Recently, I was forwarded an article by a client of mine titled ‘Testosterone: the latest recreational drug?’ that appeared in the Globe & Mail. The author, Globe & Mail special consultant Dr. Shafiq Qaadri highlights the growing trend of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), as prescription rates are up 300% and last year's sales in testosterone gels, patches, and pills grossed over two billion dollars.
I completely agree with Dr. Qaadri that the majority of males with low libido, weight gain, and poor energy do NOT need artificial testosterone. He estimates that only about 20% of his patients would actually need the medication. I also agree with Dr. Qaadri that what most men really need is… more exercise! The best way to reduce belly-fat and increase testosterone is to lift weights (using compound movements like deadlifts, squats, and Olympic lifts), run or cycle quickly (interval training), and to eat the right diet.
While it’s true that low testosterone or ‘low T’ levels are on the rise in many men, the culprits are usually too much stress, too much alcohol, too much sugar/simple carbs, too little exercise, and too little sleep! If you don’t address the ROOT CAUSE of why you have low T, then no amount of medication will remedy the situation. I commonly see high stress levels (too many long, busy days) leading to lower testosterone in clinical practice. By simply addressing the ‘stress’ component, you can restore your T levels.
Similarly, if you have significant belly-fat then your body will ramp up the production of aromatase enzyme, which converts your precious testosterone to fat-building estrogen. Add more artificial testosterone to the mix and you run the risk of ACCELERATED ESTROGEN production. Not a recipe for success. In this example, weight gain around the mid-section is the culprit and once that is addressed your testosterone levels will come back.
Like most things in life, people want a quick and easy solution. Unfortunately, there is no free lunch in this world. Take the time to address the root cause of your low T, if after 6 months of diet and exercise you still don’t see results, then you can think about medications by consulting with your doctor. In my experience, getting the right program of diet and exercise is all you need to supercharge your brain, body, and libido!
Dr. Marc Bubbs ND, CISSN CSCS