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The hype about testosterone | Healthy Living
Recently, testosterone has been getting a generous amount of media attention. You may be wondering what all the hype is about?
Simply put, testosterone is a hormone. Testosterone is an important part of a man’s overall health. Testosterone is the main sex hormone for men and is produced in the testicles. Testosterone can help maintain bone density, lean body mass, muscle strength, red blood cell production, sex drive and sperm production.
Levels can fall with age, resulting in symptoms such as hair loss, erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, difficulty concentrating, memory impairment, insomnia and muscle loss. You may have heard the term “andropause.” Andropause refers to the decline of hormones with age for men, similarly as women go through menopause.
Testosterone plays a large role in the formation of lean body mass. Some men may have noticed a little more body fat developing around their midsection, or difficulty losing weight.
Ways of increasing testosterone naturally include lifting free weights heavy enough that you can only manage about eight reps, resting one minute in between and then repeating three times. Also, sleeping at least eight hours per night is an important way to boost testosterone because testosterone and growth hormone are produced during hours seven through nine of sleep.
Levels of testosterone are generally the highest in the morning. High levels of stress can inhibit testosterone in men. Cortisol can interfere with the way testosterone binds to its receptors, making it less effective.
Sometimes men produce the right amount of testosterone but it gets converted to other hormones. When testosterone converts to the stronger form of dihydrotestosterone, it increases the chances of men developing male-pattern baldness and benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Having your testosterone levels checked by your doctor is the first step to see if your hormone levels have declined with age. It is a simple blood test that can be performed by a medical or naturopathic doctor. Once the levels are established and if there is a deficiency, your doctor can prescribe some testosterone to restore your physiological levels back to that of a younger man.
Eating a varied diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits that are low in bad fats and sugar, getting adequate amounts of nutrients - including vitamin D - regular exercise, proper amounts of sleep, and stress-reducing activities are key to improving overall health and helping men to feel young again.
Hormone replacement therapy for men can increase levels of testosterone back to levels of a younger man, giving men an overall improved sense of well being, better sleep, increased sex drive and the ability to build lean muscle mass and lose belly fat more easily. For more information, visit www.drteresarichter.com.
Teresa Richter is a naturopathic doctor at Kirkland Family Health & Wellness Center. Contact her at 425-827-0334 or visit www.drteresarichter.com.