Hormone levels are important to anyone, and men generally have more stable hormone levels for women. However, due to anything from aging to certain medical conditions, some men may experience particularly low levels of testosterone. Whatever the cause, low testosterone levels can cause a wide variety of health problems, so it is important to keep tracks of your testosterone levels.
Read below to learn how to determine if your testosterone is too low or if your low T is simply due to natural aging.
What Is a “Normal” Testosterone Level?
Testosterone is produced in the testes and is regarded as the most important male sex hormone. Normal testosterone levels range anywhere from 300-1,2000 nanograms per deciliter, but that does not mean much to most people. If you think that you may be suffering from low testosterone, consider if you are showing any of the symptoms.
Low testosterone causes a disruption of the body’s natural hormonal system and can result in a wide variety of side effects including: loss of muscle mass, fatigue, hair loss, and lower sperm production, just to name a few.
It is estimated that 5 million men in America currently suffer from low testosterone, but it is often difficult to pinpoint exactly why. Because testosterone levels vary from person to person, the best method thus far has proven to be symptom observation, but even this is not a perfect system. Symptoms of low testosterone are common in aging men, so what is the solution?
Determining if Treatment Is Right for You
If you suspect that you may be suffering from low testosterone levels, do not wait to explore treatment. This issue will rarely resolve itself, which means that you will need the help of an experienced doctor. Your first step will be to seek out an appointment with a urologist who specializes in endocrinology and tell them any symptoms that you have been experiencing.
From there, the urologist will perform a blood test to examine your testosterone levels. The best time to check is early in the morning, as this is when testosterone levels are highest. If your results come back at around or lower than 300 nanograms per deciliter, then you will likely need to be treated for low T.
Of course, the treatment will vary based upon the cause of your low testosterone. There is no one cause of low T, so you may need to undergo several blood tests to determine what the issue is. Often, when other sex hormones are examined, it can reveal an underlying medical issue that is causing the hormonal imbalance.
One great way to help your body make more testosterone is to make some changes to your daily diet. Specifically, certain foods are known to be testosterone-boosting foods. Conversely, there are other foods that have been identified as testosterone-lowering foods (these you may want to avoid for the same reason).
Here is a helpful resource list you can use to improve your body’s ability to manufacture testosterone through what you eat:
- Honey contains boron and nitric oxide. The first is known to aid in making testosterone and the latter in increasing blood flow.
- Asparagus’s reputation as an aphrodisiac comes from its plentiful levels of folic acid, Vitamin E and potassium, each essential for making testosterone.
- Eggs are not just “the perfect protein.” They are also great for making testosterone, since they contain omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D.
- Bananas give you a good supply of bromelain to boost your testosterone.
- New research highlights watermelon’s ability to boost your body’s arginine levels, which in turn boosts blood flow.
- Almonds are loaded with zinc, which can boost testosterone.
- Oysters and cheeses. Both are also rich in zinc.
- Oatmeal and oat grains. Oats may not seem glamorous, but if your body is dealing with low testosterone, they are a VIP. Oats are packed with B vitamins, L-arginine and zinc.
- Citrus fruits can do two great things for your body: give you Vitamin A to help testosterone production and reduce your estrogen levels to balance your body’s hormones.
- Spinach is a power green, with plentiful quantities of Vitamin C, Vitamin E and magnesium.
- Cucumber has the ability to improve brain health and memory because it contains fisetin. Cucumber also have compounds called lignans that can lower estrogen.
- Research shows that tuna can increase testosterone by up to 90 percent since it is packed with Vitamin D.
Hypogonadism, or Very Low Testosterone
Once your doctor has performed in-depth tests and gotten your full medical history, and if they have determined that you do not have a serious medical condition, it is likely that you suffer from hypogonadism. This is a rare condition that causes men to naturally produce dangerously low levels of testosterone and is treated with hormone supplements. These testosterone supplements can come in several forms.
Either by injection, patch or oral supplement, new testosterone will be introduced to your body. The specific regimen will depend on you and your form of treatment, but you will start on a small dose and increase from there, until your testosterone levels return to the normal range. This should alleviate any symptoms of low testosterone and allow you to return to your normal life.
Is Low Testosterone Normal?
With all of this information in mind, is it normal to have low levels of testosterone? Like with many things, the answer is yes, but only to a point. Because hormone levels vary so widely based upon the individual, it is entirely normal for you to have a hormone level that is lower than another man’s.
Most of the time, symptoms of low testosterone are only natural side effects of the aging process. If you begin to experience symptoms of low testosterone and are below the age of 40, it is possible that you are suffering from a medical condition that is resulting in your lowered testosterone levels.
If you are not suffering from another medical condition, then you are likely experiencing the effects of hypogonadism, which will indefinitely lower your testosterone levels. Unlike with natural lowering of testosterone, hypogonadism can lower testosterone in men of any age and to dangerous levels. In cases of hypogonadism, testosterone supplements are the only known treatment that has proven effective.
Now that you know the dangers of low testosterone, keep yourself safe. Even for aging men, it is never a bad idea to have your testosterone levels measured to ensure that you are not suffering from hypogonadism or another medical condition. Use this information to know the difference between low testosterone and testosterone that is too low.