Mens health and testosterone

Are you suffering “Manopause”? Just not feeling yourself? Too busy and feeling too stressed? We challenge you this year to start paying attention to YOUR health and put yourself first.

All too often in clinic we see men who have been dealing with chronic health issues because they just haven’t had the time to “deal” with it. Or perhaps don’t even realise it’s a thing until it’s really apparent and affecting their day to day lives. Men have a lot of pressure placed on them – by themselves, their families and society. Men also have testosterone that declines with age. From about the age of 30, men tend to lose about 1% of their testosterone each year – this is normal.

However, as average peak testosterone levels in men have dropped by approximately 20% over the past 40 years, more and more men are experiencing the negative effects of lower testosterone as they age.

Compared to females, men are often considered to be simple creatures, however testosterone production and utilization is subject to a complex web of influences, being affected by ageing, nervous system and immune function, nutrient intake, psychological factors and body composition.

The science bit.

Under normal circumstances, testosterone production is tightly regulated within the body. Initially, signalling hormones are produced by the brain, and travel to the testicles to stimulate testosterone production. As testosterone production increases, the brain receives the message there is enough testosterone within the body and stops telling the testicles to produce it. Once levels start to fall, the brain then produces more signallng hormones to stimulate the production of testosterone. This feedback system is what keeps levels of testosterone optimal and the male body healthy.

Chronic stress, albeit physical or emotional, can reduce testosterone production in a number of ways (more science bit…)

  • The ‘ingredients’ (or structural components) required for testosterone production are also used to produce the stress hormone cortisol. Excess production of stress hormones on a long-term basis reduces the amount of ingredients available for testosterone production.
  • Cortisol levels can also directly inhibit testosterone production in the testes, as well as the production of the testosterone signaling hormones in the brain. Cortisol changes are implicated by high stress, poor sleep, poor diet.

So, this means if you are not looking after yourself and managing the stress in your life, even if you think you are not “stressed” the role that testosterone plays in wellness and ageing means that all men who wish to live a long and healthy life should be looking to support their testosterone levels in a natural, holistic manner. Some simple measures might be tackling that underlying inflammation (sinus issues, joint pain, dodgy tummy), supporting your energy and adrenal pathways (herbs are the best at this), and cutting out some of the *crap* (sugar, alcohol and processed foods).

This year is your year. Working with a naturopath and your doctor may help to uncover and address the underlying causes, such as those discussed above, to ensure your quality of life now and into old age.