Did you know that men may spend 1/3 of their lives hormone insufficient or deficient? 
Hormonal imbalance isn’t only a female affliction; male hormone imbalance is less talked about, but can be responsible for a whole range of health issues that can and need to be addressed. 
Most men associate testosterone with health, strength, and vitality. Testosterone production starts during puberty and then declines at a rate of about 1-2% after the age of 30. Many of the physical changes associated with aging in men can be at least partially attributed to a decline in testosterone levels. However, many younger men may also suffer from symptoms of low testosterone, especially if they are very stressed, not sleeping well or have a nutrient-poor diet. 
Some of the signs of low testosterone are: 
Low energy, fatigue, decreased vitality 
Brain fog 
Low sex drive, erectile dysfunction 
Depressed mood, irritability 
Inability to gain muscle mass / loss of muscle mass 
Belly fat, weight gain 
Some of the causes of low testosterone levels 
Age : in healthy men, testosterone decreases by 1-2% per year after the age of 30 
Sleep deprivation : the majority of testosterone is made while you sleep 
Long term stress : chronic stress increases inflammation, which affects testicular function, decreasing testosterone levels. 
Gut Bacteria affect testosterone levels. Studies indicate that sex hormone levels are linked to changes in gut microbiome, and the greater the microbiome diversity, the higher the testosterone levels. A specific set of gut bacteria known as the beta-glucuronidase-secreting bacteria have been found to be directly linked to testosterone levels, linking low testosterone levels to low diversity of beta-glucuronidase secreting bacteria. 
Zinc deficiency 
Regular use of alcohol or marijuana 
Traumatic Brain Injuries 
Did you know that men also make oestrogen and can become oestrogen dominant? 
A small amount of the testosterone made by men can be converted to oestrogen by an enzyme called aromatase and if this enzyme is boosted, a man can become oestrogen dominant, meaning there is too much oestrogen in their body - the signs of which include symptoms similar to low testosterone levels such as depression, infertility, erectile dysfunction, increased risk of type 2 diabetes and breast development. 
Also, did you know that too much oestrogen in the body can cause water retention, which may lead to brain fog, insomnia, excessive sweating and flushing around the ears/face, insomnia, night sweats and increased blood pressure. 
If you feel that your symptoms are due to low testosterone levels, consider getting your oestrogen levels checked as well as your testosterone to clarify exactly which hormones are out of balance. This can be done using an easy to do at home urine test called the DUTCH test. 
5 natural ways to increase testosterone levels 
Protect and prioritise sleep. 
Sleep loss in men increases the stress hormone cortisol and lowers testosterone levels. 
2 simple hacks that can improve your sleep: 
- Try to avoid blue/white light 1-2 hours before bed. If this is not realistic then invest in a pair of blue light blocking glasses 
- Avoid caffeine after 2pm 
Find ways to manage your stress. 
Stress is a lifetime issue, so it’s important to find ways to manage your stress response. This could be by carving out some time to indulge in a hobby you enjoy or you may wish to consider taking a herbal supplement to calm your stress response – you can contact me for bespoke recommendations. 
Ensure you get enough ZINC, as this mineral is crucial for the body to make testosterone. 
Foods rich in zinc include meat, shellfish, dairy such as cheese, nuts, pumpkin seeds, mushrooms (shiitake and oyster) and fortified cereal products. 
Men need around 9.5mg of zinc per day and this needs replenishing daily as the body cannot store zinc. 
Adopt the principles of Mediterranean style eating, enjoying a wide variety of coloured veg to improve your gut microbiome, together with adequate protein intake and periods of intermittent fasting. 
Regular exercise can boost testosterone levels, especially lifting weights and HIIT (high intensity interval training) 
If you would like more information about Testosterone Levels in Men and/or would like to get your hormones tested, and/or personalised supplement advice you can contact me at info@the-holistic-pharmacist.co.uk or text 07749897015. 
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