Decreases in testosterone are a natural part of aging, but for some men, testosterone declines early or is drastic enough to cause symptoms. If you had hormone tests and it was determined your testosterone is below normal, there are several ways to treat the problem and reduce symptoms.
Change Your Lifestyle
Many lifestyle factors can contribute to low testosterone. A major culprit is excess body fat and living a sedentary lifestyle. Eating a well-balanced diet and staying within your calorie limit to maintain a healthy body weight is the first step. Additionally, regular exercise, especially a combination of cardiovascular training and weightlifting will help. Cardio tends to be more helpful in reducing excess body fat, especially around the midsection, whereas building muscle can increase your testosterone and make it easier to keep the weight off. Be mindful of the foods you eat and alcohol consumption. Some foods behavior more like estrogen, such as soy products. Drinking alcohol excessively also increases your body weight and can lower your testosterone.
Be Mindful Of Stress
Although there is no way to eliminate stress from your life, you can find better ways of coping. High stress levels can compromise your sleep and increase stress hormones, which contributes to weight gain and hormone abnormalities. Dedicate some relaxing time for yourself each day, especially as it nears bedtime. Sometimes handling stress is more a matter of seeking mental health care. Symptoms of low testosterone can manifest themselves as mood disturbances, and conversely, mental health issues may also cause hormone abnormalities. Start by talking with a therapist about your concerns and any changes in mood or sleep. Sometimes prescription medications might be a viable option if therapy alone is not effective. You should be especially vigilant to avoid dealing with stress or mental health issues by self-medicating.
Try Hormone Replacement
You should do what you can to make changes that could affect your testosterone. If these changes are not effective, hormone replacement therapy might be an option. Before taking hormones, your doctor may need additional tests and bloodwork to make sure you are an appropriate candidate for hormone replacement. Many men who use hormone replacement find patches or gels are a good option over oral medications, which are a less common route of administration. Topical products absorb slowly to keep the level of hormones consistent. Treatment may take several months before you and your doctor can establish the right dose that reduces your symptoms.
Low testosterone can cause any number of symptoms, from changes in your body composition to erectile dysfunction. Fortunately, a combination of lifestyle changes and hormone therapy might be the right treatment approach for your needs. Reach out to a doctor to learn more about low T treatments.