If you are exhausted, fatigued and just lost interest in things that used to be of interest to you, you may be surprised that it may not be because you got up on the wrong side of the bed or have just been having a rough week. The symptoms that you are experiencing may be rooted in a problem that you least suspect and may boil down to your hormones being out of balance. Huh, wait… who are we speaking about exactly here because usually when we talk about hormones we speak about women right?
Intuitively, when we think about the subject of hormones, we may think immediately of women and that being out of balance means being bloated, moody, angry and suffering from PMS. No offense at all to women but this is the misconception. But women aren’t the only ones who find themselves with this internal chemical up and down swing.
Not only can women experience imbalanced hormones but men as well. Chemicals and their reactions are responsible for many states and conditions in our minds and bodies. One particular powerful type is called androgens. These are hormones that are secreted in men and to a lesser extent women, that produce the sexual and other characteristics (i).
Testosterone is one of three of those androgens. While both men and women have these androgens, the more familiar and probably more potent one in men is testosterone and in women it is estrogen but both have quantities of each in varying amounts.
We are a sum of many different things including the chemicals and hormones operating in our bodies. And men too can be impacted in their effectiveness, strength and vitality based on those levels.
When it comes to men, testosterone is king so to speak; a veritable superhuman element to our minds and bodies. It is produced in the testes in men and the ovaries in women and brings about the secondary sexual characteristics. It is responsible for the growth of facial hair, the deepening of the voice, the changes in a boys musculature and bone mass, height, weight and strength differences and yes, sexual libido (ii).
But they say that you never miss the water until the well runs dry. These hormones and their reactions may be the last thing from our minds but they may also be the root of the way that we feel. Whether you know it or not, extremely low levels, can result in depression, poor concentration, fatigue, poor memory, decreased sex drive, diabetes and obesity (iii). Even low cognitive performance can be traced to it.
In fact 40-50% of men that suffer from low testosterone also suffer from diabetes and 52-79% of men dealing with it are obese (iii). So your hormonal health is definitely something to consider when you are trying to understand what’s going on with your body and how you feel.
Low testosterone can occur for a number of reasons. After the age of 30 and even earlier for some men, it begins to decrease. It may also be a case of hypogonadism where the testes do not produce enough testosterone. Other issues may be medications, diseases and illness, obesity and aging. Other reasons for low testosterone can be many including too much stress, too much exercise without the appropriate rest, xenoestrogens from our environment, drugs and even the use of certain electronic devices — your doctor is the best one to help you determine what is going on.
But one of the ways that we recognize quickly that something is wrong if you choose to self diagnose, is when there are issues with our libido, strength and vitality.
In many cases to combat low testosterone levels, some men do testosterone replacement therapy. There are creams, gels, patches, injections and more that can be prescribed by your doctor where the level of testosterone is increased from sources outside of the body.
This is similar to what body builders do when seeking to increase the amount of testosterone in the body to gain additional muscle mass. The exogenous (or outside of the body) chemical steroid is used and allows them to recover faster from strenuous workouts and achieve better gains.
Some users of the exogenous methods see vast improvement. There are also other methods that have actually been studied and claim to produce improvements in testosterone. Some may work but others may simply be better for your libido but not necessarily getting you out of a testosterone deficiency. But do your research if you decide to use an exogenous means. Some types of testosterone therapy can increase the risk of prostate cancer development and growth.
For those of you that seek to improve your hormonal health there are some natural means that can help boost testosterone levels before you consider a pill or injection. These may be the answer and have been proven to be effective in restoring levels to normal. And here they are:
Get at least 8-10 hours of sleep a day. Testosterone is actually released and is highest during specific times when the body enters deep REM sleep.
2. STRENGTH TRAINING USING RESISTENCE
This helps release testosterone and human growth hormone within the body.
3. INTERMITTENT FASTING
Helps the body to assimilate food and nutrients better and makes it more efficient in the production of testosterone as well.
The body releases chemicals that actually help convert testosterone into a type of estrogen which further leads to weight gain and other issues.
5. REDUCE XENOESTROGENS
These can be found in products we use like the lining of foods and beverage containers, plastics, certain foods containing pesticides. Try to eat organic and reduce the use of these items.
Eat a diet rich in nuts, fruits, extra virgin olive oil, vegetables. They contain good fats and nutrients that help in the production of the testosterone
Take vitamins and make sure that you are getting vitamin D3 and vitamin A. This helps in the production of testosterone.
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