Inspirational story about raising Testosterone level

If you recall I had commented on the story of Scotsman Brian Cunningham who underwent TRT to deal with low-T.  In that blog post I had suggested that unless your physician insists that you genuinely need to undertake Testosterone replacement therapy, the first thing you need to do is to lose weight because nothing destroys Testosterone faster than being overweight.  Well, I heard from the gentleman directly and I must admit that he understands what he has to do and has no plans to spend the rest of him applying a gel in his underarms.

In a note he tells me, "Yes I am obese, and yes, if I lost weight my normal T-levels would possibly return. That is what I am currently attempting to do. My weight became an issue as suddenly from being an active person I had to lie in a bed for three months. I was in hospital and being fed by them. I asked if I could restrict my diet by missing a meal here and there but was not allowed to do so. When I purposely didn't eat a meal I was then put on a watch list and was told any further refusal of food would result in me being referred to a Psychiatrist. As I wished to spend the minimum of time in hospital I complied with their requests.  When I eventually left hospital I had put on a good amount of weight. My movement was still restricted and it took about another 6 months to be able to literally stand on my own two feet. Several months after that I could walk unaided.  I was running my own business and working full time as well. I became depressed about my weight as it was continuing to pile on. I am normally a resilient person, I was in the Navy for 15 years. It was a perfect storm in a way: low-T (for whatever reason), business going down the tubes, very little in the way of mobility and weight gain, lack of strength and libido. I was hopeless.  Bringing my Testosterone back to normal has helped me gain a more positive outlook, gives me hope for the future in that I am strong enough to go to the gym and swim and be more mobile. I have the hope that I can get off the gel and back on to my own T, you never know it may be that it wasn't me being fat at all but some other reason that I have low-T but until then everyone will just have to assume that my T-levels are low because of my obesity, which clearly to most people is due to overindulgence, laziness and bad character."

Well, as I keep emphasizing on my blog, our body is extremely complex and the way our hormones work is really complicated.  Each case is unique because we all eat and live our lives differently.  What is great about Mr Cunningham is that he recognizes that he can be his old self again by losing weight through diet and exercise, but before he gets there, if medication can help him get there faster, so be it.  For those of you who are not in a situation as complex as his and have merely piled on pounds due to your carelessness about diet and reluctance to workout, TRT should not be the first line of defense.

Vegetarian, high fiber, low fat diet detrimental for Testosterone

You guys know that in a month almost 98% of calories come from plant based dishes (only occasionally I might consume seafood or chicken and I have not consumed beef, pork, rabbit, etc. for many many years).  I also happen to consume an extremely low fat diet (while I have always been a healthy eater, I am also not a big fan of dishes cooked with a lot of fat).  And because I like oats, fruits, beans, and vegetables, I consume as much as 50 grams of dietary fiber daily (men should typically consume around 38 gm and men over 50 should eat about 30).

So what happens if you eat like me?  Well, when you eat a low fat diet and that too with fibers, particularly soluble fiber that comes from oatmeal, whatever little fat you ate is not absorbed by the body and is eliminated with the fiber.  Eating a lot of fiber is an excellent choice for overweight/obese men who need to lose weight but for skinny guys like me, fat is essential since it is the building block for Testosterone.  So for men like me oatmeal is not a blessing nor are vegetables and beans.  A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that a low fat, high fiber diet can lower Testosterone by as much as 12% in just two months.  While I have been trying to eat more fat, this week I have cut back on my oatmeal consumption by half and replaced it with one scrambled egg.  I am hoping that this will help me.  So for those of you who are vegans or vegetarians and limit your consumption of fat (and end up eating a fiber rich diet because otherwise there is nothing else to eat), this is a warning that you may have low-T and you need to very carefully watch how much fat you eat.  My hypothesis is that this was not a problem in my youth when the body was already producing tons of Testosterone but now that I am approaching 50, this has become an issue.

Just enough Testosterone is all we need

Since we know that excess of anything is bad, the same seems to apply to level of Testosterone in the body.  I would have thought that if Testosterone is so essential for men, the more the better.  After all, I would desire women all the time and be able to have sex often and with enthusiasm, but we also know that men with high Testosterone are not pleasant to be around.  They are angry, unpleasant, aggressive, annoying, or basically jerks.  Women tell me that they are just good enough for a quickie in the car outside a bar and too risky to bring home for even a one night stand because you never know if they have a gun and will kill you.

