Although testosterone is produced by the testes in men and the adrenal glands and ovaries in women, production, and release of testosterone is actually controlled by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. By sending chemical signals to the pituitary, the hypothalamus stimulates the release of follicle stimulating and luteinizing hormones that “tells” the testes or ovaries to make and release testosterone. When the hypothalamus detects too much testosterone in the bloodstream, it orders the pituitary to produce less LH in men and less FSH in women.1
What are Signs of Low Testosterone in Men?
Testosterone is the hormone responsible for physical male attributes–development of the penis and testes and growth of bone, muscle and body hair. It also contributes to the overall health and well-being of adult men by influencing mood, motivation, and cognition. Low testosterone in men may cause the following symptoms:2
- Lack of sexual desire
- Erectile dysfunction
- Difficulty remembering and concentrating
- Increase in abdominal visceral fat
- A decrease in muscle tone
- Decreased in bone mineral density (could lead to osteoporosis)
- Lack of stamina and energy
Doctors used to think low testosterone was due to aging, but new research indicates that is not always the case.
Health and Behavior Influences Testosterone Levels More Than the Aging Process
A new study discovered that decreases in testosterone over time is likely to be caused by a man’s lifestyle and health changes as they age. A co-author of this study says that a decline in testosterone levels is not an “inevitable part of aging”, contrary to previous beliefs. He further added that obesity, depression and smoking habits can explain low testosterone in men over 35 years old. In fact, doctors are finding that, for many older men diagnosed with low testosterone, the cause remains elusive and may lie in problems affecting the pituitary or hypothalamus.3
In addition, past research has correlated low testosterone with depression. Unmarried male subjects in testosterone-depression studies indicate that married men of all ages had higher testosterone levels compared to single men. Researchers attribute this to other studies linking married men with being happier and enjoying regular sexual activity, which increases testosterone production.4
5 Things Men Can Do to Increase Testosterone
- Stay active both physically and mentally. For men in their 30s, strength-training and cardiovascular exercises are a great way to stimulate production and release of testosterone. Older men should walk, hike, bicycle and swim regularly to help prevent weight gain and improve muscle tone.
- Avoid eating soy. A Harvard study found that sperm counts of male patients at infertility clinics had lower sperm counts compared to men who ate soy-free foods. This study also discovered that a combination of soy foods and being overweight contributed to even lower sperm counts.5
- Avoid alcohol, especially beer. An ingredient in a beer called hops is an estrogenic substance, meaning it causes testosterone to be converted to estrogen. Some research suggests that having two drinks per day may reduce testosterone levels in both young and older men.6
- Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is stressful to the body and brain. When under stress, the body releases cortisol, the primary stress hormone known to cause a variety of health problems. Men between 64 and 74 years old who did not get enough sleep were found to have lower levels of testosterone in the morning than men the same age who got sufficient sleep.7
- Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. When leading a healthy lifestyle does not improve symptoms of low testosterone, more and more men are discovering the physical and mental benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). Bioidentical hormones are not synthetic hormones, but hormones made from plant-based materials that are readily accepted by cell receptors and absorbed quickly into your body. Alternately, laboratory-made hormones are not molecularly similar to natural hormones, making it difficult for receptors to accept them. This is why synthetic hormones may increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, and cancer.
If you think you are suffering from low testosterone, call us today to learn more about the advantages of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Find out how to get all the details HERE.