Low testosterone (also referred to as low T) typically refers to blood levels of testosterone which are below 300ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter). It has a number of negative symptoms which include depression, fatigue and reduced sexual desire.
The good news is that by adopting a healthy lifestyle you can overcome many of these symptoms and increase your testosterone levels. In this article I’m going to be focusing on low testosterone, discussing the symptoms and outlining how to treat it naturally.
What Causes Low Testosterone?
As discussed above, testosterone levels are considered low when they drop below 300ng/dL. There are three main causes behind low testosterone levels:
1) Problems With The Testes: Testosterone is produced in your testes, so any problems in this part of your body can inhibit testosterone production and cause low testosterone. Problems with the testes can be caused by damage to the testes, using anabolic steroids and more.
2) Problems With The Hypothalamus & Pituitary Gland: The hypothalamus and pituitary gland regulate testosterone levels in the body. Any problems with either of these glands can interfere with this process and lead to low testosterone levels in your blood. Problems with these glands can be caused by head injuries, reduced blood flow to the glands and more.
3) External Factors That Interfere With Testosterone Production & Regulation: In addition to direct problems with the glands and organs that produce and regulate testosterone, low testosterone can also be caused by other external factors such as aging and being obese.
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Testosterone?
Testosterone has a direct influence over your energy levels, sexual health, strength and more. Therefore, low testosterone generally has a negative impact in these areas. The list below outlines some of the most common symptoms of low testosterone:
1) Breast Development: If your testosterone levels drop below normal and your estrogen levels remain constant, a hormonal imbalance is created in your body and in some cases this can lead to gynecomastia (enlargement of the gland tissues of the male breast).
2) Depression: Low testosterone also affects your mood and in many cases it can cause depression.
3) Low Energy Levels: Low blood levels of testosterone can impact your energy levels in various ways. In some people it leads to constant fatigue whereas other people experience constant fluctuations in their energy levels.
4) Muscle Shrinking: One of the many roles of testosterone is to support and maintain your muscles. If your blood levels of testosterone become too low, it can cause your muscles to deteriorate and shrink which then has a negative impact on your strength and body composition.
5) Osteoporosis: Another key role of testosterone is to keep your bones strong and healthy. Low testosterone can have a negative impact in this area and lead to osteoporosis – a condition characterized by reduced bone mineral density. This then makes your bones weaker and more susceptible to fractures.
6) Sexual Problems: As mentioned above, testosterone is an important hormone for good sexual health. Low blood levels of testosterone can have a negative impact in this area and very often leads to erectile dysfunction, a low sperm count and reduced sex drive.
How Can Low Testosterone Be Treated Naturally?
With the exception of gynecomastia (which very often requires surgical treatment) many of the symptoms of low testosterone can be treated naturally by making healthier lifestyle choices and altering your diet and exercise routine in the ways outlined below:
1) Adjust Your Diet: The foods you eat can have a huge impact on your testosterone levels. To boost your testosterone levels, try and increase your intake of foods that are rich in B vitamins and zinc. These two nutrients are both used during testosterone production and eating more of them can increase your testosterone levels.
Also, try to reduce your consumption of carbohydrates, soy and processed food. Eating too many carbohydrates or too much soy can directly lower the amount of testosterone in your blood while eating too much junk food is likely to make you gain weight which has a negative impact on your testosterone levels.
2) Exercise Regularly: Leading a sedentary lifestyle reduces the amount of testosterone in your blood. Regular exercise (particularly intense exercises such as heavy weight lifting and fast paced cardio) negates this effect and helps bring your testosterone levels back up to normal.
Low testosterone is a nasty disorder but fortunately it’s one that can be treated naturally. By eating the right foods and following a solid workout plan, you can pump your testosterone levels back up to normal and avoid all the unpleasant symptoms discussed in this article.