If you follow my blogs, then you know that I am an advocate of Hormone Replacement Therapy, or HRT. I have successfully used HRT, specifically testosterone replacement therapy, to help many men return to the peak performance of their youth.
Still, HRT is not for everyone, and I am often asked by men, if there are ways to naturally boost their testosterone level.
Indeed there are, and in fact, even for those men for whom testosterone supplementation is indicated, I rarely prescribe testosterone alone, without also insisting on making lifestyle changes that can naturally increase their testosterone level.
Ways to Increase Testosterone
The kinds of lifestyle changes that can increase testosterone level I recommend include:
- Lose and/or maintain a healthy weight – There have been a number of studies that link obesity to low testosterone in men. Men who are overweight can increase testosterone production by losing a few pounds. Interestingly enough, men who are underweight, also can suffer from Low-T, and for those men, packing on a few more pounds, particularly in lean muscle, can increase testosterone levels.
- Get enough sleep – Sleep deprivation and poor sleep effect the production of many hormones, including testosterone.
- Strength training – Strength training through weight-lifting, and particularly high-intensity training, has been shown to increase testosterone levels.
- Reduce alcohol consumption – You may like to belly up to the bar, but alcohol could be adding to that belly, which reduces your testosterone level. A recent Dutch study found that men who drank more than 2 glasses of wine or beer every day for 3 weeks saw a 7% drop in testosterone levels.
- Reduce stress – Too much stress leads to the over-production of other hormones, such as cortisol, that reduce the production and effectiveness of testosterone.
- Make Dietary Changes – Take steps to eliminate processed sugars from your diet, eat healthy fats, such as those in avocados and nuts, and add zinc to your diet, either in food, or supplement form.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
As I stated earlier, if you are found to have low testosterone, the best way to bring your levels up to what is normal for you, is to take a comprehensive approach that combines the methods above with HRT.
This integrative approach not only brings my patients back to their optimal testosterone levels, but helps to keep them there.
It could be argued that testosterone is what makes “a man, a man.” Testosterone is responsible for the larger muscles, deeper voice, and facial and body hair that makes men physically distinct from women.
Testosterone also stimulates the maturity of the genitals at puberty, and plays a role in normal sperm production and your ability to achieve and maintain an erection.
Testosterone is important throughout your life, but unfortunately, production decreases the older you get, with peak production in your 20s. Hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, as the name implies, is all about renewing vitality by giving you back what age takes away.
Medical science today recognizes the very real condition of “male menopause,” or andropause. Andropause is marked by a significant decrease in testosterone levels, also known as “Low-T.”
Symptoms of Low-T can include:
- A decrease in sex drive or libido
- Loss of vitality
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decreased energy and fatigue
- Weight gain, particularly belly-fat
- Reduced muscle mass and bone density
Studies have shown that testosterone optimization therapy offers a variety of benefits for men suffering from andropause, including:
- Improved libido and ability to obtain and maintain erections
- Improved mood
- Improved cognition and mental alertness
- Increased muscle mass and improved bone density
The only way to determine if you are a candidate for testosterone replacement therapy is through a proper examination and blood test.
Are you over 40 and do you not feel the way you used to? Do you think you may be suffering from Low-T?
Have you, or anyone you know tried hormone replacement, what were the results?
Start the conversation below.