My favorite overall tool to manage stress is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), which is like acupuncture without the needles. It's a handy, free tool for unloading emotional baggage quickly and painlessly, and so easy that even children can learn it. Other common stress-reduction tools with a high success rate include prayer, meditation, laughter and yoga, for example. Learning relaxation skills, such as deep breathing and positive visualization, which is the "language" of the subconscious.
Testosterone replacement therapy can successfully treat erectile dysfunction and loss of libido in men with low testosterone from either advancing age or hypogonadism. Although the effects of increased testosterone are more dramatic in hypogonadal men there are also benefits to the libido of men with normal gonadal, also called eugonadal, function. In a 2004 study published in the "Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism," researchers found that increasing peak testosterone levels to between 400 and 500 percent above baseline in subjects resulted in a significant increase in sexual arousability over placebo subjects.
The use of anabolic steroids (manufactured androgenic hormones) shuts down the release of luteinising hormone and follicle stimulating hormone secretion from the pituitary gland, which in turn decreases the amount of testosterone and sperm produced within the testes. In men, prolonged exposure to anabolic steroids results in infertility, a decreased sex drive, shrinking of the testes and breast development. Liver damage may result from its prolonged attempts to detoxify the anabolic steroids. Behavioural changes (such as increased irritability) may also be observed. Undesirable reactions also occur in women who take anabolic steroids regularly, as a high concentration of testosterone, either natural or manufactured, can cause masculinisation (virilisation) of women.
Aromatase inhibitors can boost testosterone on their own, but they can also complement other testosterone boosters. If you take a supplement that increases testosterone without inhibiting the aromatase enzyme (through hypothalamic stimulation, for instance), you may find yourself with more estradiol than you need, a situation that taking an aromatase inhibitor may remedy.

Low testosterone levels have a dramatic effect on emotional state. The American Academy of Family Physicians lists depression, impaired cognition and increased fatigue as symptoms of low testosterone production, or hypogonadism. Testosterone replacement therapy for hypogonadal men has successfully reduced negative moods relating to fatigue and depression while increasing feelings of self-esteem. Increasing testosterone in eugonadal men has also shown positive emotional benefits such as increased feelings of self-esteem and reduction of fatigue. The intensity of these benefits is dependent on dosage; a wide body of literature on testosterone increase has shown that at higher dosage aggression, and aggressive response, can become pronounced.
It goes without saying that a healthy diet, quality sleep, productive lifestyle, and regular exercises can contribute to the overall increase of testosterone. However, it is also true that these activities are very often not enough for guys who have the problems with naturally low testosterone levels. This situation also includes people who want to boost their existing testosterone levels.
The IOM report estimated that a study of whether there is an increased risk of prostate cancer in men on testosterone therapy might require following 5,000 men for three to five years. Before launching such an endeavor, the report recommended more firmly establishing the effectiveness of testosterone-replacement therapy, saying that studies of long-term risks and benefits should be conducted only after short-term efficacy has been proven. That means the male equivalent of the WHI remains far off.

Fenugreek, in the form of a capsule, testofen, or Fenugreek tea could do the trick. The fact that fenugreek increases libido is not mythology; it is backed by a clinical study which showed the libido of men aged 25-52 increased by 25%[1] on average when taking fenugreek extract for six weeks.  According to Lee Myer, of www.peaktestosterone.com fame, fenugreek will help you achieve orgasm as well, so if this is an issue for you, fenugreek may be the answer.  It’s a frustrating problem to have.
Some anti-aging physicians also use sublingual ( taken under the tongue) forms of non-bioidentical testosterone like oxandrolone. I took oxandrolone with a physician’s guidance for about two weeks, and I got pimples and hair loss. I quit and was bummed that it didn’t generate enough impact to write a blog post about it. I have continued to recommend bioidentical testosterone since.

I can report that I saw decreased body fat during my three-month testosterone experiment. I started off with 18% body fat and ended the experiment with 12% body fat. I almost have a six-pack! This is the leanest I’ve ever been in my entire life. The funny thing is, I wasn’t even trying to shed body fat. It just happened. All hail, mighty testosterone!


