Low T (testosterone) and Prostate Issues

Using hormones, like testosterone, is both popular and controversial, at the same time!  Some say it is a “miracle” – others feel it’s “. . . not nice to fool mother nature.”

There is an article in May 2013 issue of a trade publication – Nutritional Outlook – that caught my eye when it arrived. The article is titled: What Makes a Man? The sub-title is: A healthy prostate and testosterone level.  It was interesting that it was written by a woman – Jenifer Grebow – but, I digress.

Since we embarked on an extensive review of the “science” surrounding how men age, a few years ago, I thought, perhaps there had been some earth shattering revelations. So, I read the article.

It seems that the science about testosterone hasn’t changed

But, the historically private issues, like sex drive and trouble urinating,  have exploded into our living rooms. The advertising barrage for Viagra, Cialis, AndroGel and others have many men scrambling for a prescription for libido or to be tested for, wait for it – “Low T”.

And, it ends up that the male endocrine system works the same as it ever did.  And how men experience normal aging – a process called Andropause – hasn’t change either, since we researched the subject.

That’s not to say that the triggers that contribute to premature aging – with the expected drop in testosterone – aren’t exacerbating the situation – because they are making it worse!

For example:

  • If you experience physical or emotional stress
  • If you exercise or work intensively
  • If you fail to allow sufficient time for recovery, after exercise or work
… you will be vulnerable to low testosterone levels.

Low testosterone level is also a symptom of aging.

PUZZLEIt’s brought on by an increased activity of an enzyme, 5-Alpha-Reductase, that converts testosterone into a less vital form of the male hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This activity starts at around 28 years, impacting testosterone level by 1%-2% each year. Research, while ongoing, indicates this process contributes to the reduction and ultimately the loss of: muscle tone, body hair, energy, libido and is a contributing factor in declining health. In some cases, the voice may start to revert to a higher pitch.

DHT has also been linked to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). That’s the name for an enlarged prostate that affects the ability to fully evacuate the bladder, causing low stream, increased frequency and other unpleasant things.

There it is! Get that testosterone cream!

Hold your horses, boys!

The facts are: humans, men and women, share the same hormones – what changes is the ratios. Those hormones are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. In men, the dominant hormone is, of course, testosterone. But, and here’s the kicker, if all the hormones are not in balance, all sorts of things go astray.

John Lee, MD discussed the roles of hormones in his book, “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause.” While the book discusses women’s issues, if you change the dominant hormone from estrogen to testosterone, you’ll get the picture. And, it will give you and your significant other, a better understanding of what’s going on when “… things get out of whack.”

In years past, midlife crisis, the time when men bought and red convertible and started dating their secretary, was thought to be a psychological issue. Now, it’s physical: the expression of DHT – over time.

The point is: men or women cannot be their best if their gender hormones are out of balance. And, in fact, if you focus on just one of them, say testosterone because you have “low T”,  a low sex drive, lack of energy or focus;  or maybe estrogen, because you’re having hot flashes or seeking birth control, you could be making matters worse over time.

So, what then?

“ … not all men – although some do – need to turn to drugs to address their issues. … some may prefer to take a preventative longer term approach – often with fewer side effects – instead of a drug-based treatment approach. In short, they may prefer a dietary supplement.” (Nutrition Outlook, May 19, 2013, What Makes a Man?, p.24)
Learn more

Q: What Makes A Man?

A: A healthy prostate and a balance hormone system.

  • Remember the triggers we discussed earlier? Work on moderating them.
  • There are many dietary supplements – with a long history of efficacy – that can help with supporting the prostate gland. Often, using one of them is easier than consuming the foods that provide the support.
  • There are herbs that support a balances hormone system – and dietary supplements that feature combinations of them to help support the hormone system. And, if you need a little jump-start with testosterone, so be it. But, the objective should be balance.

We’re all experienced with quick fixes – how have they worked out for you?

It’s your life – it’s your choice.


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