If you want to start fixing your Low T levels naturally- go outside!

One of the simplest fixes that I give to my clients who want to fix their Low T naturally is to turn off the computer, turn off the phone, turn off the TV and go outside.

This past weekend I was up in the mountains for an off-road triathlon race, Xterra Winter Park. It was pouring down rain and the organizers decided to postpone until next week. It would have been pretty easy to just hang around the hot tub, watch tv and stuff our faces all weekend. But that’s not my style.

I try to encourage all of my clients to get outside for long stretches on the weekend, whether it’s a high intensity activity like mountain biking or something less intense like fishing or golf doesn’t matter.

The point is to unplug from the stressors and get out side in to bigger spaces and away from the usual routine. This can really help lower those stress hormone levels that will drive testosterone levels down. Try it. You’ll see.

 

Guys over 40 need a hobby to prevent low T (testosterone) and low sex drive.

Just remember this – guys over 40 need something to get away from the stress. The stress drives T down, the hobbies bring it back up. For me, it’s racing off-road triathlon (even if I’m not great at it). For you it can be whatever you want. But it does matter.

That’s me in the picture, running as fast as I ever have. You see, when I go in to these races, my main goal is to beat my time from the year before. And I knew it was going to be close this year.

Maybe getting up at 4:00 AM to drive up to the race was a mistake, but didn’t want to spend $400 for a hotel room I’d be in for just a few hours. Anyway, I had that 4:00 AM feeling the whole day and knew I was in trouble.

The swim went well, around 17:00 minutes to do my 800 meters, including the barefoot run to where the mountain bikes were. Then onto the bike, which felt steeper than it ever has before. 2200 feet of climbing in the first 3 miles. I finished the bike in 1 hour 23 minutes. Onto the trail run, where I knew it was going to be close. More steepness. I trudged up the 600ft climb as best I could and then ran as hard as I could on the downhill. Total time for 2016 2:24:56. Last year was 2:25:45. Very close, but I’ll take it. Next up is Xterra Winter Park on August 6.

 

Where the racing fits in: Why every guy needs some kind of hobby.

That’s me yesterday, taking a break from riding my mountain bike in the 100 degree weather that we had in Denver this past weekend. The question is, “Why?”

For me mountain biking, and off-road triathlon are hobbies, and in the interest of full disclosure, I am not particularly good at either one. But I don’t care.

One of the biggest reasons that guys suffer from low T (testosterone) levels is stress. I see it all the time on the labs that I run on my patients. The stress hormone cortisol goes up, the testosterone levels go down.

Money, relationships, and work are the 3 big external stressors that drive this (we’ll talk about the internal stressors like diet later).  Since most guys can’t just dump their jobs or trash their finances or fix their relationships to easily, the best thing to do is to find something to let you get away. Whether it’s fishing, mountain biking, hitting golf balls, brewing your own beer or collecting stamps, you need something to get away.

This is the quickest path to getting stress under control. So find something you like, even if it’s something you’re not good at, and do it.

17 minute workout to raise Testosterone

Brief and intense strength training (assuming you are cleared by your doctor to do it) is the cornerstone of a program to fix low testosterone levels naturally, and improve symptoms like fatigue, fat gain, and low sex drive.

This simple workout, which I did in my basement this morning, can be tweaked to suit your needs. But here is it:

  • 10 Kettlebell Swings, 10 Dumbbell Presses, 5 Pull-Ups.
  • Do as many rounds of the above in 7 minutes
  • 3 minute break
  • Repeat 10 Kettlebell Swings, 10 Dumbbell Presses, 5 Pull-Ups for 7 more minutes.

This particular workout hits every muscles in your body, and will send your heart rate through the roof. This trains pretty much every thing you want to for raising T levels in just 17 minutes. You can sub pushups for dumbbell presses. You can use a band with handles for rows if you don’t have a pull up bar. You can sub burpees or body-weight squats for the swings. You get the idea, right?

Cookies and Low T: The silent sex drive killer.

“Toss my cookies?”

“Yes”

“Doc, say it ain’t so.”

This tough conversation that I had with Ron yesterday was for his own good. Ron’s a 54-year-old who came to me for natural help with Low T. He went to one of those medical centers that wants $10,000 a years for hormone injections every 2 weeks.

The first thing we looked at was Ron’s diet. He was eating a hell of a lot of bread, cookies and pasta. “I can’t imagine life without those things,” he told me.

Many guys have trouble with wheat- the main ingredient in most breads, cookies and pastas. The wheat contains a protein called gluten that a lot of guys have trouble processing in their guts, even though they might not know it.

This gluten problem causes inflammation in the gut, and inflammation is a type of stress on the body. The stress shoots the stress hormone cortisol sky high, and can lower Testosterone or T over time. This will inevitably lead to a guy losing his sex drive.

So one of the simplest ways to start fixing your low T naturally is cut wheat out of your diet. No bread, no cookies, no pasta. I tell my guy patients to give it 60 days. This usually is enough time for them to see 10 pounds drop off without trying. Then they notice they feel better. Along with the rest of the program, they start to feel like a younger version of themselves again. So if your T is low, or your sex drive is low, I can probably help you fix it naturally. But be prepared to toss your cookies!

Image courtesy of everydayplus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Is a bug in your gut causing your low sex drive??

When Phil (name changed) first came to see me for his most troubling symptom of low T- Low Sex Drive, he certainly didn’t think his stomach could have anything to do with it.

He had tried a Testosterone shot, and among other side effects, it shrunk his testicles(!). So he was looking for a natural approach. He basically just wanted me to give hm some supplements. But that approach doesn’t really fix anything. We start with tests.

Since Phil noted that he had trouble with acid reflux, and was taking medication that wasn’t really getting rid of the problem. So in addition to running our usual Stress Hormone and Testosterone lab test, with Phil we also ran a test that looks for digestive infection.

Phil’s stress hormones, were out of balance – cortisol was high and DHEA was low, which explained why his energy levels are low, and were the likely reason his T has dropped. But what was causing the high cortisol?

In addition to a high-stress job, a bad diet, and a troubled teenage son, Phil’s digestive panel came back with a bug (a bacterial infection) – H. Pylori.

H. Pylori is the bacterial infection that can cause ulcers and even stomach cancer. But one of the less discussed problems with H. Pylori is that causes inflammatory stress in the stomach, and this can drive cortisol levels up. Phil chose an herbal program to kill off the H. Pylori, and simultaneously worked with me to re-balance his hormones. We changed his diet, got him lifting again, helped him get help for the teenage daughter, and worked on his sleep.

Within about 6 months he reported that his sex drive was back. He’d lost 14 pounds and quit taking the medication for the reflux. Turned out a hidden infection in his stomach was the stressor that drove his hormones over the edge.

 

 

 

Shorter duration and higher intensity can help fix your low T

As a 47-year-old guy, I know that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. One common misconception I hear often is the idea that lots of endurance training is good for you. For guys over 40, this isn’t necessarily true.

Prolonged endurance training, like long bike rides, will tend to raise cortisol levels and lower testosterone levels.

When I ride, I prefer shorter duration and higher intensity rides (usually 1-2 hours at the most). This window is enough to provide a training stimulus without creating too much stress on the body.

We frequently help over-trained endurance athletes who’ve lost their sex drive and are dealing with fatigue. The problem, which may be hard to believe, is too much exercise. So the first thing we need to do is dial these guys back, get them into the gym to lift some weights, and teach them that after 40, for most guys less is more.