Do you find yourself too busy, too tired, or too distracted for sex? Or does your drive just not seem to be there like it used to? Your sex drive is a good overall indicator of how healthy you are. If you are a male and you aren’t waking up with regular erections (especially if you’re a male under 50 years old), then that can be an issue.
The happier your body is the more sexual desire it will have. Testosterone is not responsible for libido alone. Especially for women, desire stems from a much more complicated set of hormonal and emotional interactions. But for men, while testosterone is not the whole story, it does play a leading role and the modern lifestyle may be your T’s worst enemy.
There is a new syndrome called Irritable Male Syndrome, or IMS, that’s due to testosterone deficiency. It goes beyond low libido, and includes emotional withdrawal, lack of motivation, aggression, personality changes, and anxiety. It can also present as self-destructive behaviours like gambling, alcoholism and workaholism.
If this sounds like you or your man, you’re not alone. Low testosterone affects at least 13.8 million men, with a significant number of those being men in their 30s.
While hormone replacement is an option for some, men who take the following seven steps are often able to rehab their testosterone, their sex drive, and the many other symptoms of Testosterone deficiency that go along with it.
1. Stay fit.
Belly fat and obesity are testosterone killers. One study showed that obese teen boys have up to 50% less testosterone than their non-obese peers. One reason for this may be that fat cells contain more aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen.
Unfortunately, obesity and low testosterone reinforce each other, leading to a spiral of weight gain and hormone imbalance in men. The good news is that reversing the spiral is mutually reinforcing as well.
2. Get eight hours of sleep.
One study showed that after only one week of just five hours of sleep nightly, testosterone levels dropped 10-15%. While surviving on only a few hours may sound macho to some, it’s actually eroding your most important male hormone.
3. Avoid toxins that harm the testicles.
Phthalates and parabens in personal care products like lotions and shaving creams, and BPA in plastic bottles and on store receipts, are anti-androgens, meaning they disrupt the production and function of multiple hormones including testosterone.
So, green your bathroom cabinet, use stainless-steel reusable water bottles, and say no thanks to receipts at stores to avoid these chemicals.
4. Reduce stress.
Stress is a major driver of low T. Ultimately your adrenal hormones, thyroid hormones and sex hormones are all interconnected in a beautiful but complicated dance.
A stress-driven phenomenon called “cortisol steal” can lead to a hormone imbalance where the production of testosterone is decreased in favor of cortisol. Stress also increases the production of aromatase and 5-alpha-reductase, two enzymes that break down testosterone.
If you relax and breathe, meditate, do yoga or otherwise boost your parasympathetic nervous system, even for just 10 minutes a day, you give your hormone system a chance to reboot and rebalance, lowering cortisol and increasing testosterone.
5. Take your vitamins seriously.
Vitamins A and E, and minerals zinc and selenium are like fertilizer for androgen production and testicular function. While in the developed world we may eat a lot of food, most of it is low or totally missing these important micronutrients.
Supplements are one targeted way to get more of these critical nutrients, or, eat more shellfish for zinc and selenium, carrots and kale for vitamin A, and almonds and sunflower seeds for vitamin E.
Source: The Guardian News