Hormone Health Basics: Testosterone

by
Dr. Ariel Thorpe

"The moment you change your perception is the moment you rewrite the chemistry of your body." ​Bruce Lipton, PhD, a researcher shows through his scientific work that our thoughts about our health and body chemistry have an impact ​on the state of our health. Of course it's not just mentally willing something to be; we must also act on those thoughts. So, the more you know about what you can do for your health, the more you can implement, and the more you can actually change your life.

There are some basic tenets of hormone health that can help men live healthier, more robust lives. All of us live according to a circadian rhythm: a 24 hour cycle of waking and sleeping and how our body systems work as a result. In general, we want to wake up with the sunrise and sleep after sunset. We are hungry at certain times of day to keep our blood sugar balanced and our bodies fueled for the day. Many of our hormones also work in tandem with this circadian rhythm. Testosterone tends to be highest in men in the morning, which means that is a great time to workout and build muscle or have sex.

However, we have plenty of hormone and circadian disruptions in our lives now. When we are in a stressed state, our body doesn't follow its circadian rhythm as well and doesn't produce hormones like testosterone as well. For example, we use unnatural lighting so that we can stay awake past sunset and continue to be productive or entertained. This can confuse our bodies into thinking it should stay in an alert state when really our bodies should be winding down for rest and recovery. Blue light, like from screens and cool-colored light bulbs, triggers our nervous system to think that it is daytime. Using warm-colored bulbs will help trick your body into thinking it is in wind-down time rather than alert time.

Stressors like unnatural lighting, leading to irregular sleep/wake cycles, cause cortisol (a stress hormone) to increase in the body. Unfortunately, this inhibits testosterone production. Chronic stress also accelerates biological aging, increases inflammation, and reorganizes our neural networks. When men's testosterone production is inhibited chronically, men can end up with lower levels of testosterone. The "normal" amount is 349-1190 nanograms per deciliter. However, that range is not necessarily optimal. Some research has shown that when it drops below 550, there's a 30% increased risk of cardiac events and increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, and stroke. So, is 349-550 really "normal"? It sounds like it's sick.

There are a few ways to keep testosterone production high and healthy. If you take care of your body and allow its natural rhythms to work as they are intended you won't have to worry about the specifics and can trust that your body is doing what it needs to do.

  • Support your metabolism by eating antioxidants like avocado, berries, and organic free range eggs
  • Exercise at high intensity for short durations (around 10 minutes at a time)
  • Have a healthy, gratitude-filled mindset to reduce cortisol
  • Avoid carbs like beer that disrupt insulin and blood sugar right before bed
  • Get adjusted to keep your nervous system communicating at optimum levels

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