From muscle strength and energy levels to libido and mental health, your testosterone hormones cast a wide net over your health and wellness, and you want to do what you can to prevent testosterone loss.
When it comes to preventing low testosterone, some factors are out of your control, namely aging, but there are steps that you can take to minimize the loss. In this month’s blog post, Dr. Robert Cornell outlines a few good practices for preserving your testosterone levels.
What you’re up against
When you pass through puberty and enter early adulthood, your testosterone levels generally reach their peak. Once you hit your 30s, production of this hormone can begin to decline, by about 1% a year.
This gradual loss is perfectly normal and there’s not much that you can do about the natural process of aging. That said, there may be factors that are accelerating this loss that you’d do well to avoid.
Slowing testosterone loss by losing weight
Reports have indicated that men in the United States, in general, have lower testosterone levels than they did just a few decades ago. While some of this overall decline is attributable to an aging population, researchers believe that comorbidities play a significant role.
Heading this list is being overweight or having obesity. An older study from 2014 reported that “Testosterone levels are reduced with increased waist circumference and obesity and approximately 40% of obese nondiabetic men and 50% of obese diabetic men aged above 45 years have low free testosterone.”
This means that controlling your weight is one of the best ways you can prevent testosterone loss.
Eating to prevent testosterone loss
Your diet plays a role in every area of your health, which includes endocrine health. If you want to support testosterone production, it’s important that your diet is a healthy one that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins. This means cutting out the sugars, refined carbs, and unhealthy fats as much as you can.
There’s also some evidence that the following foods may lower testosterone levels:
- Licorice root
- Soy-based products
- Processed foods
- Some vegetable oils
Suspect oils include canola, corn, soybean, and cottonseed. By paying attention to your diet, you can help slow testosterone loss.
In addition to addressing your weight and diet, we also recommend making a few lifestyle changes that can help you maintain healthy levels of testosterone, such as:
- Exercising more
- Quitting smoking
- Not taking steroids
- Avoiding opioids
- Getting good, restful sleep
This last point is an important one. Your body uses your restorative sleep to balance your hormones, so it’s wise to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
In making some of the changes we outline above, you’ll not only help slow testosterone loss, but you’ll also boost your health in myriad ways. If, despite your best efforts, you’re experiencing side effects of low testosterone, we can look at placing you on hormone replacement therapy.
If you have more questions about preventing testosterone loss, please contact our office in Houston, Texas, to set up an appointment.