Testosterone, a steroid hormone, is vital for the Grey Wolf (man over 40) to look, move and feel great until the day he dies. It helps to prevent several diseases, maintain muscle mass and keep the bones strong. Levels naturally drop as men get older but we are witnessing a significant generational drop compared to that of our elders (Travison et al., 2007). This is having a big impact on men's health. This article will briefly discuss the signs, implications and possible solutions of low testosterone levels.
Webmd.com shows us that an average range of testosterone for men is around 300ng/dL. This might be considered normal but I’d be careful not to confuse normal with healthy. As stated, your testosterone will naturally drop with age so it’s important to plan for the future and ‘bullet-proof’ yourself for graceful aging. There are several warning signs that you may have low testosterone. Firstly, fatigue or a lack of drive are the most obvious. If you have lost your mojo, go and book yourself in for a morning blood test (levels are highest in the morning). Trouble in the bedroom is another tell-tale sign. Difficulties getting an erection, reduced semen production or even a lost desire to have sex are key indicators of low testosterone. While it might be suggested for you to take testosterone via patches or injections, I’d suggest you do your best to bring them up naturally first (this might not be possible for but we will discuss possible solutions later). Lastly, losing muscle and/or hair are other symptoms that might reflecting reduced T levels (Wallace et al., 2017).
Low levels of testosterone are associated with higher a risks of obesity. As testosterone is the controller of many of man’s characteristics, an absence of it can negatively change a man both physically and mentally. Example, a poor health culture can contribute to becoming obese and therefore reduce our levels of T. Unfortunately, the low testosterone levels can then make it easier to gain more white fat. Testosterone supports the effective metabolism of fat while increased levels of fat help to convert testosterone into estrogens (Bowers, 2014). Low testosterone is also associated with insulin resistance. The inefficient use of glucose means it pools in the blood rather than being used in the cells (Dallas, 20140. It’s not clear whether low levels of testosterone increases the likelihood of diabetes or whether they are just both the results of metabolic syndrome. It appears that a corrupt lifestyle could rear it’s head in many ugly ways (nhlbi, 2016). Lastly, low levels of T can reduce the density of your bones and ultimately contribute to osteoporosis. It seems like the absence of testosterone in its relationship with estrogen leads to a weaker skeletal system.
There are no clear cut answers as to why each generation is experiencing lower levels of testosterone. Possible theories include exposure to chemicals, tight fitting underpants (heat up the scrotum), increased levels of obesity and insufficient sleep. Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) may be necessary but it’s important to be aware of the potential risks like prostate cancer and heart problems (Harvard Med School, 2015). The evidence is not clear but many doctors are very cautious when prescribing TRT. Check my top 5 ways to keep your T levels up nice and high:
Reduce or eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet. These are key contributors to gaining excessive white fat and metabolic disease. Aside from short bursts of energy, these food groups offer your body no nutritional value.
Be mindful about your body position and posture. A hunched over corporate man who spends 10 hours per day in a seated position does nothing for swagger, mindset or confidence.
Sleep in the nude. The scrotum is designed to keep the testicles cooler than the rest of the body. Let them do their job and be free!
Throw a kettlebell around twice a week in your ‘Bulletproof’ sessions.
Avoid excessive exposure to environmental pollutants and free yourself from urban environments a few times each week.
Bowers (2014). Battle of the Bulge: Low T and Weight Management. Retrieved from http://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/low-testosterone-guide/low-testosterone-weight-management/
Endocrine Today (2007). Generational decline in testosterone levels observed. Retrieved from http://www.healio.com/Endocrinology/Hormone-Therapy/news/print/endocrine-today/%7BAC23497D-F1ED-4278-BBD2-92BB1E552E3A%7D/Generational-decline-in-testosterone-levels-observed
Harvard Medical School (2015). Is testosterone therapy safe? Take a breath before you take the plunge. http://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/is-testosterone-therapy-safe-take-a-breath-before-you-take-the-plunge
McMillen, M (2017). Low Testosterone: How Do You Know When Levels Are Too Low? http://www.webmd.com/men/features/low-testosterone-explained-how-do-you-know-when-levels-are-too-low#1
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (2016). What Is Metabolic Syndrome? https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ms
Travison, T., Araujo, A., O’Donnell, A., Kupelian, V. and McKinlay, J (2007). A Population-Level Decline in Serum Testosterone Levels in American Men. The Journal of clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article-lookup/doi/10.1210/jc.2006-1375
Wallace, R and Yoder, K (2017). 9 Signs of Low Testosterone. Retrieved from http://www.healthline.com/health/low-testosterone/warning-signs