Troubleshooting Testosterone

June 12, 2018

Troubleshooting Testosterone

I'm sure you have googled it.  Perhaps you have even experimented with various supplements and workout regimes.  In my practice, I frequently see men who are interested in increasing their testosterone for an array of reasons.  Not only is testosterone required for sexual function, it also plays a role in motivation, body fat and mood.

Clinically, I am starting to see a new trend of men in their 20s, 30s and 40s who are unfortunately experiencing the signs and symptoms of low- T.  They often have concerns with lack of energy, decreased ability to build muscle mass, decreased sex drive, and/or difficulty maintaining an erection.  As you can imagine, these concerns play a major role in an guy’s quality of life.

I thought I would take this opportunity to answer a couple of questions that are frequently asked during my consultations with the hope that you, or someone you know, can benefit.  

I am on a mission to lose weight and build testosterone however I am frustrated that I am not getting results.

This is more common than you think.  You may be surprised to learn that all men produce and require estrogen - which is a good thing for decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.     That being said, the estrogen/testosterone ratio needs to be maintained in order to optimize your health and help you to achieve your goals. Adipose tissue (fat cells) not only contain an enzyme called aromatase that converts testosterone into estrogen, it is also where estrogen itself is stored.  As part of any testosterone boosting treatment, I almost always recommend resistance and cardiovascular training. In some men, the increase in testosterone is offset by the increased rate of conversion to estrogen. It is also important to consider that as the fats cells decrease, estrogen is released in your body.  For this reason, I often recommend a natural aromatase inhibitor to ensure that excessive estrogen is metabolized and excreted. This can be achieved through supplementation or by increasing the consumption of cruciferous vegetables as they contain 3,3 Diindolymethane.

I am taking supplements, lifting weights, and eating a lot of protein.  Why are my testosterone levels not increasing.

This can be really frustrating.  You are doing all the right things and yet you are not seeing any benefit.  Or perhaps you are feeling slightly better but you still do not feel like yourself.   The answer to this question is complicated and unique to each individual. Prolonged stress play a major role in testosterone production.   High levels of cortisol (stress hormone) is correlated to low testosterone. Actually, high levels of cortisol can also have negative effects on your thyroid as well.  Ask your naturopathic doctor to complete a full blood chemistry. Below are a few of the tests I commonly order to help gain an understanding what is going on in my patient’s body.  

  • Testosterone:  There are different blood tests to evaluate for testosterone.  It is important to note that 44% of testosterone is bound to sex hormone single globulin, 50% is bound to albumin, and 2-3% is free testosterone.
  • Estradiol:  This will help us to evaluate the testosterone and estrogen ratio.
  • Fasting Blood Glucose/HbA1C:  Diabetes can be a cause of erectile dysfunction
  • AST/ALT (Liver Function):  Allows me to evaluate your body’s ability to metabolize hormones
  • Cholesterol Panel:  Cholesterol is needed by your body to make sex hormones.  High amounts of bad cholesterol may indicate the needs for a cardiovascular assessment.
  • Serum Cortisol (Morning) and DHEA:  This will help to evaluate how your adrenal gland is functioning and is one way of evaluating how stress is affecting your body. DHEA is secreted by both the adrenal gland and testes and is converted to sex hormones.

Why are you asking about my bowel movements?

Yep - we are going there!  Your stool provides your practitioner with a lot of information about how your body is absorbing nutrients and the quality of your microbiome (gut bacteria).  A healthy bowel movement is about the thickness of a loonie, fully formed, and easy to pass.  Thinner stool may mean that you prostate is enlarged.  This is commonly associate with testosterone being converted to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  DHT is linked to premature balding as well as enlarged prostate. 

Hopefully this information provides you with some insight towards troubleshooting why your testosterone levels are low.  Feel free to contact the NutriChem clinic at (613) 721-3669 should you have any questions.

Wrriten by Dr. Yousuf Siddiqui, ND

About Dr. Yousuf

Dr. Yousuf Siddiqui, ND has spent the last 20 years exploring the different facets of health restoration.  From the Peruvian Amazon to Ayurvedic hospitals in India, his passion to understand the human body lead him to complete a 4-year post graduate degree in Naturopathic Medicine.  

Initially trained in architectural science, Dr. Yousuf believes that the foundation of health is digestion.  Healing the microbiome, decreasing inflammation, eliminating parasites, and improving nutritional absorption can have a profound effect on the rest of the body.  His clinical focus extends to Men and Women’s Sexual Health and hormone regulation with treatments including bio-identical hormones and desiccated thyroid.

Dr. Yousuf is excited to be introducing intravenous infusion therapy at Nutrichem as an adjunct care to treat adrenal fatigue, IBS, immune function, collagen support, and many other conditions.  

Dr. Yousuf is in good standing with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.  He is also a member of the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors and the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors and is the Naturopathic Medical Advisor to Bio Lonreco.

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