Findings that improvements in serum glucose, serum insulin, insulin resistance or glycemic control, in men treated with testosterone are accompanied by reduced measures of central obesity, are in line with other studies showing a specific effect of testosterone in reducing central or visceral obesity (Rebuffe-Scrive et al 1991; Marin, Holmang et al 1992). Furthermore, studies that have shown neutral effects of testosterone on glucose metabolism have not measured (Corrales et al 2004), or shown neutral effects (Lee et al 2005) (Tripathy et al 1998; Bhasin et al 2005) on central obesity. Given the known association of visceral obesity with insulin resistance, it is possible that testosterone treatment of hypogonadal men acts to improve insulin resistance and diabetes through an effect in reducing central obesity. This effect can be explained by the action of testosterone in inhibiting lipoprotein lipase and thereby reducing triglyceride uptake into adipocytes (Sorva et al 1988), an action which seems to occur preferentially in visceral fat (Marin et al 1995; Marin et al 1996). Visceral fat is thought to be more responsive to hormonal changes due to a greater concentration of androgen receptors and increased vascularity compared with subcutaneous fat (Bjorntorp 1996). Further explanation of the links between hypogonadism and obesity is offered by the hypogonadal-obesity-adipocytokine cycle hypothesis (see Figure 1). In this model, increases in body fat lead to increases in aromatase levels, in addition to insulin resistance, adverse lipid profiles and increased leptin levels. Increased action of aromatase in metabolizing testosterone to estrogen, reduces testosterone levels which induces further accumulation of visceral fat. Higher leptin levels and possibly other factors, act at the pituitary to suppress gonadotrophin release and exacerbate hypogonadism (Cohen 1999; Kapoor et al 2005). Leptin has also been shown to reduce testosterone secretion from rodent testes in vitro (Tena-Sempere et al 1999). A full review of the relationship between testosterone, insulin resistance and diabetes can be found elsewhere (Kapoor et al 2005; Jones 2007).
There are three ways to increase testosterone activity naturally with simple lifestyle choices. The first is to increase total testosterone production. Second is to increase the amount of free and active testosterone that can stimulate testosterone receptors. The third is to unblock testosterone receptors, opening them up for testosterone stimulation.
Get some sun – I know many people say you should avoid the sun like a vampire unless you want to get skin cancer but we actually do need some sunlight. This is because the sun is the best source of vitamin D which plays a huge role in testosterone production and other bodily functions. Keep your sun exposure in moderation but do not avoid it altogether.
When I was using the gel my testicles also shrank a bit, but not anywhere near this amount. And when I stopped using the gel they plumbed back up again to their former size. It took some time but their size came back. This may be an issue for the younger guys, but I think most older guys can easily handle this as no big deal, because overall it’s not.
The unsexy truth is that increasing T naturally simply comes down to making some long-term changes in your diet and lifestyle. As you’ll see, what I did to increase T largely boils down to eating better, exercising smarter, and getting more sleep. That’s pretty much it. But as with most things in life, the devil is in the details, so I’ll share with you exactly what I did and provide research that explains why the things I did helped boost my testosterone.
Consuming high amounts of sugary foods raises your blood glucose levels, which causes your body to release insulin as a response to the raised blood glucose levels. If not managed correctly, the body begins to develop a tolerance to insulin and cannot absorb the sugars in the blood stream as it used to, causing you to become insulin resistant. Being insulin resistant releases cortisol, and as you know, cortisol has extremely negative effects, lowering testosterone by quite a bit.
Let’s do a quick review of what I shared in the introduction to this series. August of last year was a tough month for me, primarily because of a huge and grueling project we were in the midst of here on the site. I was stressed out and my sleeping, healthy eating habits, and workout regimen all suffered. At the end of the month I got my testosterone levels tested and found that my total T was 383 ng/dL and my free T was 7.2 pg/mL – close to the average for an 85-100-year-old man.
Margaret, I’m on Trt, and my wife is 43 going through Peri- (early/pre) menopause. She started trying about a drop a day to see if her libido would improve, and it did, dramatically, and also her moods and patience. After about a month of feeling 30again, she started noticing lite facial hair developing, decreased breast size, and return of all previous symptoms. So she went off it. About a month later, she started St.JohnsWart, and everything improved tenfold. Now she feels 20 instead of just 30 on testosterone. She literally glows with smiles and energy, and has an extremely high libido. Maybe try that first. Good luck.
"A lot of the symptoms are mirrored by other medical problems," Hedges says. "And for a long time, we were not attributing them to low testosterone, but to diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease. But awareness and appreciation of low testosterone has risen. We recognize now that low testosterone may be at the root of problems."