Having low testosterone is something that can be difficult to deal with if your levels drop below a certain level. All men should expect to lose some testosterone between the ages of 30-40, and it will naturally slowly decline as they age. That being said, having lower than normal testosterone can cause all kinds of problems. Men with low testosterone often experience at least a few of the following symptoms:
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decreased body hair
- Low mood/depression
- An increase in body fat, especially belly fat
- Reduction in muscle mass
- Swollen, tender breasts
- Chronic fatigue
- Night sweats
- Sleep apnea and other sleep changes
Almost 40% of men older than 45 years have abnormally low levels of testosterone. These abnormally low levels can cause the symptoms. These symptoms can cause issues in your everyday life and even cause problems in your relationships. Here, we will discuss how you fix low testosterone if this is something you are struggling with.
Get Properly Assessed By A Doctor
The first step you will want to take is getting properly assessed by a doctor. You can’t accurately diagnose yourself, even if you think you have all of the symptoms of low testosterone. There may be something else going on with you, so testing is absolutely crucial.
A testosterone test will be performed and measure the amount of testosterone in your blood. You will be given a specific time and day for the test, as hormone levels are usually highest in the morning. The test is often performed in the morning for this reason, any time up to 10am. You may need to have testing done more than once in order to get an accurate result.
It’s important that you follow your doctor’s instructions before the testing. They may ask you to stop taking certain medications or drugs as they can affect your test. You must tell your doctor about any and all medications that you are taking. This includes both over the counter and prescription drugs.
Adjust Your Lifestyle
Before you go the treatment route for low testosterone, there are some worthwhile lifestyle changes you can make that can help you to build your testosterone levels and keep them higher. If you can get into the habits listed here, you may not need further treatment, or you may be able to make the results of your treatment even better. Take a look and see how you can adjust your lifestyle:
Exercise and lift weights
As low testosterone levels affect your body fat and muscle mass, exercising and lifting weights can help you to stay in great shape. Not only that, as bone density is often affected, your bones will get stronger with weight lifting. Many people notice great results when they pair testosterone therapy with a good exercise regime.
Eat a good mix of macronutrients and micronutrients
Making sure your diet is healthy and balanced is crucial for giving your body what it needs. Dieting and overeating can affect testosterone, so simply ensuring you have a diet full of whole foods will help you to get your 5 a day and keep things moving as they should be.
Minimize stress and cortisol levels
Unnatural elevations in cortisol can quickly reduce testosterone. As one goes up, the other comes down, so make sure you work to minimize stress and your triggers. Deep breathing, meditation, and taking on less work are all options. So is exercising, as mentioned before.
Stress can also cause you to overeat, so these habits can really form a domino effect if you don’t begin working on them.
Get some sun
Get out there and get some sun, or alternatively, take a vitamin D supplement. A 12-month study found that supplementing with around 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day increased testosterone levels by around 25%. It’s a natural testosterone booster.
Get a good nights sleep
Sleeping only 5 hours per night was linked to a 15% reduction in testosterone levels in one study. Another study calculated that for every additional hour of sleep you get, testosterone levels rise 15% higher, on average. Sleep has also been linked to things like stress and overeating. When you make sure you’re getting enough, your entire life will benefit.
Follow a healthy lifestyle
In general, you should aim to follow a healthy lifestyle. Avoid excess alcohol or drug use, whether it’s medical or recreational. Laughter and happiness might sound cliche, but it can be the best medicine!
Discuss The Treatment Best For You
Not everybody will need treatment and can simply make some of the changes already listed to see results. However, patients with very low testosterone will likely benefit from treatment as well as making some of the changes. Let’s talk about the various treatment options available:
Testosterone replacement therapy
This therapy is used to treat people who have abnormally low levels of testosterone. Testosterone medication is prescribed, and can come in many forms. This includes pills, patches, and gel that you apply to your skin, and liquid that you inject into your body. It will help to increase your body’s overall testosterone level and eliminate or decrease certain symptoms of low testosterone.
However, not all replacement therapy is created equal. Studies suggest that applying testosterone treatments to the skin is not as affected because the testosterone that enters the body is bound. When testosterone is injected, the hormone is free and can be used by the body freely.
Testosterone injections are one of the more common forms of testosterone replacement therapy. They are given by a doctor, and you will need them less frequently than other forms. Many people swear by testosterone injections as they can work quickly and effectively and help people who have aged somewhat feel much younger thanks to the results. That being said, there are some side effects that every patient should be aware of.
Testosterone side effects
Side effects can include an increased number of red blood cells and rarely, blood clots. You also may experience acne and breast swelling. You should keep an eye on these things and go back to your physician if you notice these changes. Although there may be risks involved with the treatment, for those who have abnormally low levels of testosterone, the pros often outweigh the cons.
Do You Need To Fix Your Low Testosterone?
If you have low levels of testosterone due to ages and lifestyle, the best thing you can do is alter your lifestyle. You will quickly notice benefits in the way you function and feel, and the rest of your life should improve as a result. If you have low levels of testosterone that are normal for your age, it is unlikely you will be prescribed testosterone therapy or treatment by a doctor. Having tests performed by a medical professional that you trust is the only way to find out whether you’re a suitable candidate for testosterone replacement therapy. If they come back abnormally low, you will be a candidate.
How To Get The Most From Testosterone Therapy
You can get the most from testosterone therapy by making sure you follow your physician’s instructions both before and after treatment. This will ensure your results are optimal and that you notice the changes you really want to see. Making the lifestyle changes alongside the treatment will work wonders. You’ll be surprised at what a little more sleep, less stress, and a healthier overall lifestyle can do for your body and state of mind.
All of this being said, make sure you have realistic expectations for your treatment. You’re not going turn feel like a man in his early 20s again if you’re a man in his 60s or 70s. You will definitely feel better, but this is not a magic potion that will take you back to your glory days.
Low testosterone can affect men in numerous ways. Suffering from things like erectile dysfunction might seem normal at a certain age or point in a relationship, but they can actually be a sign of low testosterone. You may notice a couple of symptoms or nearly all of the symptoms depending on how abnormal your levels are and how long you have gone without treatment.
Don’t diagnose yourself if you notice numerous symptoms. You will need to be tested by a professional to make sure that this is the case, as they can also be symptoms of a number of other issues. Get tested as soon as possible to ensure that whatever your problem may be, whether it’s low testosterone or something else, is treated effectively and quickly.
Don’t be embarrassed by your feelings or symptoms. Talk to a medical professional as well as somebody you trust. They have seen this a hundred times over, and you should get the help you need. Finally, making lifestyle changes whether you go through with testosterone therapy or not will make a huge, positive difference in your life. You will feel vibrant, healthy, and happy amongst other things!