If you haven’t already seen or heard all the commercials about low T, or low Testosterone (TT) being the cause of weight gain,
lack of stamina, and strength I would think again before you rush on over and grab a patch of testosterone.
The one thing these companies don’t tell you is that you Should Also be checking for estrogen (EST) levels, because the reason their TT levels are low, has more to do with them converting their TT into EST. This applies to both men and women.
Low T is Usually a Production or a Conversion Problem
Production problems are usually a result of too much stress in your life and your body is making more cortisol, a life and death, very important hormone, as opposed to TT.
Conversion problems, could be stress related, but it has a lot to do with your diet and possibly too much late night snacking or eating carbohydrate rich foods, especially at night. This triggers a surge in production of aromatase, an enzyme that triggers your body to convert your TT into EST. This conversion problem applies to both men and women….and causes an increase in EST for both men and women. Can you say Estrogen Dominance?
I believe Testosterone is a lot like money. It’s not so much how much you make – it’s how much you keep. If you….
- Have a belly
- Are more than 25 pounds overweight
- Like carbohydrates and sweets
- Don’t eat enough protein
- Eat something sweet (carb loaded) at night
There is a good chance you are dealing with a conversion issue and are converting more of your testosterone into estrogen then you should.
Both men and women make testosterone. Everyone first makes DHEA, the anti-aging hormone, and converts it into TT. For simplicity, women will make about 90% of TT and convert it into EST, thereby keeping only about 10% TT. Men will basically do the reverse and keep about 90% of the TT and convert only about 10% into EST.
That’s the norm, so think about what happens to a men, who goes from a 90-10 ratio of TT to EST ratio – to an 85-15 ratio. Or if you are a women and move from a 10-90…to a 5-95 ratio?
Simply adding more TT to your system by way of a patch or pill, may make you feel better. However, if you don’t take care of the Conversion Problem you’re going to also be making more EST for yourself. This is why you need to know and measure both your Free Testosterone and Estrogen levels.
If you are thinking about testosterone replacement, the best measurement to determine if you have low testosterone is called a Free Testosterone test as opposed to a Total Testosterone.
FYI…the Free Testosterone gives you the amount of active TT, you have racing through your body. This is the real important number. The Total testosterone gives you a count of both the amount of inactive and active TT racing through your body. In my opinion and that of many other health practitioners who practice natural medicine, a Total TT test or measurement is not very informative, because it doesn’t let the person know if they have a low or high level or amount of Free (active) testosterone.
Fat Causes an Increase in Estrogen
One thing both men and women need to know about TT and EST is that all the extra fatty tissue you have around your tummy is producing estrogen. This is going to further induce estrogen dominance and hormonal imbalance for both men and women.
Secondly, the wrong diet could be triggering an increased production of aromatase, A carbohydrate rich diet will cause a greater production of aromatase, as opposed to a diet with more protein and fats.
One of the best nutrients and herbs you can take to neutralize aromatase is zinc which is commonly found in saw palmetto, pygeum, pumpkin seeds, and neetles.
FYI…you will find many of these herbs in your typical prostate formulas. I recommend them to both male and female patients who are carrying 25 plus pounds and are over 40 and are looking to start an exercise program.
There is a simple Do It Yourself test to see if you could have a zinc deficiency. It’s basically a Zinc Challenge. I use it with patients and encourage clients to use it, because it is a good indicator that you probably don’t have enough zinc, which could be why your testosterone levels aren’t where they need to be. Don’t forget, zinc is also an excellent antioxidant, and if your zinc level is low, there is probably a good chance you may be short on other antioxidants.
When you think Anti-aging, you have to think of Antioxidants
Low levels of zinc are also associated with weakened immune system, fatigue, adrenal exhaustion, as well as, hormonal imbalance. The best way to raise testosterone naturally is with intense physical exercise and sleep. The more intense the exercise the more testosterone you produce. Remember Eat Right – Train Smart!