What is low testosterone in men? Firstly, let’s see what testosterone is all about: Testosterone is a hormone, and it plays a very important role in male health. It is mostly produced by the testes but a small quantity is also produced in the adrenal glands. While it is usually regarded as a male sex hormone, women also produce testosterone in small quantities.
In males, testosterone is crucial for the healthy development of primary and secondary sexual attributes. It is associated with increased muscular development, deepening of the voice and growth of body hair. It’s vitally important that a man following a bodybuilding program maintains a healthy testosterone level; if not, his results will be very slow and disappointing.
However, it also plays a crucial role in emotional well-being, regulation of physical and intellectual energy, prevention of osteoporosis and general health.
Having and maintaining a healthy testosterone level is especially important for a man. Typically, testosterone production gradually declines after the age of 30. This results in feelings of depression, fatigue, physical weakness and loss of libido.
What is Low Testosterone in men?
Low testosterone symptoms include:
- Decreased muscle size and strength
- Lack of energy
- Mood swings or depression
- Fat gain (!)
- Loss of sex drive
- Erection problems
- Loss of genital sensitivity
What Causes Low Testosterone in Men?
Low testosterone (hypogonadism) occurs when a man’s testicles do not produce enough testosterone. There are 2 basic types of hypogonadism: Primary – which originates through a problem in the testicles – and Secondary, which originates as a problem in the pituitary gland or hypothalamus in the brain.
The hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland to produce Luteinizing hormone that in turn signals the testicles to produce testosterone.
Primary hypogonadism can be the result of:
- an inherited abnormality with the sex chromosomes, which basically results in under-production of testosterone:
- a mumps infection where the testicles are also involved, which may affect testosterone production after adolescence;
- excess iron in the blood;
- undescended testicles, which is not rectified in early childhood;
- injury to the testicles;
- cancer radiation therapy can adversely affect testosterone production.
Secondary hypogonadism – Here the testicles are normal but do not function properly because of a problem with the hypothalamus or pituitary gland.
How to Increase Low Testosterone Levels in Men?
Reducing excess body fat would be a good starting point. In your workouts, include exercises that increase testosterone, such as Olympic lifts and compound exercises.
Along with appropriate exercises, include foods that boost testosterone in your diet. Limit your intake of sugar, and be sure you eat enough zinc-rich foods:
- Seafood (especially oysters – Testofuel, a natural testosterone booster, has oyster extract)
- Beef and Lamb
- Toasted wheat germ
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chicken and Pork
It is natural for testosterone levels to decrease with age, but with a few simple lifestyle adjustments you can stay healthy, energetic and virile.