Natural Treatment for Low Testosterone Levels
by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert
Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.
Men with low testosterone often experience symptoms associated with lower sex drive, difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection and changes in body hair and muscle mass.
Men may also notice mood shifts that include feeling less motivated, depressed or anxious and difficulty focusing. They may even report feeling fatigue that cannot be explained by other health conditions or exercise alone.
As people get older, some symptoms may become bothersome or interfere with quality of life.
Understanding Hypogonadism and Its Symptoms
Testosterone hormone is responsible for many of the changes boys go through during puberty. It plays a part in deepening voice quality, hair growth and penis enlargement as well as supporting muscle development and sperm production. Although testosterone levels tend to gradually decline with adulthood, they still play an essential role in sexual function, libido and prostate health.
Hypogonadism is a condition whereby low levels of testosterone or estrogen are produced in one's sex glands, leading to reduced levels of these hormones in their bodies.
Hypogonadism affects men and women of all ages and may result from genetic conditions like Klinefelter syndrome or Turner syndrome as well as medications or medical treatments.
The sex glands produce the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen, which are responsible for the development of male and female reproductive organs alike.
Sex hormones play a pivotal role in puberty development as well as breasts, testicles and pubic hair growth in both genders.
Boys also benefit from muscle and bone development through these sex hormones while in girls they help develop the uterus before beginning regular menstruation cycles.
Hypogonadism may interfere with these processes resulting in infertility or hindering overall development which may make reaching height impossible or even impossible altogether.
Hypogonadism in males can be caused by issues in either the pituitary gland or hypothalamus, both of which produce gonadotrophin-releasing hormone.
This hormone stimulates testes to produce testosterone; low levels can result in symptoms like deepening voice, increased facial hair and reduced size of penis or testicles during puberty as well as reduced sperm production leading to infertility.
Furthermore it can slow bone development resulting in long arms and legs relative to their torso size in relation to their torso when it comes time for puberty if this condition arises.
Girls suffering from hypogonadism may develop breasts but never begin menstruating, and may suffer from slow development such as smaller chest size and less developed uterus development.
Lower testosterone production may decrease due to age or other factors. Men who undergo cancer treatment may develop hypogonadism after experiencing interference with sperm production; sometimes this damage to testicles becomes permanent and leads to infertility.
Some types of low testosterone levels are due to central (hypothalamic or pituitary) dysfunction.
This condition is known as primary hypogonadism. Testicles produce gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which signals pituitary gland to produce more gonadotropins; when their levels increase, testicles produce an increase in testosterone production.
If the levels of gonadotropins drop, testicles produce lower testosterone and sperm production - known as secondary hypogonadism.
This may be caused by either failing of birth for hypothalamus to release gonadotropin-releasing hormone (idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism), or pituitary gland's inability to produce luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormon, such as Kallmann syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome or tumor on pituitary gland.
Other risks for low testosterone levels include injuries that reduce their ability to produce sperm; having one or both testicles removed due to cancer; and genetic disorders.
Furthermore, polycythemia - in which too many red blood cells remain present in your system and increase your risk for thrombosis - may occur as a result of hypogonadism.
Natural Treatments For Low Testosterone
Natural treatments for low testosterone may help alleviate symptoms and restore hormone balance in the body. If treatment fails these may include healthy eating practices, regular physical activity and supplements to restore balance to hormones.
Eating a well-balanced plant-based diet rich in vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins will help your testosterone level remain steady.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and eggs as well as vitamin D and magnesium found in nuts and leafy greens may also aid in this effort.
Ashwagandha, Schisandra and Reishi mushrooms have also been used as adaptogens in traditional medicine to lower testosterone. These herbs have long been recognized as effective ways of maintaining body balance.
One of the keys to optimizing hormone levels is managing chronic stress effectively.
Studies have demonstrated that prolonged stress can elevate cortisol, which in turn works against testosterone to cause weight gain, increased food consumption, and storage of harmful fat around organs.
Meditating, yoga or other stress-relief techniques such as breathing can help decrease cortisol and other stress hormones.
Diet and Exercise to Boost Testosterone
Diet and exercise can have a significant impact on testosterone levels, with diet being particularly influential.
