Testosterone is a key hormone to the development of males from adolescence into adulthood. It is quietly responsible for regulating key functions that make men, well, masculine.
Testosterone supports bodily functions ranging from muscle building, strength, sex drive, sperm production, mood, memory, fat distribution, hair growth, and so much more.
Guys, myself included, are often hesitant to go in to see a doctor for most things, especially a personal and potentially embarrassing issue regarding low testosterone. But you've come to the right place, we've been leaders in men's health for almost 2 decades and we know a thing or two about testosterone.
When testosterone levels are low, it can lead to decreased energy levels, fatigue, and a lack of motivation. But what is considered normal, and what is considered low?
Normal total testosterone levels range from 300+ to 1000 (ng/dL). Anything below 300 (ng/dL), The American Urology Association considers to be low total blood testosterone level, meaning a doctor could potentially diagnose someone with testosterone deficiency syndrome (Hypogonadism). These numbers are in reference to total testosterone, below are a few additional resources you may find helpful: Total Testosterone Vs Free Testosterone Guide and Total & Free Testosterone Levels By Age (Chart)
How do you know if your testosterone is low? Here are some common signs and symptoms of low testosterone:
This may be the most common sign of low testosterone and often what they notice first. Guys with low testosterone levels may find their sex drive deflating and in return... less sex. After all, testosterone is the male sex hormone.
Erectile dysfunction combined with a low libido is no bueno. Testosterone plays a crucial role in achieving and maintaining an erection.
Pro-tip: Nitric oxide helps with blood flow, that increased circulation to your manhood can help with this, too.
To get personal here, this is where I started to question my testosterone levels. I hit 35, my workouts hadn't changed but the results sure did. My muscles were shrinking.
I primarily focus on running and maintained my muscle mass by doing some body weight exercises, but something changed and I began noticing my muscle mass was gradually declining.
A light bulb went off: testosterone is well known for building and maintaining muscle mass. I started taking Mdrive Prime which has DHEA, a precursor to testosterone, as well as an industry leading nitric oxide to help with blood flow. It's an uphill battle, but I'm in the fight and others are too.
At age 30 men begin to lose around 3-5% muscle mass every decade and begin losing testosterone at 1% per year as well. It doesn't get easier, but you got this!
Usually when you think of guys that are moody and irritable you think of a juiced out hulk looking character, but guys with low-t can act very similar.
Low testosterone levels can lead to mood swings, irritability, and potentially your partner unsubscribing from you and your attitude, from time to time.
Testosterone helps with cognitive function, including memory and concentration. If you find yourself having brain fog or trouble focusing, that may be more than just "getting older" and worth looking into.
Testosterone is vital for bone health. Men with low testosterone levels may experience a decrease in bone density, which can lead to an increased risk of fractures. This could end your city league season early, so be careful.
This whole process seems like its a vicious cycle, doesn't it? Like dominos: When your testosterone production decreases, your muscle mass decreases, then your metabolism slows down and your body fat goes up. Even worse, that increase in fat is correlated with lowering your testosterone levels further.
A study of men over 40 found that each one-point increase in BMI would decrease testosterone by 2%. Even more, adding 4 inches around your waist increases your odds of having low-t by 75%.
Having low testosterone can really make you feel less masculine than normal, but it can potentially make you feel bouts of hot flashes as well.
Not to get too scientific, but we've established that testosterone is key to so many essential functions; One of those is regulating your body temperature. Low testosterone may signal your hypothalamus to become more sensitive and boom: hot flashes.
Life is about balance, and normal testosterone levels help balance out the low levels of estrogen in your body. Testosterone deficiency can disrupt this balance with abnormal levels of estrogen and thus, can cause an increase in breast tissue.
Testosterone is also involved in regulating your circadian rhythm, which helps regulate your internal clock and sleep/wake cycles. Low testosterone levels can impact sleep quality, resulting in difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. So low T makes it harder to fall asleep, difficulty staying asleep, and can even case sleep apnea.
Sleep, cortisol, and testosterone are all closely related. Poor sleep quality or quantity can increase cortisol levels and decrease testosterone levels, which can lead to a range of negative health outcomes.
Conversely, good sleep quality and quantity can help to regulate cortisol and testosterone levels and promote overall health and well-being.
