This study suggests that a low-carb diet can increase the testosterone levels of men. The study was small, so more research is needed.
However, if you are in a long-term study, eating fewer carbohydrates may actually reduce your testosterone levels.
If you are trying to lower your testosterone levels, you may want to focus on eating more protein, which is high in testosterone and can be easily digested.
Elevated testosterone in women
High testosterone levels in women may be associated with:
- Low weight
- Insulin resistance
- Low levels of estrogen
These conditions may increase your risk for health problems associated with high testosterone, such as:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood sugar
- Heart disease
If you have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, you should discuss treatment options with your doctor.
Testosterone and cancer
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) reports that men who have low testosterone are more likely to get prostate cancer.
The NCI also reports that men with high testosterone levels are more likely to have more aggressive prostate cancer.
Treatment for prostate cancer includes surgery, radiation, and hormone therapy.
Testosterone and fertility
Some research suggests that testosterone may play a role in male fertility.
Studies have found that high levels of testosterone can improve sperm count and motility and contribute to higher sperm density, which can improve fertility.
However, a 2017 study suggests that it may be possible for men with high testosterone levels to have normal sperm counts and motility.
Low testosterone and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
A 2013 study showed that men with lower testosterone levels are at a higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
However, a 2010 study showed that this association was only present in older men.
Testosterone and heart disease
A 2014 study suggests that men who have high testosterone levels are at a higher risk for heart disease.
However, a 2018 study suggested that high testosterone may not be associated with heart disease.
This may be because testosterone is associated with lower levels of LDL and higher cholesterol.
Testosterone and mental health
A 2018 study showed that men who have high testosterone levels are more likely to have depressive symptoms. This may be because high testosterone levels may cause low levels of serotonin.
Testosterone and depression
A 2012 study suggests that depression can be an early sign of hypogonadism, which is a condition in which a man has low testosterone.
The study suggests that this may be an important reason why hypogonadism is often undiagnosed and untreated.
A 2015 study suggests that depression and other mental health conditions may be more common in men with low testosterone levels.
However, a 2018 study suggests that hypogonadism is not linked with depression.
How to get your testosterone level checked?
If you are concerned about your testosterone levels, you may want to see your primary care doctor or a urologist.
Your urologist may perform a physical exam, order lab tests, and recommend additional tests.
Your doctor may also recommend that you get a blood test to check your testosterone levels.
Your doctor may recommend a blood test if you:
- Have a family history of hypogonadism
- Have unexplained hair loss, a thinning scalp, or a lump in your neck
- Have a condition that affects your metabolism
- Are taking a hormone replacement therapy medication
- Have a genetic condition that affects testosterone production
The blood test will measure the levels of testosterone in your blood.
How to lower your testosterone levels?
There are several ways to get your testosterone levels back into a healthy range.
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT)
TRT involves the use of medications that increase testosterone levels.
These medications are often used to treat low testosterone levels in men who have had or are having testicular cancer.
This is because a man’s testosterone levels may drop as a result of cancer treatment.
However, some men may not tolerate TRT well.
Some men may experience side effects, including:
- Hot flashes, or flushes
- Low sex drive
Other side effects may include:
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
TRT is not recommended for men who have prostate cancer or for men who have prostate surgery.
Supplementation is another option.
When you take a testosterone supplement, your doctor will add a synthetic testosterone to your blood.
In large doses, the synthetic testosterone may increase your testosterone levels.
However, the synthetic testosterone may be more harmful than helpful.
This is because it can cause unwanted side effects, including:
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Low HDL (good cholesterol)
- High LDL (bad cholesterol)
- Low muscle mass
- High prolactin levels
- High liver enzymes
Testosterone injections are also available.
These injections are typically given under the skin in the abdomen.
The injections are given by a healthcare professional.
While it may be possible to get your testosterone levels tested and your doctor to monitor your testosterone levels with injections, there are some side effects to watch out for.
Some of these side effects include:
- Irritation of the skin
- Irritation of the injection site
- Temporary erection
- Hot flashes
Testosterone replacement therapy for men with low testosterone
If your testosterone levels are very low, your doctor may recommend TRT.
TRT involves taking medication that raises testosterone levels.
The type of testosterone used depends on your age and overall health.
The following types of testosterone are used:
- Testosterone cypionate
- Testosterone undecanoate
- Testosterone enanthate
The dose of testosterone is often based on your body mass index (BMI).
If you are overweight, your doctor will adjust your dose to ensure that your testosterone levels are at a healthy level.
If you are obese, your doctor may increase the dose for you.
The type of testosterone used will depend on your age, health, and symptoms.
Your doctor will monitor your testosterone levels and adjust your dose as needed.
Low testosterone levels are not uncommon.
Testosterone levels naturally decline as you get older.
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