The Domino Effect from Low Testosterone Levels
by: IFBB Pro Joe Palumbo
A Few years back I suffered an injury causing my biceps and rotators cuff to tear. November of that year I had the surgery to repair my biceps and rotators injury, the amount of damage that I sustained from that injury caused a 9-month layoff from training/dieting with only rehab and letting the healing take its course. For a hardcore bodybuilder, this is torture. Not training caused my body to take a fast downhill direction, resulting in depression, weight gain, I was tired, lost muscle mass, lost my strength, lost sex drive. It was pure horror. Aside from my surgeon I made an appointment with my Internist. The Blood test showed my Testosterone levels were very low; my doctor informed me; the levels of testosterone in men start to fall after the age of 40. Between two and four million men in the US suffer from below-normal testosterone levels, a condition known as hypogonadism. Male hypogonadism is a condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough testosterone — the hormone that plays a key role in masculine growth and development during puberty — or has an impaired ability to produce sperm or both. You may be born with male hypogonadism, or it can develop later in life from injury or infection. Late-onset hypogonadism is where the decline in testosterone levels is linked to general aging and age-related diseases, particularly obesity. The effects — and what you can do about them — depend on the cause and at what point in your life male hypogonadism occurs.
As testosterone decreases, symptoms include: Fatigue, Decreased sex drive, Difficulty concentrating. Some physical shifts can accompany low testosterone levels. These include increased body fat, decreased strength/mass of muscles, fragile bones, effects on cholesterol metabolism and the list goes on. Hypogonadism can also cause mental and emotional changes. Depression, anxiety, irritability and other mood changes are common in men and women with low T. According to a 2012 issue of the International Journal of Endocrinology, scientists are not sure why a dip in testosterone levels causes depression, but there does appear to be a correlation between the two. Testosterone therapy can boost the mood of many low T patients, particularly in the elderly. Some men don’t recognize signs of their depression or are reluctant to seek help treating depression.
Healing from an injury at the gym or any injury is a very difficult cycle to endure, for me when I looked in the mirror it was as if I never trained a day in my life. Mentally I hit rock bottom; the extra fat, not training, all caused depression and the side effect… LOW testosterone.
I needed to start from the beginning, start training slow, dieting, get my strategy on for building muscle, get strong, lose fat, get conditioned and fit again. However, low testosterone makes it harder to exercise, which can lead to a malicious cycle of inactivity and reduced hormone levels. After the age 30 (for some men even sooner) you start to see your levels of testosterone decline. Signs of low testosterone are often subtle and are mistaken as a natural part of aging. Sportsmen with low testosterone levels are likely to see a significant decline in their athletic ability. The irony of it all is that training hard produces little benefits if the body is suffering from low testosterone levels. Therefore step one of a good fitness goal is to increase testosterone levels.
CONSUME TEST-BOOSTING INGREDIENTS such as Tribulus Terrestris which is a herb from Ayurveda one that is mostly recommended. Vitamin D is arguably the most important vitamin when it comes to testosterone. There is an abundance of benefits from testosterone boosters. Testosterone is the key hormone that is responsible for developing muscular strength in the body, which is a major factor for sprinters, football players, baseball players, weightlifters, and throwers. Increased muscle strength is among the first changes you will notice. For sports that require high levels of endurance such as swimming and long-distance running, testosterone is very effective too at building up your endurance levels. Testosterone is not only effective at building muscle mass, but is very effective at burning fat in the body as well. There are many turns and hills in life that can throw you off your game, and unfortunately, it can have a “domino effect” and set off a series of unhealthy lifestyles. A person’s decision’s style can have consequences throughout their life, make it a positive one if you want something bad enough, you can make it happen at any AGE. Don’t live by excuses, never settle for less and always live life to the fullest.
Train smart #BESAFE
IFBB Professional Bodybuilder
Director of Physical Performance Infinite Labs Orlando FL
Advance Sports Nutrition Specialist (ASNS)
Certified Navy Seal Fitness Instructor
Freelance writer: Workouts and Training Techniques, Strength Training and Conditioning, General Fitness, Weight Loss and Nutritional Needs