Here are a few causes of low testosterone:
Testosterone levels naturally decrease with age. Starting from the age of 30, testosterone levels can decline by up to 1% per year.
Hypogonadism is a medical condition in which the body does not produce enough testosterone due to a problem with the testes or the pituitary gland. This can be caused by genetic disorders, injury, infection, surgery certain medications, or radiation.
Some medications, such as opioids, glucocorticoids, and anabolic steroids, can interfere with testosterone production.
Being overweight or obese can lead to decreased testosterone levels, as excess fat can convert testosterone into estrogen.
Chronic stress can increase cortisol levels, which can interfere with testosterone production.
Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders can interfere with testosterone production.
Did you know that the foods you eat could secretly be killing or boosting your testosterone levels? We have the complete guide on this, but I will summarize for you:
Tuna, salmon, and sardines.
Fortified cereal and milk
Soy based foods
We have a complete guide on how to increase free testosterone levels, but generally speaking, make healthy decisions every day, consistently, and the compound effect will be you feeling better and likely having more testosterone. Here are some specific ideas that could support natural testosterone:
Lifting weights leads to increased testosterone. For the most significant boosts in testosterone, try doing compound moves with many different muscle groups activated, like squats. Squats are incredibly beneficial for testosterone and longevity.
We mentioned above that a bigger waistline was strongly related to lower testosterone levels. You could try 18:6 intermittent fasting to manage your diet. Planning ahead with a meal prep plan could help, too.
Sleep is incredibly important to wellness and specifically recovery.
In a very small study, but worth noting, a small group of men saw a decrease in testosterone of 10-15% upon waking after only getting 5 hours of sleep vs the recommended 7-8 hours.
Ashwagandha: an age old herb with remarkable benefits for men, including testosterone support.
Zinc: has countless benefits to men as they age, from aiding in brain health to supporting healthy testosterone and antioxidant levels.
Tongkat Ali: also known as "malaysian ginseng," has been shown to help support free testosterone levels.
Fenugreek: shown in studies to support natural testosterone levels.
Compound Supplements: A compound supplement is one that includes ingredients specifically formulated to work together to improve overall results. Taking a supplement specifically formulated to combat aging in men could certainly help combat low testosterone levels and overall health. Mdrive has helped more than 1 million men over the past two decades by formulating everyday supplements that increase energy, strength, drive, and support low testosterone levels.
A few tips to finding the right supplement:
The best way to know if your testosterone is low is to get a blood test. A simple blood test can measure your testosterone levels and determine if they are within the normal range. In general, a total testosterone level below 300 ng/dL is considered low. However, it is important to note that testosterone levels can vary throughout the day and can be affected by factors such as age and health conditions.
The best way to address low testosterone levels depends on the underlying cause. There are three potential routes to address low testosterone levels.
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT): TRT involves replacing testosterone with a synthetic version of the hormone through injections, gels, patches, or pellets. TRT can be effective for improving symptoms of low testosterone, but it is not without risks, and it is important to check with your doctor to see if this is the right solution to address low testosterone levels.
Lifestyle changes: Certain lifestyle changes can help improve testosterone levels naturally. These include losing weight, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, reducing stress, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Addressing underlying medical conditions: If a medical condition is causing low testosterone, addressing that condition may help improve testosterone levels. For example, managing diabetes or sleep apnea may improve testosterone levels.
TRT stands for testosterone replacement therapy. TRT is a treatment that involves replacing testosterone in men who have low levels of the hormone. TRT is typically prescribed for men who have symptoms of low testosterone, such as low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, and decreased muscle mass and strength.
TRT involves using synthetic testosterone, which can be delivered through a variety of methods, including injections, gels, patches, and pellets. The goal of TRT is to increase testosterone levels to a normal range and improve symptoms of low testosterone.
While TRT can be effective in improving symptoms of low testosterone, it is not without risks. Potential risks and side effects of TRT include:
Increased risk of blood clots
Acne and oily skin
Breast enlargement (gynecomastia)
Decreased sperm production and fertility
Mood changes, such as increased aggression or irritability
Any further questions? Give us a call, we'll pick up 9-5 Monday thru Friday (888) 300-9181
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