Recently, a panel with cooperation from international andrology and urology societies, published specific recommendations with regard to the diagnosis of Late-onset Hypogonadism (Nieschlag et al 2005). These are summarized in the following text. It is advised that at least two serum testosterone measurements, taken before 11 am on different mornings, are necessary to confirm the diagnosis. The second sample should also include measurement of gonadotrophin and prolactin levels, which may indicate the need for further investigations for pituitary disease. Patients with serum total testosterone consistently below 8 nmol/l invariably demonstrate the clinical syndrome of hypogonadism and are likely to benefit from treatment. Patients with serum total testosterone in the range 8–12 nmol/l often have symptoms attributable to hypogonadism and it may be decided to offer either a clinical trial of testosterone treatment or to make further efforts to define serum bioavailable or free testosterone and then reconsider treatment. Patients with serum total testosterone persistently above 12 nmol/l do not have hypogonadism and symptoms are likely to be due to other disease states or ageing per se so testosterone treatment is not indicated.
If you take a statin (cholesterol lowering medication) and you follow the 30-Day Heart Tune-Up program, there is a good chance you’ll be able to work with your doctor and over time safely stop your statin medication. Statin medications lower cholesterol, and you need cholesterol to make testosterone. Ask your doctor what you can do with lifestyle changes to not need a statin medication. Improving your cholesterol profile is only part of the answer. Many of the risk calculators doctors use look at tobacco use, body weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. Improve all your risk factors, and often you won’t qualify for a medication!
I had been on testosterone cyperonate 250-300 mg every 2 weeeksfor one year when diagnosed as having hypercythemic. I was cut of treatments immediately. Scanned from head to toe side to side. All clear. My urologist refuses to resume any HRT as my total testosterone is 701 immunoassay. However, he never mentions my Free % T value of 1.3. The labs range is 1.6-2.9. SHGB =70.6. Albumin 4.1. Is not the Free T we should be concerned with? Do I not need to go “Uologist Hunting”????
*IMPORTANT TESTOSTERONE TREATMENT WARNING: Who Should Not Enroll in Testosterone Replacement Therapy? Men who have or had prostate cancer or breast cancer should not take testosterone replacement therapy. All men considering treatment should undergo a thorough prostate cancer screening prior to starting any therapy program with a rectal exam and PSA test. *Men who have or have had cardiovascular disease, or are at risk for coronary disease, or have had a history of heart disease may not be candidates for testosterone treatment. Blood testing, thorough physical examination and careful screening by your physician is absolutely essential before considering a hormone therapy program of any kind. Always discuss the potential benefits, uses, side effects and risks of prescription hormones and steroid drugs with your treating physician. Hormone Treatment is for medically qualified candidates only. The FDA has cautions about using testosterone products for low testosterone due to aging; requires labeling change to inform of possible increased risk of heart attack and stroke with use - FDA Testosterone Safety Update
Fenugreek is often found in Indian, Turkish, and Persian cuisine. Multiple studies have found it to improve testosterone levels, and in particular, sexual performance. Scientists at Babu Banarasi Das University and King George’s Medical University in India have found that fenugreek improved testosterone levels. Testosterone levels increased for 90% of the volunteers, sperm morphology (the size and shape of sperm) improved for 14.6%, and more than 50% of volunteers experienced improvements in mental alertness, mood, and libido.
The biologically available part of total testosterone is called free testosterone, and it’s readily available to the cells. Almost every lab has a blood test to measure free testosterone. Even though it’s only a small fraction of the total, the free testosterone level is a pretty good indicator of low testosterone. It’s not perfect, but the correlation is greater than with total testosterone.
Testosterone replacement therapy can successfully treat erectile dysfunction and loss of libido in men with low testosterone from either advancing age or hypogonadism. Although the effects of increased testosterone are more dramatic in hypogonadal men there are also benefits to the libido of men with normal gonadal, also called eugonadal, function. In a 2004 study published in the "Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism," researchers found that increasing peak testosterone levels to between 400 and 500 percent above baseline in subjects resulted in a significant increase in sexual arousability over placebo subjects.

I am now 65 & have had Low-T problems since I was about 60. I took topical Testosterone for a few years until insurance stopped covering it. Then I took injections at a Men's Health-Low-T Clinic. Then I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer & was told to stop taking Testosterone. I underwent radiation treatment to cure the Prostate cancer, but since there is a theory that taking Testosterone can lead to Prostate cancer, I have chosen not to resume taking it. While I am glad to be free of the cancer, I have been feeling extremely fatigued & tired all the time to the point that doing much of anything like a little yard work would leave me exhausted for days.


