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Dudes, let’s talk about testosterone. This crucial hormone plays a starring role in everything from your muscle mass and bone density to your sex drive and overall energy levels. But as you age (we’re looking at you, late 20s and early 30s), testosterone production naturally starts to decline. This can lead to a whole host of unwelcome changes, including fatigue, weight gain, and a dip in your mood. The good news? There are ways to boost your testosterone naturally.  This article will equip you with the knowledge to combat low testosterone and get your mojo back.

Also Read: How to Increase Low Testosterone: Expert Advice

Understanding Low Testosterone And Its Causes

Low testosterone, also known as hypogonadism, occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough testosterone. This can be caused by several factors, including:

It’s a biological fact of life. Testosterone levels take a gradual dip as you age, typically beginning in a man’s late 20s or early 30s. This decline continues over the years, and by age 70, many men have significantly lower testosterone levels compared to their younger years.

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Certain health issues can throw a wrench into your testosterone production like a domino effect. This includes hypogonadism (where the testes themselves make little to no hormones), obesity (excess weight can mess with hormone balance), diabetes (which can disrupt both testosterone production and function), chronic liver or kidney disease (these can impair the body’s ability to regulate hormones in general), HIV/AIDS (the virus itself and some medications used to treat it can lower testosterone), and pituitary gland disorders (since this gland plays a key role in regulating hormone production, including testosterone, problems here can cause a testosterone dip).

  • Medications & Treatments:

Be aware that some medications and treatments can have a side effect of lowering testosterone levels. This includes chemotherapy and radiation therapy used for cancer (which can damage the testes), corticosteroids (especially in high doses or for long periods which can suppress testosterone production), opioid pain medications, and even some medications used to treat prostate cancer (since testosterone can fuel the growth of certain prostate cancers, these medications intentionally lower testosterone levels).

Your lifestyle choices can play a big role in your testosterone levels. Excessive alcohol consumption disrupts how your body makes and uses testosterone. Smoking directly damages the testes, lowering production. Drug use, especially anabolic steroids, is a double-edged sword – they offer a temporary boost but wreak havoc on your hormone system in the long run, crashing your testosterone levels once you stop. A poor diet lacking essential nutrients and skipping exercise both hinder testosterone production. Finally, chronic stress and inadequate sleep put your body’s stress hormones into overdrive, suppressing testosterone production.

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Some guys are just predisposed to lower testosterone levels. Genetic factors can influence testosterone production or conditions that affect hormone regulation.

How To Check Your Testosterone Levels 

If you’re experiencing symptoms like fatigue, low libido, erectile dysfunction, or mood swings, it’s important to see a doctor. They can perform a simple blood test to measure your testosterone levels. The American Urology Association recommends a series of tests, including:

  • Total testosterone level:

This test measures the total amount of testosterone in your blood. It’s important to note that testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day, so this test is typically done early in the morning.

  • Luteinizing hormone (LH):

This hormone signals the testes to produce testosterone. A high LH level can indicate that your body is trying to compensate for low testosterone production.

Prolactin is another hormone that can affect testosterone levels. High prolactin levels can suppress testosterone production. Your doctor may repeat this test to confirm the results, as some medications and conditions can also elevate prolactin levels.

Low hemoglobin levels can sometimes be mistaken for low testosterone as they can cause similar symptoms like fatigue. Your doctor will consider other factors like altitude, sleep apnea, or smoking when evaluating your Hb results.
While the initial tests mentioned above provide a good starting point, your doctor might recommend further investigation depending on your individual situation. 

How To Boost Testosterone Levels Naturally | 11 Natural Ways To Boost Testosterone Levels

While medication might be necessary in some cases, there are plenty of natural ways to give your testosterone a helping hand. Here’s what you can do:

1. Load Up on Lean Protein:

Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and plant-based options like tofu and legumes provide the building blocks for muscle growth, which can indirectly boost testosterone production.

lean protein

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2. Don’t Skimp on Healthy Fats: 

Avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are your friends. Healthy fats support hormone production, including testosterone.

3. Go Nuts for Zinc: 

This essential mineral plays a key role in testosterone production. Oysters might be famous for zinc, but beef, poultry, beans, nuts, and whole grains are also good sources.

4. Shine On with Vitamin D: 

Low vitamin D levels have been linked to low testosterone. Fatty fish, fortified dairy products, eggs, and mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight can help you meet your needs.

5. Eat Your Fruits and Veggies: 

A rainbow of fruits and vegetables provides essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall health, which can indirectly help maintain healthy testosterone levels.

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6. Choose Whole Grains: 

Opting for whole grains over refined grains helps stabilize blood sugar levels and supports overall health, which may indirectly benefit testosterone levels.

7. Hit the Gym: 

Strength training is a powerful tool for boosting testosterone. Focus on compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups, such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, rows, and overhead presses.

8. Manage Stress: 

Chronic stress wreaks havoc on your hormones, including testosterone. Find healthy ways to manage stress, like exercise, meditation, yoga, spending time in nature, or listening to calming music.

9. Get Enough Sleep: 

Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body produces less testosterone.

10. Limit Alcohol: 

Excessive alcohol consumption can significantly lower testosterone levels.

11. Say No to Drugs: 

Recreational drugs, especially anabolic steroids, can seriously mess with your testosterone production.

Remember: While these lifestyle changes can significantly improve your testosterone levels, they might not be enough for everyone, especially if you have an underlying medical condition.  If you’re experiencing symptoms of low testosterone,  consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan.

Also Read: 5 Smart Tricks to Boost Your Testosterone Levels

By making some smart choices about your diet, exercise, and lifestyle, you can take charge of your testosterone levels and feel like your best self again.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.