Men, do you know the causes of low testosterone? Do you experience symptoms of low testosterone, or have low testosterone side effects?
If you experience erectile dysfunction, loss of body mass, depression, weight gain or mood swings, knowing what causes these symptoms goes a long way towards fixing the problem.
Testosterone is the sex hormone, produced in the testicles by men and in the ovaries by women. Testosterone is responsible for the male libido, and for production of viable sperm.
Testosterone has more responsibilities than reproduction; it is necessary for building muscle mass, and also for bone strength. In males, it, along with genes, is the primary reason for a man’s height and body mass, achieved during puberty.
As men age, testosterone levels begin to drop; however, this drop is not a part of the aging process, but rather is the body’s response to the causes of low testosterone a male experiences as he grows older.
Symptoms of low testosterone include low libido, erectile dysfunction, loss of muscle mass, weight gain (especially around the abdominal area,) depression, irritability, and mood swings.
A normal male’s testosterone runs between 300 ng/dl - 1,200 ng/dl. Readings in the 300 – 400 ng/dl range are considered on the low side of normal, and a reading below 300 ng/dl is considered low.
There are many causes of low testosterone readings; some of the more common ones are:
Injury to either, or both, testicles may result in a drop of testosterone production. Any male experiencing an injury to this area should see his doctor for treatment of the injury and to check his testosterone levels.
Cancer, any form of cancer treated with chemotherapy or
radiation, may cause low testosterone. Testicular cancer is certainly one of the causes of
low testosterone levels, but any form of cancer may impact a male’s
levels as he is treated.
Males who resistance-train often use a protein powder to help with muscle recovery after exercising, and to promote muscle growth. There are two primary types of protein powder for this function: whey powder and soy powder.
Soy powder is derived from soybeans; soy beans are a primary source of phytoestrogens – a plant-based source of estrogen-like substances. Phytoestrogens are used by females as a treatment for the symptoms of menopause because of their estrogen similarities.
Because soy powder is a phytoestrogen, it is processed by the body as though it were an estrogen; for females experiencing menopause, this is a good thing. For males, it’s a very bad thing indeed. An increase in estrogens in males leads to a decrease in testosterone.
Whey powder, derived from dairy, provides the resistance-trainer with the muscle recovery and growth he desires, and has no negative effects on his testosterone levels.
The testicles and ovaries are not solely responsible for the production of testosterone; the hypothalamus, pituitary, and thyroid glands all get into the act. Hypothyroidism, or low levels of the thyroid hormone thyroxin, can have a significant impact on testosterone production as well, and is one of the causes of low testosterone levels.
Many of the symptoms of low testosterone are the same for hypothyroidism – weight gain, low energy, and depression, to name a few. Unless you have other evidence of low testosterone side effects, such as low libido, have your thyroid level checked first.
Statins are the class of allopathic medications prescribed to lower cholesterol levels. They are not necessary, as a proper diet and exercise program will keep your body’s cholesterol levels in the normal range. However, they will be prescribed by allopathic physicians if your cholesterol levels fall outside the allopathic normal range.
Statins do little good and much harm. One of the ways they do harm is to lower a man’s testosterone levels. The mechanism is not fully understood, but the link is there; further studies are underway to determine the relationship.
You can control your cholesterol levels with diet and exercise. By diet, we mean the normal diet of the American populace; it is filled with processed and GMO foods. These foods are bad for your health in myriads of ways; suffice it to say you need to eat fresh, locally grown foods, and locally raised meats and poultry.
Exercise, one to three times a week, will also help keep your cholesterol in check. A combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercises are needed; so walk briskly three times a week, and do some resistance training.
We experience high levels of stress everyday; unfortunately, our bodies still react they way they did when the stressor was a tiger about to pounce, instead of your boss. The stressors we deal with on a daily basis keep our ‘Fight or Flight’ responses working overtime; this results in adrenal fatigue and high levels of cortisol.
Cortisol, the stress hormone, lowers testosterone levels, among the many other negative impacts it has on the body. A response to stress was life-saving in the early years of mankind’s tenure on this planet; with the constant level of stress we all experience in today’s world, it results in high levels of inflammation, and subsequent ill-health.
The number-one health issue we face today is obesity. Why are we, as a nation, plagued with this problem? There are many reasons, but the primary ones are the government, the AMA, and the agricultural industry.
The government and AMA are responsible because of their misguided understandings of nutrition and how our bodies work. The agricultural industry is responsible for processed foods, and for genetically modifying the foods they grow (GMO).
Obesity is not just from our diets, although this is the main problem. Obesity is also the result of hypercortisol levels (Cushing’s disease) and hypothyroidism. Low levels of thyroxin, and high levels of cortisol also cause obesity.
Obesity impacts testosterone levels, especially excess belly fat. Losing weight is the first step anyone should take if they suspect low testosterone levels.
These are the main causes of low testosterone; this is not a complete list, but addressing these causes will certainly boost your testosterone levels naturally.
Naturally raising your levels is preferable to artificial hormone therapy; the body has many nasty reactions to testosterone injections, and these are to be avoided at all cost.
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