The Vicious Cycle : Male Weight Gain and Testosterone Loss
Did you know that your physical size and condition can be a factor toward a normal or low testosterone level as you get older?
First, a few facts about testosterone. The body produces levels of testosterone that peak when a man is approximately 19 years old and then maintains a normal level until the late 30’s. After the age of 40, testosterone levels drop about 1% per year under normal circumstances.
So what are ABNORMAL circumstances?
Here’s a few factors can that cause an unhealthy faster drop in testosterone levels:
- High stress levels
- Chronic sleep problems
- Chronic diseases or trends of disease such as diabetes and hypertension
- Medications and drugs – anti-depressant and sedative medicines, Aldactone (hypertensive medication), chemotherapy, marijuana and alcohol
This is how obesity and high body fat can worsen a man’s testosterone hormone balance. Body fat, especially fat in the abdomen and belly, takes existing Free Testosterone in the body and converts the testosterone to estrogen, the female hormone. So even when more testosterone is being produced it will result in more estrogen as well. When a man’s estrogen level is high he can experience:
- Loss of sex drive
- Possible impotence
- Sensitive breast tissue and breast growth
- Feelings of more emotional behavior and increased stress/anger
- Increase in body fat and weight
Any doctor who does an evaluation for male hormone levels should also be checking the estrogen levels, as well as other hormonal factors that affect male testosterone levels. If your doctor is ONLY checking a random testosterone level, it is far short from being a complete evaluation that can be treated smartly and effectively.
Even more important, when you are being treated with testosterone (or treatments that raise your own testosterone level) there should often be additional treatment to inhibit aromatization (the process of testosterone converting to estrogen—male to female hormone conversion).
Does this sound complicated?
Perhaps it does, but to a trained, experienced physician doing hormone replacement it should be as basic as treating a cold with antibiotics. If you are getting your hormones from sources other than trained clinical professionals there is high risk for complications or even worsening symptoms. In the right hands though, the effects can be truly transforming toward living a full life with good energy and health.
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