe you may have low testosterone.
2. You’re Stressed Out, Anxious or Depressed
A lot of times, low testosterone is the result of a mental condition. Stress happens to be one of the most common mental issues that all human beings deal with.
If stress is overwhelming you, it means that your body is spending a lot of time fighting its effects. This takes time and energy that your body would use to produce testosterone.
Likewise, chronic anxiety keeps your body in a never-ending fight or flight response, while depression hampers hormone production. Getting your mental health in line can be a valuable way to also get your testosterone back.
3. You Have a Poor Diet
An adage says that you can’t out-train a poor diet. Just as true, is the fact that you can’t out-hormone a poor diet.
You could have had optimal testosterone levels your entire life. As soon as your diet begins to slip, you will notice a dip in your testosterone as well.
This is particularly the case if your diet consists of too much sodium, sugar, meat, fried meals, processed food, or pure junk.
4. You Aren’t Sleeping Enough
Reshape your relationship to sleep and you might be able to fix your testosterone problem. Sleep is the time that your body gets to recharge and handle all of its necessary processes.
If you aren’t getting enough sleep then you can’t depend on your body to produce the correct amount of testosterone to sustain you.
5. You’re Consuming Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol can be a fun past-time, but never mistake it for anything productive for your body. Drinking too much alcohol is toxic not just overall, but also to your reproductive system.
Your testicles don’t secrete the necessary amounts of testosterone when you’re drinking regularly. Top that off with the weight gain that is likely due to the number of empty calories that you’re taking in.
How Do You Know You Have Low Testosterone?
Alright, so you have an understanding of what causes low testosterone. How can you find out if your levels are low?
Getting your levels checked by a licensed doctor is the only way to know for sure. This means getting blood drawn and having your exact levels assessed.
From there, the doctor can let you know if your levels fall within the range for your age.
Here are a few signs that you might have low testosterone, which should push you toward going to the doctor and finding out for sure:
1. Your Energy Just Isn’t There
When you have constant and chronic lethargy for seemingly no reason, this is a good sign that you might have low testosterone.
Testosterone does a lot for your cells. When you have low testosterone, you can also count on low functioning cells. As you might imagine, this reduction in cellular function will prevent you from experiencing optimal energy levels.
It becomes more difficult to “lock-in” and focus on things, and you will likely suffer from a case of the blahs more often than not.
2. Muscle Mass is Decreasing
No one says you have to look like the pictures from your old football playing days forever, but a noticeable reduction in muscle mass could point to lower testosterone levels.
The testosterone hormone is the key ingredient that lets athletes of all types perform at high levels. It’s what bodybuilders rely on for muscle mass, and what helps human beings get stronger physically.
Rather than laughing off your physical decline or writing it off as old age, pay careful attention to how your body looks so you can notice changes when they occur.
3. Libido Levels Are off or You’re Dealing With Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Since testosterone is a male sex hormone, your sexual energy is directly linked to your levels.
First off, consider what happens when you wake up in the morning. If you greet the day with a healthily engorged erection, this is a positive sign that your testosterone levels are healthy.
Morning erections are a sign that your body is producing enough of the hormone, and that your blood flow is allowing them to occur. Morning wood aside, consider the erections that you get during regular sexual activity.
If your erections are weak and flaccid, or worse, non-occurring due to erectile dysfunction (ED), you’ll want to get your levels checked.
Lastly, if you have no sexual references to draw from because you just never seem in the mood, schedule an appointment with your physician ASAP.
A healthy libido is an indicator of high testosterone levels, while low libido points to a likely testosterone deficiency.
4. Your Beard and Hair Aren’t Growing
When your hair is thinning or your beard won’t grow, it may not always be due to genetics. Low testosterone is linked to losses in body hair.
This is especially the case if your beard used to grow thicker but no longer does.
5. Depression is Setting In
If you’ve been struggling with depression that doesn’t feel linked to mental patterns, it could be due to low testosterone. That feeling that you just don’t have “it” can lead to chronic feelings of depression.
You could become so accustomed to these feelings that you don’t even realize that you’ve slipped into depression. Regular counseling and therapy sessions should be a staple in your life so that you’re never caught off guard by changes in your mental health condition.
