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4 Things Your Doctor Wants You To Know About Testosterone –

Posted: June 4, 2021 at 1:49 am

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Testosteroneyou know it, you love it, you cant get enough of it. It helps you set PRs, keeps muscle on your body, and makes you more virile. At least thats mostly true. Its also true that testosterone, especially low testosterone, is misunderstood.

So we asked an expert for clarity. Dr. Faysal Yafi, M.D., F.R.C.S.C., the Director of Men's Health and Newport Urology and Chief, Division of Mens Health and Reconstructive Urology at the University of California, Irvine (thats a lot of accolades, so listen up) chatted with us about what testosterone is, how to make the most of it, and what to do as we start to ageand it starts to dip. Here are four key takeaways.

Want to make the most of your testosterone? Become a morning person.

Testosterone follows the circadianor basically the sleeprhythm, says Dr. Yafi. Testosterone levels are highest in the early in the morning, between 7:00 and 10:00, and lowest in the evening.

To take advantage of your boosted testosterone for a workout, a special moment with the S.O., or even to focus on a big project, make sure your mornings are clear.

The high levels early in the morning may be more conducive to better workouts and a bit more focus for many mensome more drive when someones trying to get things done. says Dr. Yafi.

While we may associate solid levels of testosterone with muscle growth and libido, it has implications for more than just physical wellbeing. Theres a lot of literature suggesting an association between low testosterone and depression and other mood disorders, and even early onset memory loss and dementia, says Dr. Yafi, as well as what we call a foggy braindifficulty concentrating and getting motivated.

Dr. Yafi often sees low-T patients in his practice become more mentally stable as their testosterone therapy progresses. They have more drive and theyre more focused, he says. Maybe they have better memory recall. We see this in the clinic all the time.

Theres testosterone for men and estrogen for women and those are the two big hormones, right?

Not quite.

Dr. Yafi explains that there are actually three kinds of testosterone. First, theres free testosterone, which is readily available for cells to use. The other two types of testosterone (and most of the testosterone in your blood) are attached 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 known as bioavailable testosterone.

The third typethe testosterone attached to SHBG proteinsis not available for use. Dr. Yafi says that SHBG increases as men get older, and so, too, does their SHBG-attached testosterone.

All of which is to say, according to Dr. Yafi, is that age-related testosterone decline doesnt necessarily reflect a mans total testosterone levels. You might only be losing a portion of your free testosterone. A blood test can help determine whether certain symptoms are actually caused by low testosterone.

Steroids are illegal to use without a prescription, so a lot of guys associate testosterone replacement therapy with those iconic locker room injections. But theyre not the same thing.

Testosterone replacement means increasing testosterone from low to normal levels, says Dr. Yafi, as you would for people who have low thyroid hormone, or diabetics who have low insulinbring them to normal levels.

In anabolic steroid abuse, people with normal testosterone levels supplement with steroids and bring their testosterone over the top. But if youve got low testosterone, then replacement therapy may actually improve your quality of life, says Dr. Yafi. And a bonus? Testosterone replacement therapy, when done in a clinical, appropriate way is extremely safe.

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