It turns out that among older men, excessive Testosterone can kill them.  The researchers found that a normal level is the most desirable for older men because high levels cause premature death.  There is no clear answer yet why this happens but scientists are clear about one thing: unless you have a genuine androgen deficiency there is no need for Testosterone replacement therapy or TRT.  Usage of Testosterone gels like Axiron merely to be able to maintain muscle or have more energy or to feel youthful can do more harm than good.  For that, try strength training instead.

Do I need to worry about my prolactin?

A new European study has concluded that lack of prolactin in men maybe responsible for fall in libido.  The research concluded that if a man had below average levels of this hormone, he was likely to be depressed, feel an overall sense of not being on top of the world, have poor health indicated by obesity, high blood sugar levels, and feeling lethargic more often than others.  These men are also less likely to enjoy having sex.

But wait, didn't they say that higher levels of prolactin were bad for men because after all this is a female hormone found in large amounts in new moms?  A Swedish study also found that high amounts of prolactin in the body can reduce its ability to metabolize fat.  So are we supposed to have high or low prolactin?  No consensus among the doctors based on my research.  Some data suggests that prolactin and dopamine (the pleasure hormone) are inversely related. 

So what should you do, raise or lower it?  Guess what, no one seems to have a clue.  In other words, the research is not conclusive, though, one study I came across said that having estrogen containing foods like soy may help in raising the prolactin levels in men.  The net conclusion of my research is that if I were you, I would not worry about this hormone until a solid study is presented that tells us what to do.  In the meantime, enjoy a variety of foods to enhance your Testosterone but from time to time it is okay to eat tofu.

Ladies do not embarrass your man in bed

So this is what happened.  Looks like Friday night wife wanted to make love but I did not get the hint and went to sleep.  She teased me in the morning that she tried to hint to be me but I did not respond, and I told her that I was confused because she was also popping Tums complaining of bloating.  As the morning went on, while we were cleaning the house, at one point we were talking about another couple who seem to have a somewhat unorthodox relationship and conversation turned to sex.  Then, right out of the blue, she suggested that we make love, and I immediately agreed and jumped into bed.  At that point, she seemed to have changed her mind and I should have got the hint, but guys are bad at that.  Within a minute, we were doing foreplay, but less than a minute had passed, and I was already starting to get a normal erection, that she complained that I was not responding.  Mind you, she knows what has been going on and has generally been very supportive but somehow she said it in a tone as if she expects me to have an erection on demand within seconds.  Now, despite getting most of my libido back and my ED almost a non issue, I am still slightly nervous every time we make love because it is like driving an old car, you are not 100% sure that it will start as easily as a new car.  As I tried to absorb her critical and taunting remark, I lost all desire to make love and the erection disappeared.  Eventually, we did not make love and it sort of spoiled the day, but before that, I told her a few things and I am hoping that women who are married to middle aged men with low-T or erectile dysfunction issues will know.

Image of wife in pink polka dot bra and panty making love to cute husband in bed

Things not to do and say by women while making love to older men
  1. Never criticize a man or his assets (that includes his whole body, so you do not want to criticize that he has gained weight) or his performance before and during lovemaking.  This is much more true as men get older, but in all honesty, it is true if you are teenage couple.  If you want to make things better or try new positions or if something is not working out, the time to discuss this is much later.  It is a discussion you should have in the same manner you will talk about personal finances or planning a trip.  Just sit down and talk about it.  While some things can be changed/improved, others come with a guy so either change your man or accept it.  In other words, if you think your man is smaller down there, NEVER mention it.  If you don't like this, move on.
  2. A man is not a machine, at any age, but definitely not after 40 or so.  Even a machine is not 100% reliable.  So do not expect that a man can produce a rock solid erection 100% of the time just because you want it.  There are times that we do not want it, do not feel like it, might not be feeling too well (there are times that I might just be tired or have a slight headache, not enough for me to take a pill or even mention it to anyone but I might not want to do something fun and am just looking to get some rest), or the body may simply not respond.
  3. For a man being able to produce an erection and make love is all in his head.  It is wrong to think that it is in his organ.  Little Johnny down there cannot respond if he does not feel it in his brain.  So by criticizing a man just around the time that he is trying to get into the mood, you are attacking his self esteem and not helping him.
  4. The great thing about being a woman is that since there are no visible signs of arousal and there is nothing to indicate whether a woman desires sex or not, she can have it almost any time.  Yes, I know that it is a lot of pleasure when she really wants it and can even be painful when she does not, a man may not even know it.  On the other hand, for a man, his erection is not only such a visible sign of his arousal, without it he cannot make love, and an erection is such an important symbol of his manhood that not being able to produce one is hugely embarrassing.  That is why even a teenager is just a bit nervous every single time.  So treat him kindly.