What Can Be Done About Low Testosterone?
Since you know a bit more about low testosterone levels and some of the signs, it’s time to explore treatment options. Here are some of the most common and helpful ways to address this issue head-on:
1. Start Pushing Yourself With Resistance Exercise Multiple Times Per Week
Without question, working out is one of the best ways you can boost your low testosterone levels.
Our bodies are built to withstand so much more than we typically put it through today. Right now, society is very controlled with air conditioning and creature comforts. Lifestyle aside, your body is still built to lift heavy objects and run or walk several miles.
Start pushing yourself with some resistance exercises that will re-awaken this capability inside of you. Lifting some weights, knocking out pullups and pushups, and throwing around medicine balls and kettlebells can do a lot for your testosterone levels.
And who doesn’t want a toned and fit body that turns heads? Living the workout life creates “compound interest” that builds your confidence, and encourages you to do more activities that build testosterone.
For bonus points, make your post-workout bathing session a cold shower. Taking a plunge in cold temperatures cools off your body, which cools off your scrotum.
When your scrotum is cool, your testicles are better protected and it becomes easier for your body to make healthy sperm and produce the necessary amount of testosterone.
2. Schedule in the Rest (And Sleep!) That You Need
Now that you’re including workout days to your routine five or six times per week, make sure you’re also considering the other side of the coin — rest.
All exertion and no rest will quickly become counterproductive. Your body requires rest for the muscle to even build after your tough workout sessions. Schedule days off or switch the muscle groups that you’re working so that your desired changes can take effect.
Rest days aside, make sleep foundational for your health. When you’re constantly getting in 8 to 10 hours of sleep, you won’t have to worry about whether all of your body’s functions are taken care of.
3. Clean Up Your Eating Habits
Start to take your diet seriously. As if the threats of diabetes and heart disease weren’t enough, don’t add low testosterone to the list in the name of holding on to your favorite treats.
Meal prepping is the best way to clean up a poor diet. People make their worst nutritional decisions when they’re pressed for time and don’t plan ahead.
4. Get On a Vitamin and Supplement Stack
What supplements are you taking to help your body produce testosterone?
A men’s multivitamin should stay on your shopping list each month. Supplement with omega 3 fatty acids to help with testosterone production, and loan up on Vitamins D and B-12.
Many people add kratom to their supplement stack for all of the benefits it brings. You can also take supplements like ashwagandha root and ginseng to improve your testosterone levels.
5. Look Into Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
Of course, having a doctor assist you can have the most straight forward results. Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is a popular option for men.
This therapy will infuse your body with healthy testosterone so that you can get an increase in levels nearly immediately.
6. Get Your Sex and Masturbation Habits in Check
Your relationship with sex also directly effects your testosterone.
Scientific studies indicate that you might be able to increase your testosterone levels by 45% when you stop masturbating for just a week. Having lots of healthy sex also trains your body to regularly require an erection and new sperm.
As a result, you’re more likely to also have healthy testosterone levels.
7. Meditate and Deepen Your Breathing
Few things decrease stress levels like meditation. You’ll improve the way your body responds to stress, which will also reduce your cortisol levels.
Many people who meditate also start getting life insights that help their path. You may find yourself thinking clearly and speaking freely and with more honesty.
When you live and speak your truth, you’ll have more confidence in your daily life. As this confidence grows, you train your body to get used to these positive emotions that come with the territory.
8. Go to the Doctor on a Regular Basis
Finally, take full advantage of the years of experience and schooling your primary care physician has.
Visiting the physician on schedule helps to pinpoint any health conditions that might be altering your testosterone levels. Failing to do so can leave serious issues dormant — until they awaken in your body as a low testosterone issue.
Keep your insurance current so that going to the doctor is never a question.
Get Your Low Testosterone Under Control
When you apply the points in this piece, you’ll have a much greater chance to get your low testosterone under control. You’ll feel like you got your life back since the quality improves in so many ways.
Whether you’ve got low testosterone levels and need help with ED, or just want to embrace your health and fitness, keep checking back for more content!