Testosterone is a predominantly male hormone produced in men by the testicles. It affects appearance, mental and physical development, sperm production, and sexual desire. Beyond that, it contributes on a large scale to the development of muscle mass, fat loss, and the preservation of bone density.
However, healthy levels of testosterone are essential to fight depression, prevent metabolic syndrome, maintain a healthy heart, strong bones and overall vitality.
As human beings age, a natural decline in testosterone levels (and production) begins. In men, this process is sometimes called “male menopause” or “andropause”. This decline is generally 1 to 2% per year starting at age 40. This decline is aggravated by diseases or conditions such as heart attacks, cancers, surgeries, consequent medication, etc.
However, in this day and age, this decline in testosterone production often begins in the early thirties and normal levels are often well below what they should be. This is due in part to our modern lifestyle, which poses many obstacles to optimal testosterone production. Symptoms such as lethargy, reduced sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, a weakened immune system, heart disease and a decreased sense of well-being are linked to this hormonal disorder. In addition, a reduction in your strength, muscle mass and an increase in your body fat develop.
So, if you are working hard to accomplish athletic or physical goals, or feel good about yourself, low testosterone is a definite handicap. So the first thing to do is to have your serum levels checked in a lab to determine whether or not you need to take action and get back on track with the help of a medical professional.
How do you combat low testosterone?
The usual starting point for correcting low testosterone is to make sure that the lifestyle you follow supports your body in doing what it’s supposed to do. Afterwards you can always go to a doctor and endocrinologist for a more thorough diagnosis. But before you do that, you have a lot to consider.
In short, you need to remove all the obstacles that are hindering your ability to adequately produce testosterone. So, for the most part, the reason you are struggling with low testosterone is because you are sabotaging your production. You need to remove the impediments to allow your body to return to normal Testosterone production and restore optimal levels.
Reduce excess fat
Excess body fat causes a myriad of problems, including an increased risk of heart disease, stroke or diabetes. Another effect is a change in hormone levels. High body fat or visceral fat is a heavy assault on your testosterone levels. In addition, when testosterone levels decrease, muscle mass decreases and fat deposits accumulate, it’s a vicious cycle.
Hyperinsulinemia and poor diet: Eat better
Most often this is due to excessive intake of processed carbohydrates and a high glycemic load diet (and major caloric excess), but also overweight. Chronically high levels of insulin will shift testosterone production to androstenedione, a much weaker form of testosterone, which “takes the place” your testosterone normally occupies on its receptors. Again, your best bet is to simply pay attention to diet, exercise and lose fat.
Exercise to combat testosterone depletion
This is one of the most basic principles of testosterone production. You need to move, stress your body and force it to adapt, to make it stronger, more muscular. Strength training directly provokes this response by increasing testosterone production. This is a small reason why we associate testosterone with bodybuilding. This hormone plays an important role in the various processes of muscle recovery and strengthening and increased performance. All forms of exercise increase your testosterone levels, but serious, intense, long-term bodybuilding is a must.