Choosing between good sex and death

On one hand, having low-Testosterone can do havoc to our cardiovascular health (while one causes the other, guys with low Testosterone have higher weight, high cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure resulting in a weak heart), but as I have been saying repeatedly, Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) in form of Axiron, Androgel, and other gels is not the answer.  In a study that should make all of us men rethink how we maintain our libido, how we keep our metabolism good in middle age, and how we maintain our overall health, it has been found (the research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association or JAMA) that TRT can cause heart attacks, strokes, and even death. 

Now, before you conclude that merely applying a Testosterone gel will stop your heart and make you drop dead, try to analyze how you reached a point that you needed TRT.  Unless you are like me (a nice, sweet guy who thrives primarily on an extremely low-fat, low calorie diet and does not consume enough zinc, and loved to run rather than lift weights), chances are that you are a middle aged dude who has dozens of pounds of extra weight, more likely around the tummy, someone too busy/lazy to exercise, has high level of stress due to work/family matters, consumes a lot of processed foods and beverages, and does not get enough sleep.  When some or all of these conditions exist, it is very likely that you also have a heart with problems and low-T.

So how do Testosterone gels kill?  It is no secret that enough research was never done to study the side effects and dangers of Testosterone therapy.  At this no one knows what are the risks and no one cares as long as drug manufacturers can get their money (the way pharmaceutical companies work is to get a drug to the market as quickly as possible, bombard the consumers with commercials creating a false impression that they are sick and need a prescription drug so that they should ask their doctor about it, sell as much as possible, and if people start to drop dead, then, fight a few patients as hard as possible in court, and settle with the rest) and patients can feel good about whatever imaginary illness they have.  From this study, it can be concluded that artificially introduced Testosterone hormone in the body increases the risk of clotting leading to strokes and heart attacks.  Death is also an outcome in some cases.

Can you sue the Testosterone gel manufacturers to get compensation?  If you have suffered a stroke or heart attack since starting Testosterone therapy, it is time to meet with a lawyer to discuss if there is enough cause for a product liability lawsuit for personal injury or death (in case your loved one died).  Expect a long and painful battle because for the pharma companies billions of dollars are at stake.  Expect them to take every single data on your (and those of your family members) health since you were born to prove that the fault is entirely yours and they did nothing wrong, but your attorney will tell you what to do and how to go about it.  The best time to sue, of course, will be when and if the FDA forces a recall of the product or bans it or issues a black box warning.

Watch that neck size in addition to waist

Image of a neck of a man from the back

When I keep beating a drum about watching your tummy, I am telling you that by monitoring your waist circumference you are indirectly monitoring your Testosterone level, because fat deposition on the tummy is a clear indicator of falling levels of Testosterone.  Now, scientists at a university in Turkey have concluded that the neck circumference can tell them without even asking any questions whether a man suffers from erectile dysfunction.  Their research shows that if your neck size is higher than 16 inches, you are definitely going to have trouble getting or sustaining a proper erection.  The right way to lower your neck size is to lose weight through diet and exercise.

Time to start drinking just water

For many months I have been telling guys who want to raise their Testosterone level to stop drinking anything but plain water from a faucet (bottled water is dangerous due to presence of BPA).  I am also not a big fan of drinking even freshly squeezed juice from organic fruits (eat the fruit instead) and I have given up alcohol except a little bit during the weekend.  Now, I almost never drank bottled beverages (doctors cannot find a single good thing to say about them) but it turns out that for those of us who are Testosterone challenged, a chemical found in such drinks as Gatorade can disrupt our hormonal balance.  This chemical is called Brominated Vegetable Oil or BVO (banned in Europe and Japan but no restrictions on its use in America) and is -- get this one -- a flame retardant, but is used in drinks with citrus flavors to stabilize them when they sit on shelves for months and years.  Oh, the sacrifices I am asking you to make just so that you can have good sex, but it is worth it.