Low T Got You Down?

low-t-got-you-downA famous Park Avenue urologist has been quoted as saying a guy’s testosterone level is the dipstick of his health. And while it’s tempting to joke about the unfortunate side effects men suffer when their testosterone levels are low, this is no laughing matter.

What’s testosterone and why is it important?

The sex hormone testosterone is vital to the development of men’s bodies. Affecting women as well, testosterone assists in creating muscle mass and strong bones that help support internal organs, which can boost athletic performance. And, most notably, is necessary for sperm development and controls sexual drive and sexual performance of men and women.

What are the symptoms of low testosterone?

Symptoms of low testosterone include low energy, little to no sex drive, infertility, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, increase of body fat and breast tissue, slow metabolism, loss of muscle mass or inability to gain muscle, decrease in bone mass, decrease in height, low self esteem, depression, irritability and lack of focus. Low testosterone also puts one at risk for obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and thyroid dysfunction.

Dr. James DeRespino, Center for Men’s Health founder and medical director, says the most commonly misdiagnosed disorder in men is mid-life depression. “I’ve seen thousands of male patients at this point and they usually come in with low energy, no motivation and simply depressed that they don’t have the energy to do the things they used to,” he says. “Testosterone therapy changes that almost immediately.”

What causes Low T?

Processed refined sugar- increases insulin levels which is a testosterone inhibitor.

Soy Contains Phyto-estrogens that throw off natural hormone production and conversion, according to the National Center of Bio-Technology information (NCBI), researchers have found that 95% of men who consumed as little as 120 mg of soy a day had a decrease in testosterone. Soy is common in many food products including ones that are not labeled ‘soy.’

Stress Harvard Researchers have found a link between mental, emotional and physical stress depleting the body of water soluble nutrients including amino acids which are hormone building blocks.  Stress can slow down digestion which affects nutrient absorption which can affect the adrenal and reproductive systems and in turn directly affect sex drive and performance.

Xeno-estrogens – Another study done by the National Center of Bio-Techcology (NCBI) concludes that estrogen mimicking compounds similar to soy, throw off natural testicular hormone production. This includes safflower oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, commercially raised animal meat and dairy products (preservatives and injected hormones), non-organic coffee (commonly sprayed with pesticides), unfiltered water/tap water, commercial laundry detergents and fabric softeners, shampoos, conditioner, soaps and lotions containing parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, BPA (plastic) and several different types of insecticides and weed killer.

How to increase testosterone

According to physicians, it’s wise to have a blood or saliva test to rule out dangerously low testosterone levels. For those looking to simply boost testosterone levels, there are many ways to prompt the body to do that naturally, beginning with plenty of exercise and adequate sleep, according to medical researchers. Consider adding a DIM (diindolylmethane) Complex supplement. This chemical is found in broccoli and cabbage and can help eliminate harmful phyto-xeno estrogens from the body. Other supplements include vitamin D, Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s), zinc (40mg max per day), magnesium and healthy fats such as avocados and almonds, professional nutritionists advise.

If “clinically” low testosterone levels are present, a medical practitioner can prescribe hormone patches and creams. However these treatments can expose women and children to excess testosterone if they come in contact with the hormones, so caution with use is strongly advised. To avoid that potential contact, injections may be the safer and more expeditious way to go. Testosterone pellets contain crystalline testosterone that is implanted under the skin, slowly releasing testosterone over the course of three to six months. A short, simple procedure is done in the doctor’s office to implant the pellets under the skin, usually near the hip. These pellets are a long-acting form of testosterone therapy. They should deliver a stable, steady dose of testosterone.

“The majority of our patients prefer Pellet Therapy because of the ease and effectiveness of this delivery method,” says Jeanna Helper, MSN, ARNP of RevitaLife Vitality Center in Sarasota. “In addition, supplementing with Pellet Therapy is the best way to maintain optimum, steady state levels of testosterone in men and estrogen and/or testosterone in women.”

The bottom line for men who experiencing symptoms of low testosterone is to get those levels checked and begin a course of replacement …sooner rather than later.

To learn more about Low Testosterone go to Center4MensHealth.com or call them at 941-388-7163. To learn about the many options of treatment for Low T go to RevitaLifeSarasota.com or call them at 941-377-4555.