Infertility rates are skyrocketing and the blame has been shifted from the woman to the man in the family. Earlier, women bore the entire brunt of the infertility problem but increasing evidences nowadays have shown that men too are responsible in almost 50% of the cases. There are more men visiting a physician complaining of erectile dysfunction and other such related problems. Lifestyle, obesity/overweight and stress are generally blamed for such issues with the male population but these factors can also contribute towards decreased testosterone rates which in turn influence sexual function.
Menopause is not the birth right of women alone and the poor male population too suffer from such a phase called the ‘andropause’. Testosterone levels decline gradually after the age of 40 at almost 3% rate every year clinically termed as ‘andropause’ or ‘male menopause’. For those of you who are surprised with this terminology and doubt about its existence, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com for a detailed briefing.
The society cautions a woman to bear children before she enters late 20s fearing infertility problems but they can’t care lesser for the men who are victims of increased infertility rates as they grow old. An 80-year-old man’s testosterone levels are almost 50% lesser that what he had during younger years. So, men trying for children in their late 30s or 40s experience setbacks and problems in their journey of conceiving.
Commit to Testosterone
Lower levels of testosterone pave way for weight gain, decreased muscle and bone density, anxiety, depression, sexual problems and stress. Hormone replacement therapies are easily available but their side effects are intense and not negligible. Testicle shrinkage and decreased sperm production are possible. Rather than going for such solutions, a well-balanced approach to improve testosterone production would be the ideal way to solve this problem.
Exercise: If only you were aware that weight lifting and squats were excellent boosters of testosterone levels, many of you would have done them day in and day out! Any exercise done using larger muscles such as those in the legs and back increase testosterone levels. Perfect examples include squats, deadlifts and lifting heavy weights. Remember to do cardio exercises as well along with these to benefit the entire body. Never overdo any exercise as it can lead to falling testosterone levels. Common signs of overdoing exercises include sleeping troubles, trouble recovering from workouts and diminished performance.
You Reap what You Eat: What goes into your body matters a lot! Anything that promotes weight gain and diabetes is sure to decrease testosterone. This does not suggest that you totally refrain from carbs but choose your carbs wisely. Go for those that take time to metabolize such as fruits, vegetables and whole-grains.
Sleep: It’s believed that maximum testosterone production happens in the early morning hours. Also, please refrain from using mobiles after 9 p.m. in the night as the light rays affect your sleep quality. Keep your bedroom comfortable with the blinds intact, a light fragrance emanating from a corner and go to sleep after a warm shower. You can even meditate for a while to enable better sleep.
Supplements: Don’t forget your supplements. One can always talk to the physician regarding their use to solve your hormone-related problems. Nutritional supplements can always boost testosterone levels. Doctors too must never assume normal testosterone levels in younger men due to their age and check the ranges to get to the bottom of the problem.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.