We do not want to just give someone testosterone while the thing causing their testosterone is still there. We have already learned that doing that can cause the patient to become resistant to testosterone. This is because their receptors are becoming resistant to the presence of large amounts of the hormone from the injections or suppositories. (Suppositories work but if you don’t need them then why would you use them? They don’t sound comfortable) Let’s avoid all of these ‘band-aid’ measures and try aiming at the possible true causes of low testosterone in men. The first cause is stress.
For the purposes of this discussion let’s thinks of hormones in two different ways. They are either energy hormones for survival or reproductive or sexual hormones. Your main survival hormone is cortisol. If you get stressed out you send out adrenaline from the adrenal glands and about 20-30 minutes later you start getting out cortisol. This is to pump up the body and get you moving so that you can react to a threat.
To put it simply, your body thinks that you are running from a grizzly bear and it is getting you primed to either fight or fly.
However, stressful events that increase your cortisol can happen every day. If you over train you are spiking cortisol. If you are on shift duty you could be spiking cortisol. If you are in a stressful job or relationship you are spiking cortisol. ANYTHING that stresses you out can spike cortisol. So what’s the big deal? How does this affect testosterone?
Because the building blocks of cortisol are the same as the building blocks for testosterone. If you are constantly stressed out then you are using DHEA to make cortisol, the stress hormone, instead of testosterone.
Think of it this way: If you are running from a bear every day of your life, does your body think that you’re in a position to have children?
Nope, it doesn’t. It basically is saying, “well, we’re so stressed out that there is no use in making testosterone. We should just use everything for cortisol.”
Fixing the cause of the stress if the first problem. The problem is that most people’s stress was caused by something that is long gone at this point. That experience or set of experiences was so bad that now the adrenals are in a cycle that feeds itself. The most important thing to do is to stop this cycle. Deep breathing, meditation, proper sleep schedule, light exercise, and B vitamin rich nutrition are all lifestyle factors that can play a role. In addition, there are many anti-aging interventions that can get the adrenals functioning back at 100% very quickly and permanently. The trick is determining which one is right for that individual.
Stay tuned for the next two Blog posts concerning alternative causes of low testosterone in men.