I have used Androgel for 7 years with Testosterone levels between 650 and 900. PSA remained just under 3.0. 2 pumps per day. A year ago I increased my pumps to 4 per day and within a few months my Testosterone was 1,100 BUT my PSA shot up to 5.2. Last April, I totally stopped Androgel and within 2 months my Testosterone was under 20 (really) and PSA was virtually zero. Libido also fell from “strong” to “zero”. After 5 months of no Androgel, I resumed it in September at 2 pumps per day and now my Testosterone has improved to almost 600 and my PSA is just under 3.0. Am having my 3 month check-up with my Urologist tomorrow.
Vitamin C (unnecessary). I don’t know where I first heard about vitamin C’s supposed T-boosting benefits, but it’s one of those things you see all over the internet when you Google “how to increase testosterone.” Without trying to find the research that backs up that claim, I took a vitamin C supplement during my experiment. I later found some research that suggests that vitamin C does increase testosterone levels in diabetic mice, but because I wasn’t diabetic (nor a mouse), I’m not sure how much the vitamin C helped. I’ve actually stopped taking vitamin C supplements. I’m likely getting more than enough with my diet. Unless you have diabetes, you probably won’t see much benefit from this supplement. Don’t waste your money.
I am 45 years old and have been diagnosed with low testosterone levels. In 2014 my levels were 16.5 and in 2016 that dramatically reduced to a score of 10.4. My doctor prescribed me Testo gel which I rub on every morning and have done so for the last 6 weeks. I keep myself fit, gym twice a week and martial arts twice a week and found my energy levels were depleting and didn’t seem to recover quickly the next day. I started to feel exhausted and experienced low libido,lack of motivation and mental focus. I actually thought oh well this is what happens when you get older.

More can be learned from a large, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of finasteride treatment in 18,800 men aged 55 or more. Finasteride is a 5α-reductase inhibitor which acts to prevent the metabolism of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – the most active androgen in the prostate. The trial showed a greater overall incidence of prostate cancer in the control group, but men treated with finasteride were more likely to have high grade tumors (Thompson et al 2003), suggesting that reduced androgen exposure of the prostate may delay the presentation of prostate cancer and/or promote advanced disease in some other way.
If you haven’t hit your twenties yet then you probably can’t imagine losing your interest in sex. I feel you, Holmes.  At 26, I have a healthy appetite now (partially because I consciously work on elevating my T) but it’s nowhere near where it was when I was 17.  I imagine that things will only get worse by the time I’m 35 which is why it’s important to learn what gets your motor firing now.

A number of epidemiological studies have found that bone mineral density in the aging male population is positively associated with endogenous androgen levels (Murphy et al 1993; Ongphiphadhanakul et al 1995; Rucker et al 2004). Testosterone levels in young men have been shown to correlate with bone size, indicating a role in determination of peak bone mass and protection from future osteoporosis (Lorentzon et al 2005). Male hypogonadism has been shown to be a risk factor for hip fracture (Jackson et al 1992) and a recent study showed a high prevalence of hypogonadism in a group of male patients with average age 75 years presenting with minimal trauma fractures compared to stroke victims who acted as controls (Leifke et al 2005). Estrogen is a well known determinant of bone density in women and some investigators have found serum estrogen to be a strong determinant of male bone density (Khosla et al 1998; Khosla et al 2001). Serum estrogen was also found to correlate better than testosterone with peak bone mass (Khosla et al 2001) but this is in contradiction of a more recent study showing a negative correlation of estrogen with peak bone size (Lorentzon et al 2005). Men with aromatase deficiency (Carani et al 1997) or defunctioning estrogen receptor mutations (Smith et al 1994) have been found to have abnormally low bone density despite normal or high testosterone levels which further emphasizes the important influence of estrogen on male bone density.
Zinc is little more of a nice-to-have ingredient than a must-have. It’s on our radar as an ingredient that possibly boosts testosterone levels, and while we couldn’t find enough supporting evidence that taking zinc would increase natural testosterone, low zinc levels have been connected to infertility. A low zinc level is also possibly a sign of hypogonadism. The closest support we found is in a study which found that people recovered from nutritional deficiency-related problems more quickly if they took a zinc supplement than those who did not. Zinc is available in many foods, such as oysters, fortified breakfast cereals, and red meat.
Millions of men use testosterone therapy to restore low levels and feel more alert, energetic, mentally sharp, and sexually functional. But it's not that simple. A man's general health also affects his testosterone levels. For instance, being overweight, having diabetes or thyroid problems, and taking certain medications, such as glucocorticoids and other steroids, can affect levels. Therefore, simply having low levels does not always call for taking extra testosterone.
Tarig Elraiyah, Mohamad Bassam Sonbol, Zhen Wang, Tagwa Khairalseed, Noor Asi, Chaitanya Undavalli, Mohammad Nabhan, Osama Altayar, Larry Prokop, Victor M. Montori, Mohammad Hassan Murad; The Benefits and Harms of Systemic Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in Postmenopausal Women With Normal Adrenal Function: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 99, Issue 10, 1 October 2014, Pages 3536–3542, https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2014-2261
Started HRT in my early 50’s as I had all the low-T symptoms and Type 2 Diabetes, which was hammering my body. My total T was about 100 (not sure about Free at that point). First started with Androgel, and was getting decent symptomatic improvement, but didn’t like the residue from the cream, and traveling with the creams was a problem. I’ve gone to pellet implants for the past 7 years. Every 4-5 months, very happy with results to date.
Hi.i have a simple question…I AM 60 YEARS OLD and my free testosterone is 7… and my regular testosterone is 700+…I really need TRT …and in case yes i need it the doctor said if i start i need to do it for the rest of my life !!! he said is not coming back!!! ..i don’t know is true or not??? With my testosterone levels i need or not to do TRT???..i am going in gym daily and i feel good in general …all my blood results are perfect …///Again if i take the TRT will help me in general ??or is better to not use the “TRT”..Thank you for your time to answer HONEST for my question ..I ask this because i don’t know what to do ..i don’t want to do something wrong???…!!!..ps .if is possible to answer me on my email ..Thank you v v much and GOD BLESS YOU …Chris…R…

