4 things your doctor wants you to know about testosterone
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Testosterone, you know it, you love it, you can’t live without it. It helps you build PRs, keep muscle on your body, and make you more manly. At least it is most true. It’s also true that testosterone, especially low testosterone, is poorly understood.
We therefore sought clarification from an expert. Dr Faysal Yafi, MD, FRCSC, Director of Men’s Health and Urology at Newport and Head of the Division of Men’s Health and Reconstructive Urology at the University of California at Irvine (that’s a lot of praise , so listen up) chatted with us about what testosterone is, how to get the most out of it, and what to do as we start to age – and it’s starting to drop. Here are four key points to remember.
Testosterone levels are highest in the morning
Want to get the most out of your testosterone? Become a morning person.
“Testosterone follows the circadian rhythm – or basically the rhythm of sleep,” says Dr. Yafi. “Testosterone levels are highest in the early morning hours, between 7:00 am and 10:00 am, and lowest in the evening.”
To take advantage of your testosterone boost for a workout, a special time with the SO, or even to focus on a big project, make sure your mornings are clear.
“High levels early in the morning can be more conducive to better workouts and a bit more focus for many men – some more driving when someone is trying to get things done. Said Dr Yafi.
Testosterone affects you mentally and physically
While we may associate strong testosterone levels with muscle growth and libido, it has implications for more than physical well-being. ” There is a lot of literature suggesting an association between low testosterone and depression and other mood disorders, and even early memory loss and dementia, ”says Dr. Yafi,“ as well as what we call a foggy brain – difficulty concentrating and motivating yourself.
Dr. Yafi often sees patients with low T in his practice become more mentally stable as their testosterone treatment progresses. “They are more motivated and more focused,” he says. “Maybe they have better memory recall. We see this in the clinic all the time.
There are several types of testosterone
There is testosterone for men and estrogen for women and those are the two big hormones, right?
Dr. Yafi explains that there are actually three types of testosterone. First, there is free testosterone, which is readily available to cells. The other two types of testosterone (and most of the testosterone in your blood) are linked to proteins in the blood called albumin and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), respectively. In addition to free testosterone, albumin-bound testosterone is also available for the body to use; these two types of testosterone are called bioavailable testosterone.
The third type, testosterone attached to SHBG proteins, is not available. Dr Yafi says that SHBG increases as men get older, as does their testosterone linked to SHBG.
All of this to say, according to Dr. Yafi, that age-related decline in testosterone does not necessarily reflect a man’s total testosterone levels. You may only be losing some of your free testosterone. A blood test can help determine if certain symptoms are really caused by low testosterone.
Testosterone replacement therapy is not steroids
Steroids are illegal to use without a prescription, so a lot of guys associate “testosterone replacement therapy” with these iconic locker room injections. But it is not the same thing.
“Replacing testosterone means increasing testosterone from low to normal levels,” says Dr. Yafi, “as you would for people who have low thyroid hormone levels or diabetics who have low insulin levels. – bring them to normal levels. “
In anabolic steroid abuse, people with normal testosterone levels supplement themselves with steroids and put their testosterone on top. But if you have low testosterone, replacement therapy can actually improve your quality of life, says Dr. Yafi. And a bonus? “Testosterone replacement therapy, when performed clinically and appropriately, is extremely safe. “
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