Guys, Let’s Talk Testosterone

If you’re a male over 30, you’ve probably seen a dozen, a million ads for testosterone supplements and companies offering the hormone has a gel or injection. I ignored those ads for years but at 34, I was noticed that fatigue was hitting hard and in my last relationship I had some erectile dysfunction issues.

At 34, I felt it was a little young for this kind of thing, and I was embarrassed as I ordered ED pills for the first time. I had known that I had some hormone issues when I was younger, but it didn’t seem to be causing any issues. Not so anymore. I signed up with Hone and did my first test. I found out my balls were mostly decorative, I had no testosterone. The doctor said, “I’ve never seen levels this low.” I started on medication, but that has had limited success, and soon I might be joining the injection gang. I tell you this story so that we can have a frank conversation about testosterone and break through some myths and hype.

For AMAB folks, having proper testosterone levels are important. Testosterone controls a variety of things, and low levels can be a cause of depression. Long-term low T levels can also cause osteoporosis. As someone who has mentioned my mental health issues, I figured this might be a great benefit.

Testosterone also greatly affects the energy we have to meet life’s challenges and daily tasks. In my research, I found that hormone levels can be affected by sleep, obesity, medication, and stress level. As someone who has been oh-so-very-stressed, I know this is probably a significant factor too.

There are also chemicals throughout our lives that can have terrible effects on the endocrine (hormone) system. This includes excessive plastic (especially that which is heated in the microwave) and chemicals in pesticides that end up in food.

Raising your testosterone levels won’t solve all your problems, but it will certainly help a few of them. If you are AMAB and identifying as male, having healthy T levels are vital to your health.

Optimizing sleep and other health deficits can also play a role as well. This year, I’ve been spending a great deal of time on my health. I had a kidney stone earlier this year and between that and regular doctor visits I swear I’ve had more tests than I can think about.

I will say that raising my levels has fixed my ED problems, which is good and has given me back some sex drive lost to low levels and antidepressants. I feel like I have a sexuality again.

Going for the injectable testosterone is not an easy decision. It has taken me months to think about it. One of the chief problems is that when T is coming from the outside, your body quit producing it and once the testicles stop producing it is nearly impossible to get them back on the job. For me, mine have already decided to give up doing their job. Testicular shrinkage from external T is also a very real thing. However, I don’t need large testicles to feel like a man; I’d rather lose some weight and feel better. There can also be fertility issues as well. I don’t intend to have children ever, so this is not a issue.

The health benefits from having health testosterone levels are obvious: it’s easier to work out and be active. You will gain surface muscle mass, and it will be much easier to lose weight (something I’m excited to enjoy).

This is important to mention. When you start researching testosterone and how to raise it naturally or artificially, you’ll see dozens of “alpha male” grifters promotion a supplement and a whole lifestyle around “being more a man” and eschewing anything that might compromise your manhood. Leave all that behind and leave those dudes alone. They care far more about social policy and fake ideas about manhood and masculinity than health and living a decent life. This has also begun to turn very political as well, and while I rarely advise this in any sense: avoid this. Health is health, and good health is decidedly non-partisan.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store