Male sex characteristics greatly depend on testosterone synthesis in your body. If you keep the levels of this hormone normal, you will prevent sexual potency issues. Accordingly, the elevation of testosterone levels helps combat the impairment of erectile function. The levels of this hormone also affect male fertility. If these levels grow, fertility improves. Aging has a negative impact on testosterone secretion. Such hormonal imbalance is inevitable and permanent. But it’s still possible to positively change the situation and stimulate hormone production by using the high-quality testosterone boosters.
Erectile dysfunction is a common finding in the aging male. A prevalence of over 70% was found in men older than 70 in a recent cross-sectional study (Ponholzer et al 2005). Treatment with phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors is proven to be effective for the majority of men but some do not respond (Shabsigh and Anastasiadis 2003). The condition is multi-factorial, with contributions from emotional, vascular, neurological and pharmacological factors. The concept of erectile dysfunction as a vascular disease is particularly interesting in view of the evidence presented above, linking testosterone to atherosclerosis and describing its action as a vasodilator.
Other side effects include increased risk of heart problems in older men with poor mobility, according to a 2009 study at Boston Medical Center. A 2017 study published in JAMA found that treatments increase coronary artery plaque volume. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires manufactures to include a notice on the labeling that states taking testosterone treatments can lead to possible increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. The FDA recommends that patients using testosterone should seek medical attention right away if they have these symptoms:
Attention, memory, and spatial ability are key cognitive functions affected by testosterone in humans. Preliminary evidence suggests that low testosterone levels may be a risk factor for cognitive decline and possibly for dementia of the Alzheimer's type,[104][105][106][107] a key argument in life extension medicine for the use of testosterone in anti-aging therapies. Much of the literature, however, suggests a curvilinear or even quadratic relationship between spatial performance and circulating testosterone,[108] where both hypo- and hypersecretion (deficient- and excessive-secretion) of circulating androgens have negative effects on cognition.

Cross-sectional studies conducted at the time of diagnosis of BPH have failed to show consistent differences in testosterone levels between patients and controls. A prospective study also failed to demonstrate a correlation between testosterone and the development of BPH (Gann et al 1995). Clinical trials have shown that testosterone treatment of hypogonadal men does cause growth of the prostate, but only to the size seen in normal men, and also causes a small increase in prostate specific antigen (PSA) within the normal range (Rhoden and Morgentaler 2005). Despite growth of the prostate a number of studies have failed to detect any adverse effects on symptoms of urinary obstruction or physiological measurements such as flow rates and residual volumes (Snyder et al 1999; Kenny et al 2000, 2001). Despite the lack of evidence linking symptoms of BPH to testosterone treatment, it remains important to monitor for any new or deteriorating problems when commencing patients on testosterone treatment, as the small growth of prostate tissue may adversely affect a certain subset of individuals.