Testosterone booster foods include lean meats, fish and dairy along with healthy fats like those found in avocados and extra-virgin olive oil being recommended as good options to include in one's daily intake plan. Macro-nutrient calculators can also be a handy way to monitor one's intake.
Try to consume natural, whole foods as much as possible and avoid foods that kill your testosterone such as processed, refined items such as breakfast cereals, donuts, bacon, sausages, soft drinks, fried foods such as fried chicken and alcohol.
Testosterone is an essential muscle building hormone, and both high intensity interval training (HIIT) and resistance training can boost both short and long term testosterone levels in your body by encouraging muscle growth.
When engaging in HIIT sessions be sure to include rest days each week if using this mode; too much exercise could cause cortisol levels to spike, leading the body to produce less testosterone overall.
Weightlifting is one of the best exercises to boost testosterone levels as it builds muscles while stimulating their release of the hormone. Free weight exercises like squats and deadlifts work best at activating this effect than machine weight exercises.
Sleep deprivation has also been linked with decreased levels of the hormone, so aim to get at least 7-8 hours of quality rest per night and spend as much time in deep sleep as possible.
Also try to limit blue light activities like watching television or using tablets before going to bed and make the bedroom exclusively dedicated to restful sleeping.
Herbal Supplements and Vitamins For Low Testosterone
Many men over 30 are struggling with a condition known as low testosterone. It's a serious medical problem that can result in increased body fat, muscle loss and decreased sexual desire.
Hormone replacement therapy (TRT), using synthetic testosterone hormone replacement to increase levels in your blood and alleviate symptoms is the only approved treatment; healthcare professionals typically administer this therapy either orally or via injections.
There are a variety of natural supplements and herbs that can help increase testosterone naturally, including those with multiple ingredients in one formula. The best ones provide this option for men looking for ways to naturally increase their levels.
Military Muscle is an all-in-one male enhancement formula clinically proven to increase testosterone levels. Its primary ingredients - ashwagandha, fenugreek and zinc (alongside 9 others) - work synergistically to provide benefits such as increased strength, lean muscle gains and sex drive as well as lower body fat.
Ashwagandha, an herb known for increasing testosterone levels and supporting lean muscle growth, should also be included as one of the ingredients in any testosterone booster product. Furthermore, ashwagandha can improve energy and libido while decreasing stress and fatigue as well as helping with digestion.
Zinc is an essential mineral essential for the production of testosterone and other steroid hormones, the formation of DNA and protein formation within cells, immune function and bone metabolism, among many other aspects of our health. While most individuals consume enough zinc through diet alone, supplementation could provide added support.
Fenugreek benefits go beyond improved sexual drive and muscle strength; this herbal plant also reduces excess body fat.
Fenugreek seeds contain compounds called furostanolic saponins that help boost testosterone, improve muscle growth, and fat burning compared to taking placebo pills over eight weeks in one study.
Specifically, 500mg daily doses were shown to significantly improve testosterone and muscle mass levels compared to taking placebo pills alone for eight weeks.
Testosterone, the male sex hormone, plays an essential role in muscle growth, bone density, sperm production and overall health.
Men with lower than optimal levels may experience symptoms including decreased strength, fatigue and the inability to gain muscle. However, natural testosterone boosters exist that can restore healthy levels.
These supplements work by including herbs and vitamins known to naturally increase testosterone.
Fenugreek extract contains furostanol saponins which research suggests can support healthy testosterone levels; its use has been prevalent for centuries in Indian cuisine as well as found in herbal supplements.
Zinc is an essential mineral required by our bodies for many biological functions including protein production.
You can find it in fish like sardines and salmon; whole grains; dark leafy greens; dairy products and red meat as sources. Leafy vegetables and avocados provide ample sources of nutritious which plays a crucial role in numerous chemical reactions as well as physiological processes.
Vitamin D can also be an invaluable addition to your diet. Produced naturally through sunlight exposure, vitamin D is widely known as the "sunshine vitamin."
Studies have shown that food rich in vitamin D such as egg yolks, fatty salmon and fortified milk/cereal can help support healthy testosterone levels and support normalization. Egg yolks, fortified milk/cereal and fortified milk products contain significant amounts of this essential nutrient.
It's important to take a 'food first' approach, a healthy diet and active lifestyle can help manage some health conditions. However, supplements such as Military Muscle offer a convenient and cost effective way to ensure you can plug any nutritional deficiencies.