What Young Men Need to Know about Low Testosterone
While a decline in testosterone is a struggle that older men expect, there is an overwhelming number of younger men that I have helped in my Practice, where low testosterone is now becoming more prevalent. For this reason, I wanted to share the most common reasons I come across why younger men are experiencing this.
Low Testosterone and Chronic Diseases
Abdominal obesity, is often linked with the development of chronic diseases like insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and ultimately diabetes. Where does testosterone come in? Large, population-based longitudinal studies have found that men with low testosterone and low sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) who do not yet have metabolic syndrome or diabetes are significantly more likely to go on to develop insulin resistance or diabetes. . SHBG is the main binding protein for testosterone in the circulation and largely controls the availability of free testosterone to tissuses.It also affects the total amount of circulating testosterone – the more SHBG, the greater the amount of total testosterone being carried around in the circulation, and vice versa. Obesity is known to decrease SHBG levels while aging increases them, but the effect of obesity in driving down SHBG is greater than the effect of aging in raising it, with effects on total testosterone.
What Else Could Influence Total Testosterone Levels?
A number of mechanisms explain low total testosterone levels in men with abdominal fat and/or insulin resistance. Low SHBG associated with excess fatty tissue and insulin resistance drives down total testosteone levels.
Also, an enzyme called aromatase which is resides in excess fat, can use up testosterone as it converts to estradiol. This then further shuts down testosterone production in the Leydig cells in the testes through negative feedback on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal system. And finally, insulin resistance itself can directly inhibits testosterone production in Leydig cells.
What about men who exhibit low total testosterone before developing “beer gut” or insulin resistance? If they have a sedentary lifestyle or a habitual high refined carbohydrate intake, this can also impact SHBG production directly through the liver, predisposing them to both low testosterone and risk of obesity.
How to Balance Testosterone Levels Naturally in Younger Men?
Address your Stress
Before jumping to conclusions that supplementing with testosterone is the only answer, consider having your adrenals checked. Stress is never a good thing and it can affect every area of your health. Hormones included. It doesn’t matter how clean you eat if you are feeding yourself huge portions of stress every day it won’t do your body, or hormones, any good.
Balance your Female Side
We like to associate estrogen with women and testosterone with men, when in fact, both sexes produce these hormones, just in different amounts. Men make estrogen by converting testosterone in the liver by an enzyme called aromatase. What I often find with my patients that have too much stress or belly fat, they have have higher aromatase levels than in men with healthier testosterone levels. Thankfully there are some great foods and herbs that inhibit high aromatase levels such as:
- Black or Green Tea
- Red Ginger
Take in Some Rays
Vitamin D is needed by every single cell of your body to function properly. Vitamin D supplements (or shots) are shown to increase testosterone naturally. This is because Vitamin D is one of the main vitamins involved in making hormones in the first place.
In the end, more natural interventions will help to improve your overall health and will help to increase your own testosterone production. For more help improving your endurance and vitality, contact the office to begin.