In accordance with sperm competition theory, testosterone levels are shown to increase as a response to previously neutral stimuli when conditioned to become sexual in male rats.[40] This reaction engages penile reflexes (such as erection and ejaculation) that aid in sperm competition when more than one male is present in mating encounters, allowing for more production of successful sperm and a higher chance of reproduction.

I have tried pellets, I went from 5 grams/day gel, to 10 grams, had little change due to work schedule and no energy made it difficult to manage daily. Levels got down to 78 at one point. Testo pellets worked great but it took 10 to make a difference and it brought me up to the 300-400 range. My body rejected 3 pellets and expelled them. Tried axiron, didn’t work, natesto, which the doc never heard off next, a Nasal spray which helped but the bottle ran out 5 days early either by my mistake or dosage problems. Back to 10 grams Testim AG ($360 after deductible) which helps if i could stay consistent but I’m 28. With a job, and health insurance, deductible issues I can not afford 800 dollars a month, 360 after deductible. Recent levels of FSH/LH are .7 and 1.2 (low). Total testosterone 114, free 18.9, and bioavalability at 39.6 (low). I had a MRI of my pituitary gland today, and get results next week. Hoping to start depo T next week as I return to work. If I can recommend anything to anyone, is make sure it’s affordable, you have the time or energy to apply/administer, and understand most people will not understand what you are going through. 2 killers of testosterone are chronic stress and lack of sleep. In 3 years of treatment I wish I came to this man’s article and others and read up prior because I’m on the brink of losing everything I’ve worked for due to hypogonadism. Wish you all results and good health, and thank you for a great article!


Testosterone does a lot more than you’d think, whether we’re talking about male or female biology. It’s the hormone that helps you burn fat, build muscle [1], and increase your sex drive [2], and its power doesn’t stop there. Keeping your testosterone levels in a normal range can make you happier, too [3], and testosterone can even improve your cardiovascular health and decrease your risk of mortality (from all causes!), according to a study of 83,000 older men who underwent testosterone replacement therapy [4].


The sad truth, is that these purported testosterone support products were completely and utterly useless. They did absolutely nothing for testosterone production due to the simple fact that they didn’t contain any ingredients shown in human research trials to actually support testosterone production. Sure, they included all sorts of ancient herbs and botanical extracts that worked well in rats, but nary a compound that would actually benefit a real live human being.

Autopsy studies have found histological prostate cancer to be very common, with one series showing a prevalence of greater than fifty percent in men over age sixty (Holund 1980). The majority of histological cancers go undetected so that the clinical incidence of the disease is much lower, but it is still the most prevalent non-skin cancer in men (Jemal et al 2003). Prostate cancer is also unusual in comparison to other adult cancers in that the majority of those with the disease will die of other causes. Treatment of prostate cancer with androgen deprivation is known to be successful and is widely practiced, indicating an important role for testosterone in modifying the behavior of prostate cancer. In view of this, testosterone treatment is absolutely contraindicated in any case of known or suspected prostate cancer. The question of whether testosterone treatment could cause new cases of prostate cancer, or more likely cause progression of undiagnosed histological prostate cancer that would otherwise have remained occult, is an important consideration when treating ageing males with testosterone.
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.
Thanks for reaching out buddy. Sorry to hear about your situation. First off, what I’d suggest is to forget about creams, they are a waste of money unless you are trying to moisturize your body – which I guess you’re not. As for estrogen blockers, the same goes here – but testosterone boosters on the other hand, they work with your body instead of against it to give you everything your body is missing – it sounds like it’s the missing piece to your puzzle. Bear in mind Graham, you’ll need to pay close attention to your diet – aim to cut down on refined carbohydrates and simple sugars – these are terrible for testosterone production and weight gain. If you drink more water, eat a balanced diet, and exercise occasionally while supplementing with testofuel.com you’ll soon be back on track. All the best!
Sleep apnea is another frequently listed contraindication to testosterone treatment. There have been a few reports of the development, or worsening, of sleep apnea during testosterone therapy (Matsumoto et al 1985) but sleep apnea is actually associated with lower serum testosterone levels (Luboshitzky et al 2002). The reduction in fat mass during treatment with testosterone could potentially be beneficial for sleep apnea, so many specialists will still consider patients for treatment with appropriate monitoring. It is wise to take a clinical history for sleep apnea during testosterone treatment in all men and perform sleep studies in those who develop symptoms.

