Are you struggling with low testosterone levels? Chances are that you are not the only one facing this problem. Statistics indicate that the number of men seeking testosterone treatment has tripled in the last 10 years. This number is still rising due to a number of factors. From metabolic disorders such as Hemochromatosis to alcohol abuse, there are many factors that may cause low testosterone in men. The good news is that you can avert this problem by considering a number of ideas. In this article, we shall take a closer look at the 3 testosterone killers and other related ideas for a better understanding.
What is low testosterone?
First and foremost, testosterone is a hormone that is produced in men by the testicles. Unlike other hormones, this one affects the appearance of a man and his sexual development. Besides this, it also stimulates the production of sperms and sexual desires in a man.
It also helps in building muscles and bone mass. During puberty, this hormone is responsible for many male teenagers to have features such as facial and body hair. It also makes them have a deeper voice and a broader chest.
When someone is young, testosterone is usually produced in high amounts. However, as one advances in age, its production reduces. In fact, the American Urological Association did research and found out that 2 out of 10 men who are more than 60 years old usually have low testosterone levels.
As they get into the 70s and 80s, the number of affected individuals increases as well. Individuals who have low testosterone levels are said to suffer from Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome (TD) or Low Testosterone (Low-T)
What are the normal ranges or levels of testosterone in men?
Ideally, the lowest limit of testosterone levels in a man ought to be 300 nanograms per deciliter. Its upper normal limit on the other hand, is 1000 to 1200 nanograms per deciliter. Unless you are aged, your testosterone levels should not go below 300 nanograms per deciliter. If you discover that you have low testosterone levels, your condition should be diagnosed as soon as possible.
How can I tell that I have low testosterone levels?
There are a myriad of symptoms that can help you establish that your testosterone levels are low. Some of these signs and symptoms include:
1. Low sex drive
Like we mentioned previously, testosterone plays a critical role in boosting libido in men. Although there are many causes of low libido in men, one of the main causes of this problem is low testosterone levels. If you are a young person and your sex drive is on the lower end, chances are that you have low testosterone levels
2. Reduced semen volume
Besides boosting your libido, testosterone plays a pivotal role in producing semen. Men with low testosterone levels rarely have large volumes of semen anytime they ejaculate.
3. Difficulty with erection
Since testosterone helps to boost a man’s sex drive or libido, it greatly helps men to get and maintain an erection for long. This is because it helps to stimulate the receptors in the brain that yield nitric oxide. It is important to note that nitric oxide is the molecule that triggers a series of chemical reactions that make it possible for a man to have an erection.
If a man has low testosterone levels, he may have problems whenever he wants to get an erection. For instance, he may not get a stiff erection whenever he wants to make out with his partner. Better still, he may not get a spontaneous erection whenever he is sleeping.
4. Fatigue issues
Although it is normal to get fatigued once in a while, extreme fatigue is a red flag. Also, decreased energy level is an indication that something is wrong with your health. Technically, these are some of the symptoms of low testosterone levels in the body. Despite sleeping for long hours, you may still wake up tired as if you never slept at all. If this happens, then chances are that you have low testosterone levels in your body.
5. Weight gain
Increased body fat is another indication that your testosterone is low. In most cases, such individuals usually have enlarged breast tissue. This condition is known as gynecomastia. It is believed that an imbalance between testosterone and estrogen causes men to have enlarged breasts.
6. Reduced testicles
Individuals who have low testosterone levels in the body normally have smaller-than-average-sized testicles. Remember that your body needs testosterone to develop sex organs such as the testicles and the penis. In fact, low levels of testosterone can reduce the size of the penis.
What are the 3 main killers of testosterone?
Since we have looked at signs of low testosterone levels, time is ripe for you to know the main testosterone killers in men. Some of these things are related to your daily diet, and thus, you should keep them away from your house. They include the following:
1. Soy products
It is important to note that foods such as edamame, tofu, and soy protein isolate normally contain phytoestrogens. These plant-based substances boost the estrogen hormone in the body and thus lower the level of testosterone.
Men who drink 20 grams of soy protein isolate daily usually have lower levels compared to those who take whey protein. Therefore, if you have to consume soy protein, do it in moderation, as high amounts of soy products can reduce your testosterone levels.
2. Refined carbohydrates and sugars
Besides soy protein, refined carbohydrates and sugars are a bigger contributor to low testosterone levels in men. To put this into perspective, you should avoid eating white bread, too much rice, pasta, and cakes. Remember that these foods are quickly digested by the body and offer the much-needed energy to work.
However, they can lead to a spike in insulin levels in the body. Besides this, they can lead to weight gain. For optimal results, you should avoid taking these foods and instead focus on natural foods. If you have to take refined sugars, do it in moderation so that you can keep your testosterone levels within the normal range of fluctuation.
Apart from the foods mentioned above, you should avoid taking processed foods. Junk foods also fall in this category. For instance, processed meats can interfere with the hormonal balance in your body as they contain high amounts of sodium, sugars, calories, and trans-fats. This goes a long way in reducing your testosterone levels. They are also capable of reducing the sperm count, among other effects.
Although most people like taking alcohol for fun, too much of it can have adverse effects on your health. One of those notable effects is the reduced production of testosterone in the body. To put it into perspective, once you drink alcohol, your body usually metabolizes ethanol, which is a compound found in alcohol.
This metabolism leads to the reduction of NAD+, which is a coenzyme that enables the testes to produce testosterone. If this continues, the levels of estrogen may increase in the body. Typically, testosterone will be converted to estrogen.
Also, continued consumption of alcohol leads to the production of the stress hormone commonly known as cortisol, which in turn kills testosterone. In addition, excessive drinking of alcohol can disrupt your sleep schedule. Consequently, your body will not be able to produce the right amounts of testosterone.
If you are fond of drinking beer, be sure that this drink contains a lot of prolactin and phytoestrogen. These two chemicals accelerate the production of estrogen in the body and turn, reduce the production of testosterone. Wines and other liquors such as bourbon also contain phytoestrogen. If possible, you should avoid taking alcohol to maintain your testosterone at the right levels.
Since the liver is also responsible for testosterone production, this role has interfered with anytime one consumes alcohol. This is because the liver will be busy metabolizing the large amounts of alcohol one has drunk. Consequently, it may struggle to produce the much-needed testosterone in the body still.
Tips on Boosting Testosterone
Apart from the items we have mentioned above, you should keep walnuts and almonds at bay. This is because these nuts usually increase the sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), which is a type of protein that binds to testosterone.
Consequently, it can reduce the levels of free testosterone in your body. Besides this, nuts have high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which also play a significant role in reducing the amount of testosterone in the body.
Low testosterone levels are a common phenomenon among men. Although it is normal to have this condition, there is a need to mitigate it as it can have adverse effects. From reducing your erection to making you produce small amounts of semen, there are many effects of having low testosterone levels in the body. If you can avoid the above-mentioned testosterone killers, be sure that you will boost your current testosterone levels. Better still, if you embrace a healthy lifestyle, do exercises, and have adequate sleep, you will be able to boost your testosterone levels naturally.