When we face stress, our adrenal glands secrete cortisol to prepare our bodies and minds to handle the stressful situation — the primal fight-or-flight response. In small dosages, cortisol is fine and even useful, but elevated cortisol levels for prolonged periods can do some serious damage to our bodies and minds. One area that seems to take a hit when cortisol is high is our testosterone levels. Several studies have shown a link between cortisol and testosterone. When cortisol levels are high, testosterone levels are low; and when testosterone levels are high, cortisol levels are low.
Camacho EM1, Huhtaniemi IT, O'Neill TW, Finn JD, Pye SR, Lee DM, Tajar A, Bartfai G, Boonen S, Casanueva FF, Forti G, Giwercman A, Han TS, Kula K, Keevil B, Lean ME, Pendleton N, Punab M, Vanderschueren D, Wu FC; EMAS Group. “Age-associated changes in hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular function in middle-aged and older men are modified by weight change and lifestyle factors: longitudinal results from the European Male Ageing Study.” Eur J Endocrinol. 2013 Feb 20;168(3):445-55. doi: 10.1530/EJE-12-0890. Print 2013 Mar.
A team led by Dr. Joel Finkelstein at Massachusetts General Hospital investigated testosterone and estradiol levels in 400 healthy men, 20 to 50 years of age. To control hormone levels, the researchers first gave the participants injections of a drug that suppressed their normal testosterone and estradiol production. The men were randomly assigned to 5 groups that received different amounts (from 0 to 10 grams) of a topical 1% testosterone gel daily for 16 weeks. Half of the participants were also given a drug to block testosterone from being converted to estradiol.
Bikinis, models, nuts … Is there anything Brazilian that’s not sexy? Selenium is a trace mineral found in Brazil nuts that plays an important role in hormone health. You only need a tiny bit for healthy sperm, but a tiny deficiency can be catastrophic for reproductive health. In one study, men who had lower testosterone and were infertile also had significantly lower selenium levels than the fertile group. Supplementing with the mineral improved chances of successful conception by 56 percent. And a second study that included 69 infertile men with low levels of the mineral, found selenium supplementation could significantly improve sub-par sperm motility associated with testosterone deficiency. Moreover, 11 percent of the men successfully impregnated their partners during the trial!
Testosterone was first used as a clinical drug as early as 1937, but with little understanding of its mechanisms. The hormone is now widely prescribed to men whose bodies naturally produce low levels. But the levels at which testosterone deficiency become medically relevant still aren’t well understood. Normal testosterone production varies widely in men, so it’s difficult to know what levels have medical significance. The hormone’s mechanisms of action are also unclear.
If you think you may have Low T symptoms or are suffering from Andropause (Hypogonadism), don't hesitate to contact a Hormone Therapy Physician at one of our male hormone replacement clinics today. You can get tested for Low T with a fast, easy lab test and start treatment right away with a prescription. Find a Testosterone Doctor & Clinics for hormone testing, diagnoses and treatment.
In fact, studies on vegetarian and low-fat diets both show reduced testosterone levels of about 12 percent. Where higher fat diets of at least 40 percent of calories, with a higher intake of saturated fat, show increased testosterone levels. Why? It’s not rocket science. After all, cholesterol makes up the building blocks from which testosterone is formed; without it, the hormone simply can’t synthesize. Organic eggs are one of the best dietary sources. In addition to essential fatty acids, a whole egg is rich in aspartic acid, an amino acid that triggers production of testosterone.
Sitting for long stretches of time increases the odds of illness and untimely death. Here are some simple tricks to get yourself out of your chair: While you're on the phone, stand up and walk around. When watching TV, stand and pace during commercials. Instead of sitting at your makeup table, stand up. In general, try to get on your feet every 30 minutes.
As mentioned earlier, too much protein can negate testosterone production quite a bit. If your protein intake is over 0.85g/lb of body weight a day, then you may not be making full use of each of the nutrients. Consuming these high amounts of protein can cause your cortisol and SHBG levels to increase, which in turn lowers testosterone production. What do you get out of this deal? Increased fat gain and lower testosterone levels.
I was depressed, getting fat, and zero libido. My doc did a full blood work up. My Total Testosterone level was 289 ng/dl. He offered TRT but I declined because I knew, at 53, that if I went on TRT my own testosterone production would shut down and at my age I would have a pretty difficult time kick starting it up again. I researched and researched for about a month. I started on Vitamin D 10,000 iu per day ( I knew this was a safe amount because I tested at 26ng/dl and optimum level is anywhere between 40-80ng/dl. I also took 1,200 mg of magnesium, 9mg of Boron and Vitamin K Complex. Tested again 3 months later and blood work showed I was at 720.
Alterations in mood and depression are a symptom of, but not confined to, hypogonadism.1,6 Outcomes in clinical trials of the effect of testosterone treatment on mood have varied. However, there is evidence that testosterone treatment results in improvements in mood, particularly in older men with hypogonadism.7,8Similarly, although there is an established association between measures of cognitive ability and serum levels of testosterone, the benefits of testosterone treatment on cognition are less clearly established, with some studies reporting improvements in some measures of cognitive function and others failing to detect benefits.6,9-11 Although a potential role for testosterone in protecting cognitive function and preventing Alzheimer’s disease has been proposed by some researchers, confirmation from appropriately-designed clinical trials is awaited.
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.
Overall, few patients have a compelling contraindication to testosterone treatment. The majority of men with late onset hypogonadism can be safely treated with testosterone but all will require monitoring of prostate parameters HDL cholesterol, hematocrit and psychological state. It is also wise to monitor symptoms of sleep apnea. Other specific concerns may be raised by the mode of delivery such as local side effects from transdermal testosterone.
Finally, there's the question of prostate cancer risk. Research over the past few decades has shown little evidence of a link between testosterone replacement therapy and prostate cancer. However, the question has not been entirely laid to rest. Eisenberg recommends that his testosterone replacement therapy patients get a PSA test once or twice a year to check for possible signs of concern.
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% 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.
"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."