In accordance with sperm competition theory, testosterone levels are shown to increase as a response to previously neutral stimuli when conditioned to become sexual in male rats.[40] This reaction engages penile reflexes (such as erection and ejaculation) that aid in sperm competition when more than one male is present in mating encounters, allowing for more production of successful sperm and a higher chance of reproduction.


One more thing that I have experienced from getting injected T is that my testicles have shrunk and they have shrunk quite a good amount. I would say that my testicles are about half the size they were just 4 months ago. This is a result that many men get when they get T injections. I have a buddy who also gets injections and his testicles have shrunk a good amount as well. It’s not a bid deal overall as I am 51yrs old and things like that are not bother. However, I do miss feeling/having larger testicles when I catch a glimpse in the mirror or “adjust” my private parts and I can feel less there. 🙂


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The science is clear: Men’s body fat drains testosterone. We’re not talking pinchable back fat or squishable love handles. We’re talking classic belly fat. In medical parlance, it’s called visceral fat. Unlike fat that lies just beneath the surface of the skin, visceral fat nestles deep in the abdomen around the organs. It’s tenacious, dangerous, and hormonally active. The more visceral fat a man has, the higher his risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, insulin resistance, and colon cancer.
When I was on 4 pumps per day, I had a reduction of ejaculate, and sometimes found it hard to ejaculate. Getting erections is no problem, and I even take BP meds. I vary it now. When I’m not going to the gym, or traveling, I cut down to 2 pumps, or take a break for a few days. When I’m intense in the gym, I stick with 4 pumps (about 5mg). I do still have the belly flab unfortunately. I need to increase cardio, and change up the diet some, but honestly, I am not too bad with my diet, so I’m a little frustrated.

Magnesium: About 60% of our (if you’re a man) testosterone is bound to Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), which removes the anabolism of testosterone and the availability thereof, robbing the rest of the body from any testosterone. What magnesium does is it lowers the SHBG count by quite a bit, granting the free testosterone in the body to increase in a large amount.


There are no studies showing its effects on healthy males, but it has been shown to drastically improve testosterone in infertile males (ref 77). It's also packed full of minerals, so is a great superfood nevertheless. I use the Sunfoods brand. Make sure you buy from a quality brand, as there are a lot of poor shilajit products out there, also some have been shown to be high in heavy metals. 
Epidemiological evidence supports a link between testosterone and glucose metabolism. Studies in non-diabetic men have found an inverse correlation of total or free testosterone with glucose and insulin levels (Simon et al 1992; Haffner et al 1994) and studies show lower testosterone levels in patients with the metabolic syndrome (Laaksonen et al 2003; Muller et al 2005; Kupelian et al 2006) or diabetes (Barrett-Connor 1992; Andersson et al 1994; Rhoden et al 2005). A study of patients with type 2 diabetes using measurement of serum free testosterone by the gold standard method of equilibrium dialysis, found a 33% prevalence of biochemical hypogonadism (Dhindsa et al 2004). The Barnsley study demonstrated a high prevalence of clinical and biochemical hypogonadism with 19% having total testosterone levels below 8 nmol/l and a further 25% between 8–12 nmol/l (Kapoor, Aldred et al 2007). There are also a number longitudinal studies linking low serum testosterone levels to the future development of the metabolic syndrome (Laaksonen et al 2004) or type 2 diabetes (Haffner et al 1996; Tibblin et al 1996; Stellato et al 2000; Oh et al 2002; Laaksonen et al 2004), indicating a possible role of hypogonadism in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes in men. Alternatively, it has been postulated that obesity may be the common link between low testosterone levels and insulin resistance, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (Phillips et al 2003; Kapoor et al 2005). With regard to this hypothesis, study findings vary as to whether the association of testosterone with diabetes occurs independently of obesity (Haffner et al 1996; Laaksonen et al 2003; Rhoden et al 2005).
The regulation of testosterone production is tightly controlled to maintain normal levels in blood, although levels are usually highest in the morning and fall after that. The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland are important in controlling the amount of testosterone produced by the testes. In response to gonadotrophin-releasing hormone from the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland produces luteinising hormone which travels in the bloodstream to the gonads and stimulates the production and release of testosterone.
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