As we explained in Part 1, low testosterone is a common concern among men. To help address some of these concerns, we asked our resident fitness and nutrition expert, Dr. Brett Osborn, to answer your questions about the issue. Find the next four below:
How do I know if I have Low T?
So you would know that you have low testosterone because it’s typically a cluster of symptoms, such as afternoon fatigue; increased abdominal adiposity; difficulty putting muscle on the body, despite your best efforts in the gym and adequate nutrition; erectile dysfunction, so problems in the bedroom; sleep disturbances; mood lability… These are all potential symptoms of low testosterone.
Is Low T a normal part of aging?
The answer is, yes, it is. Testosterone production decreases 1-2% per year after the age of 40, and we’re not exactly sure why. We’re not sure if this is the phenomenon or if this is the epiphenomenon. Does something cause this, or not? Is this integral to the aging process? Is this why we age? We’re just not sure. But one thing we can say is that as our chronological age increases, our testosterone decreases at a fairly regular rate. Again, after the age of 40, testosterone production decreases 1-2% per year.
How common is Low T?
The syndrome of low T is extremely common in males over the age of 40. It’s thought that 45% of males in this age group have the syndrome of low testosterone, characterized by loss of libido, so problems in the bedroom; an impaired ability to put muscle on the body, despite your best efforts in the gym and adequate nutrition; mood lability; poor sleep habits. It’s deemed part of the normal aging process, but it’s something that’s potentially treatable, so if you’re having these symptoms, you need to discuss these with your doctor, because you may be suffering from low T.
Is my lifestyle affecting my testosterone levels?
The answer is yes, and it can go both ways, obviously. If you exercise and you eat properly, you get good sleep: these are going to augment testosterone levels. The opposite is true as well. So if you eat poorly, particularly a lot of high-glycemic index foods; if you’re obese, carrying around too much body fat; if you’re poorly exercised; if you drink; if you’re doing drugs: these are going to wreak havoc on your testosterone levels. So lifestyle is a big, big, big component of what your testosterone levels are doing.
Dr. O is a Team BPI Sports’ fitness and nutrition expert.