What Low Testosterone Sounds Like
Every week I meet with new clients, both men and women. A high percentage have the exact same complaints, and it sounds something like this:
Women: “Sarah, I have no sex drive. I am always exhausted, and that’s the last thing I want to do. I am worried what this is doing to my relationship. And WHAT happened to my body? I have lost my shape completely! What is this thick layer of bodyfat all over my body, but especially in my stomach?”
Men: “I have trouble with performance, and I just don’t have the energy either. And look at this ‘dad’ bod! I have never had a stomach like this. Where did my chest and butt go?”
There are plenty of doctors and clinics out there that can prescribe testosterone and other hormone therapies. This is not a negative — sometimes we need the help. However, is this addressing the underlying factors? Do lifestyle choices affect our hormone levels? Let’s think this through.
What are Hormones and What Do They Do?
Hormones are produced by the endocrine system that send messages through the bloodstream to a specific part of the body. They pretty much control EVERYTHING — hunger, blood pressure, sexual desire, metabolism, breathing, important vital functions.
Cells are a component of every structure, organ, and hormone in the body. Healthy cells create healthy hormones, healthy organs, healthy systems, and healthy bodies. If it’s all about the cell, then what do cells need to be healthy? If you guessed healthy food and healthy lifestyle, you got it right.
You cannot have a poor diet, not exercise, be overly stressed out year in year out, and expect to have healthy hormones. It is impossible. You can do hormone replacement and you most likely will feel better, but unless you address lifestyle, you won’t see the sustained results you are looking for. Poor lifestyle choices over many years are the root cause to most imbalances and diseases, including hormone imbalances.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone that regulates many aspects of your daily life, such as your quality of sleep, lean muscle mass, hair growth and sex drive.
Testosterone is present in both women and men, but the levels are much higher in men. Testosterone is literally the hormone that turns boys into men! A 13-year-old boy has 5-6 times the testosterone of an 11-year-old boy. I am witnessing this first-hand with my almost 13-year-old son. All of a sudden, he grew 4 inches, his voice deepened, his skin changed, and he is way more masculine (annoyed/impatient/aggressive — sound familiar?) than I have ever seen him. Yikes!
Female Testosterone vs. Male Testosterone
Both men and women have testosterone, but their levels are very different. Men have 7-8 times more testosterone than females. That is why men are more muscular and aggressive, and why men lose weight 2-3 times faster than women. This chart shows blood levels of total testosterone. Total testosterone is the overall testosterone circulating in the body, and this is what we measure at our clinic.
|Age||Low (ng/dl)||High (ng/dl)|
Females – Aged 0 – 60 Years Old
|Age||Low (ng/dl)||High (ng/dl)|
The goal is to not be at a low-normal or age-appropriate testosterone level, but rather to be at an optimal one. If you want to look, feel and be your best, you may need more than the average level of testosterone. Testosterone levels decrease with age in males. So, for example, if you are 35 and you have a test that says you are at 400 ng/dl of testosterone, you would need to double your testosterone levels to be at an optimal level increasing your chances of good cardiovascular health, increased strength, improved sleep and your best energy levels.
How do you find the optimum level of testosterone? Research has shown the ranges in which people are most likely to experience the best health outcomes and they claim the highest symptomatic success. However, determining the optimum level of testosterone level for an individual requires testing and attentive hormone therapy.
Symptoms of Testosterone Imbalance
|Low energy, loss of muscle mass, difficulty with sexual activity and performance, fat accumulation on the chest, infertility, poor sleep, hair loss||Low energy, low sex drive, weight gain, loss of muscle tone, poor sleep, hair loss|
|Aggression, anger, acne||Adult hormonal acne, PCOS, facial hair|
High testosterone is a main contributor to adult hormonal acne. Acne occurring in adults is increasing, affecting up to 15 percent of women. In 2013, the costs associated with the treatment and lost productivity among those who sought medical care for acne exceeded $1.2 billion. It is a problem for a lot of women that is more than physical. It deeply affects their psyche and overall confidence.
I personally dealt with cystic acne my entire adult life, and the only time it went away was when I was pregnant. I tried everything. Diet changes, cleanses, dermatologists, skin products, detoxes, liver flushes, fasting — I would do anything to get rid of the embarrassing acne. I finally solved it when I learned (from YouTube, lol) about estrogen and testosterone dominance, and how to clear these two hormones. That’s why it went away when I was pregnant, I finally figured it out! Progesterone levels are very high during pregnancy, so they were crowding out the estrogen and testosterone. Once I got on the right natural products to metabolize these hormones, my face totally cleared and has been clear for 7 years, yeah!
PCOS is an abbreviation for polycystic ovarian syndrome. Symptoms include weight gain, insulin resistance, facial hair, infertility, and issues with the menstrual cycle. Many women are diagnosed with PCOS but are not offered much with solutions are treatment. The best medical treatment option for PCOS is birth control pills or androgen blocking medications.
7 Ways to Increase Testosterone
Long-term stress can elevate cortisol. Too much cortisol can reduce testosterone. These hormones work in opposition — as one goes up, the other comes down. Stress and high cortisol can also increase food intake, which can lead to weight gain and the storage of dangerous bodyfat around your organs.
- Deep Healing Sleep – Testosterone, like many other hormones, regenerates and reboots during sleep. Getting enough hours of sleep and getting quality sleep is crucial for healthy testosterone levels.
“It seems that normal testosterone production requires restful, undisturbed sleep called REM sleep. Over time, sleep disturbance also can cause an increase in the stress hormone cortisone. High cortisone levels also can cause low testosterone.” DeSouza 1996.
- Consistent exercise – Exercise is therapeutic and medicinal. A combination of cardiovascular and strength training exercises done consistently can increase and maintain healthy testosterone levels.
- Proper Nutrition – Foods have both macro- and micro-nutrients that are essential for healthy hormone levels. Balancing macros properly and getting enough nutrient-dense foods play a role in healthy testosterone levels.
- Lose Weight – People at a healthy weight and body composition have healthier testosterone levels. Weight loss should be a requirement for hormone replacement therapy if the patient is 15 lb’s or more overweight.
- Reduce Harmful Estrogen Exposure – Plastics, chemicals, and hormones/antibiotics in animal foods all have estrogen properties, which can block healthy testosterone levels. My best advice is to focus on cleaner protein sources. Purchase grass-fed beef, organic dairy, organic sources of poultry, and wild-sourced fish/seafood.
- Herbal Medicines and Supplements – There are numerous formulas and supplements that can help with testosterone levels. Listed below are some of my favorites:
- Ashwagandha stabilizes cortisol and helps with stress.
- Zinc has shown to increase testosterone.
- Vitamin D – optimal Vitamin D levels (70-100m/dl) are correlated to higher testosterone levels.
- Bio-identical Hormone Replacement – When testosterone levels are not optimal, natural testosterone replacement is a great option. Work with a physician that is conservative with dosage. A little goes a long way with testosterone. I strongly suggest that lifestyle changes are implemented as well.
Testosterone is a key player in how you look and feel as you get older. It is worth finding out where you are at with a blood test and exploring bio-identical testosterone therapy. However, the lifestyle changes are the TRUE long-term solution. Start today, don’t wait!
If you want information on exactly how to take action on all of this information and are ready to take control of your life and begin your health journey, watch my free webinar.