Here’s the truth about testosterone: low testosterone (low-T) is a very real issue and common complaint of men. You may have heard this is something that happens to every man as he ages. But your lifestyle plays a role in the decline of testosterone. This puts some of the power of preventing low-T in your ball field. You have the power to change your lifestyle, which gives you some control over your naturally decreasing T-levels. Make a change in your life with these guidelines for asking the right questions about the diagnosis of low testosterone and for recognizing some of the major risks involved in prescribed testosterone therapy.
What Is Low Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone in males and females, but most associated with masculinity. It is the hormone that causes excessive body and facial hair, muscle development and the sex drive of men. The decrease in testosterone creates havoc for males and their masculinity. However, this is a natural part of life! According to the Mayo Clinic, testosterone levels begin to decline at a rate of 1% per year after age 30. This means you are going to have a more difficult time building and sustaining muscle mass. You may experience hair loss, and your sex drive is likely to decrease. The remedy for many males like yourself is to prescribe to testosterone therapy, but there are other remedies that you can take on yourself.
What to Think About Before Choosing Prescribed Testosterone Therapy?
The quickest solution to the low-T debacle is the use of testosterone therapy. Doctors are readily prescribing meds containing synthetic testosterone as a way to boost the amount of testosterone in patients. However, the worry is that doctors are prescribing this therapy too easily and without asking the right questions. Before going to the doctor to inquire about low testosterone levels, you may want to ask yourself the following questions related to symptoms and causes of low-T:
• How am I sleeping at night? Any unusual sleep patterns due to excessive fatigue or tiredness, which is a symptom of low testosterone? Low levels of testosterone can affect your sleep patterns, such as insomnia or sleep disturbances as noted by the Mayo Clinic.
• Am I taking alternative medicines supposed to boost testosterone, but that may be stunting natural T production? For example, over-the-counter remedies supposed to boost your T-levels might be the cause of your low-T nightmare.
• Am I experiencing a great deal of stress in my life? If your stress is manageable or a once-in-a-lifetime deal, such as due to the death of a loved one or retirement from your career, then once resolved your testosterone levels may return to normal.
• How much do I exercise and at what level of activity each week? Low testosterone is related to loss of muscle mass and an increase in fatigue. So sudden drops in energy might be related to a decrease in testosterone.
What Are the Risks of Prescribed Testosterone Therapy?
Before you hop on board the testosterone treatment train, consider the risks to your overall health and well-being. If your testosterone levels are in a natural decline with no hope for rebounding, then sure, testosterone therapy could be a sound alternative. Otherwise, if your body is able to produce testosterone, but is currently in decline due to environment, stress or other repairable issues, you may want to avoid testosterone therapy. When your body receives synthetic testosterone supplements, always prepare for some risks, as noted by the National Institute of Health:
• Breast enlargement
• Water retention
• Decrease in good cholesterol (HDL)
• Increased red blood cell count, which can lead to blood clotting and/or stroke
• Sleep apnea issues
• Growth of the prostate gland
What Can You Do to Increase Testosterone Naturally?
Not sure if man boobs, high cholesterol or a swollen prostate is worth the risk as a result of testosterone therapy? Take proactive steps to get some of your testosterone back even if you are losing testosterone due to aging. Rather than getting a pill, cream or injection of this hormone, make long-term physical, environmental and emotional changes.
• In addition to using more natural products, make a note of chemicals reported to decrease testosterone, such as parabens or alternative medicines, and avoid these at all cost.
• Increase exercise levels to reduce fatigue and to build muscle tone in order to stimulate the natural production of testosterone.
• Consider a change of environment if you are working or living in a stressful situation. As stress is directly related to a decrease in testosterone production.
Finally, if you are considering testosterone therapy, first ask your doctor about what you can do on your own to improve your testosterone levels before getting on board with the use of synthetic testosterone.