Testosterone, a hormone produced primarily by the testicles, is often viewed as a signal for masculinity. Shockingly, one in four men over the age of 30 years have low testosterone levels, as per a 2007 Endocrine Society. In addition, the report mentions that only about 5% of such men have some clinical symptoms linked to a deficiency of testosterone. Signs of low testosterone are often subtle and are mistaken as a natural part of aging; though, this may not be the case for everyone.
Low testosterone can bring about several health problems such as low sexual motivation, difficulty achieving an erection, low semen volume, hair loss, fatigue, low muscle mass, increased body fat, and decreased bone mass. Luckily, there are ways to increase your testosterone levels without having to use and drugs or pills, unless directed by a healthcare professional.
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 35% of United States adults are obese, and another 34% are overweight. Losing weight can help you increase your testosterone levels if you are overweight. Also, limiting excess processed sugar from your diet can be a driving factor in increasing your testosterone levels. Eating refined carbohydrates, like breakfast cereals, bagels, waffles, and pretzels, can quickly increase your insulin levels and cause insulin resistance, which can lead to weight gain and potential diabetes.
Individuals who get enough sleep of about 7-8 hours can help regulate hormones to the proper levels. The lack of sleep affects a variety of hormones and chemicals in your body. After getting enough sleep, performing high-intensity exercises, and staying physically active, the body will create more of the necessary hormones as a result.
Exercise has a clear role in controlling stress levels, which is vital to both physical and mental wellbeing. When you are under regular stress, your body creates and secretes a steady amount of the stress hormone known as cortisol. When cortisol levels increase, the body is less able to create testosterone. Controlling your stress level is important in keeping your testosterone levels high and preventing any weight gain.
It would be advisable to try and limit your workday hours to about 10 hours per day or less. Commit at least two hours of your day to non-work related activities. Try walking at least 10-20 minutes per day briskly and do strength-building exercises. It is important to learn proper form to prevent any injury to yourself and eat testosterone booster foods with zinc and vitamin D. Zinc is important for testosterone production, while vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and is linked to longevity and testosterone production.
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Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:
Schatzl, G., Madersbacher, S., Thurridl, T., Waldmueller, J., Kramer, G., Haitel, A., & Marberger, M. (2001). High‐grade prostate cancer is associated with low serum testosterone levels. The Prostate, 47(1), 52-58.
Matsumoto, A. M. (2002). Andropause clinical implications of the decline in serum testosterone levels with aging in men. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 57(2), M76-M99.
Pitteloud, N., Mootha, V. K., Dwyer, A. A., Hardin, M., Lee, H., Eriksson, K. F., ... & Hayes, F. J. (2005). Relationship between testosterone levels, insulin sensitivity, and mitochondrial function in men. Diabetes care, 28(7), 1636-1642.
Oefelein, M. G., Feng, A., Scolieri, M. J., Ricchiutti, D., & Resnick, M. I. (2000). Reassessment of the definition of castrate levels of testosterone: implications for clinical decision making. Urology, 56(6), 1021-1024.
Wolf, O. T., & Kirschbaum, C. (2002). Endogenous estradiol and testosterone levels are associated with cognitive performance in older women and men. Hormones and Behavior, 41(3), 259-266.
Grossmann, M., Thomas, M. C., Panagiotopoulos, S., Sharpe, K., MacIsaac, R. J., Clarke, S., ... & Jerums, G. (2008). Low testosterone levels are common and associated with insulin resistance in men with diabetes.The journal of clinical endocrinology & metabolism, 93(5), 1834-1840.