What Causes Low Testosterone in Men?
According to statistics, nearly 13 million American men may have low testosterone, and nearly 70% of these men will experience low sex drive and erectile dysfunction.
Unfortunately nearly 90% of these men don’t bother to receive treatment, or even consult their doctor about what could possibly be causing the chronic fatigue, decreased sex drive, and insomnia.
Many are under the impression that it’s simply another part of aging, and that as you grow older, your testosterone levels decrease, but according to Gary Wittert, a professor of medicine at University of Adelaide, this is simply not the case.
“Declining testosterone levels are not a natural part of aging. They are most likely due to health-related behaviors or health status itself.”
Causes of Low testosterone in Men: It’s Not What You Think
In an Australian study, nearly 1,382 men ranging from 35-80 years of age were tested for blood testosterone levels at the beginning and end of a five year period. Surprisingly, the passage of time had very little effect on the overall testosterone levels, decreasing a mere 1% each year.
However, when the researchers examined the men in groups, those who experienced the greatest decline in testosterone over the years were those who had been obese, depressed, or quit smoking – proving that your lifestyle can have a big impact on your overall testosterone levels.
So what aspect of your life is putting a dent in your testosterone levels?
Obesity: Although the media often hypes the importance of testosterone levels in men, many forget that the male body also requires a certain amount of estrogen in order to properly function and maintain bone density.
Testosterone is unique in the fact that it can be converted naturally into estrogen in the fat cells. Unfortunately, the more fat cells you have, the greater the testosterone conversion. Simply losing a few extra pounds may be enough to get your levels of testosterone back to a healthy number.
Physical Damage or Injury: Whether from something as minor as a sports injury or something as severe as prostate cancer, an injury to the testicles or scrotum can decrease the body’s ability to produce adequate amounts of testosterone in men.
Note: if only one testicle is injured, then you may still be able to produce enough testosterone to remain healthy.
Radiation Therapy: Cancer therapies are designed to kill of harmful and dangerous cells, but more often than not, they also damage cells in the testes that produce testosterone.
If you’re lucky, your cells will recover from treatment and testosterone levels will return to normal. However, sometimes the damage caused by radiation therapy is permanent.
Medication and Chemicals: Certain medications can interfere with the body’s ability to produce this important hormone, such as opiates for pain. If you think that your current medication is triggering symptoms of low testosterone, then consult your doctor and get your blood tested to discover a better solution.
Additionally, chemicals found in the environment could be lowering your testosterone levels without your realizing it: pesticides, excitotoxins, mercury, lead, Phtalates, and Bisphenol-A – to name a few.
Steroids: The ironic thing about steroids is the fact that most are designed to increase performance and the body’s ability to build more muscle through the use of synthetic testosterone, but unfortunately these supplements can have a negative impact on your reproductive system and prolonged use will actually decrease testosterone production.
Now that you know the causes for low testosterone in men, it’s time to find ways to counteract the problem by seeking medical treatment and making changes to your lifestyle.
Ask your doctor for a blood test to see if your testosterone levels are in a healthy range, and if not, what solution to take.
Some may ask you to lose a few extra pounds, take dietary supplements, or even go through hormone replacement therapy to ensure that your testosterone remains at a stable and healthy level.
Many of the testosterone supplements on this site can help give you that extra boost you need, but if you’re looking to trim down, then you may need to weight loss supplement instead.
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