Is Low Testosterone Causing My Man Boobs?
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Everyone knows what high testosterone means – after all, testosterone is the ultimate manliness hormone.
From sexual prowess, social skills and confidence through to better physical health,
strength and lean muscle mass, testosterone plays a fundamental role in leaving us men looking and feeling great.
Given its power then, it’s little surprise that when we’re lacking testosterone, we feel less than tip-top.
But some side effects of low testosterone levels can affect us more than others.
While hair loss, weight gain and muscle loss are all big indicators of flailing testosterone levels, in this article we take a look at another, lesser mentioned example, gynecomastia, often (and rather unforgivingly) referred to as ‘man boobs.’
But before we get onto that, let’s take a look at testosterone itself.
Testosterone – The Key To Everything Male
Often referred to simply as ‘T’, testosterone is the primary male hormone, and plays a pivotal role in male development. When released from the Leydig cells in the testes, T takes care of stacks of masculine traits of all shapes and sizes, from endurance and muscle mass through to body hair and deep voices….
Once puberty hits, the production of T gets taken up a notch, as the brain’s hypothalamus begins to control testosterone to drive physical development. This manifests itself in changes like growth spurts, voice changes and facial hair growth.
The Age Factor
Men aged 18-30 tend to experience testosterone levels of around 300 – 1000 ng.dL, but after 30, the body’s production of T starts to drop.
In fact, the average man loses 1% of free testosterone each year, meaning that by the 60th birthday, the majority of men are what is called hypogonadal. Put simply, they have low testosterone.
Yet low T levels aren’t only confined to older men – as an example one in four men in the US suffers from low testosterone… this fact is replicated all over the world..
The Effects Of Low T
Given that testosterone plays such a fundamental role in the development of masculine traits, it’s probably little surprise to you that as testosterone levels drop, these traits can decline.
Things like strength, athleticism and muscle mass can plummet alarmingly quickly once testosterone levels start to drop, and many men struggle with maintaining an erection and overall sexual performance in the bedroom as they age.
Another major sign that your T levels aren’t at their best is the accumulation of body fat. This is particularly common on the belly and chest – and this is where the dreaded gynecomastia comes into play.
Gynecomastia: What You Should Know
Gynecomastia is the medical term for the enlargement of breast tissue within males, and while it can hit men of any age, it’s more prevalent in older men.
Despite being common, however, gynecomastia can cause lots of pain and embarrassment, leaving men with breast tissue similar in appearance to that of women.
This condition can vary in symptoms from a slight enlargement around the nipple area through to full growth in breast tissue.
Research has highlighted that the problem may be down to an imbalance between T and the feminine hormone estrogen – approximately 85-90% of men experiencing gynecomastia also boast high estrogen levels.
Estrogen And Gynecomastia
Estrogen production is perfectly natural in men – all men see some of their testosterone converted to estrogen via aromatization.
This happens partially so that testosterone levels don’t get too high, and also to support another of other important bodily processes.
During our teenage years this estrogen production is hugely overshadowed by testosterone, but as this declines with age, estrogen levels can creep up, leading to overload.
These hormones can then bind to receptors, resulting in tissue growth. Overweight males are particularly vulnerable, as fat cells do a great job of storing estrogen.
It’s also true that anabolic steroids can play a role in heightened estrogen levels, which is why many men who abuse steroids suffer from gynecomastia. The condition can come on very quickly in this case, and is often permanent.
The Weight Issue
Being overweight impacts your body in a variety of ways, and gynecomastia is no exception. Research has highlighted a strong link between being overweight and possessing excess breast tissue. Those with lower body fat tend to enjoy higher T levels, quashing estrogen and keeping gynecomastia at bay – in fact, some studies have shown that the condition all but disappear as a result of weight loss.
Surgery, radiotherapy and prescription drugs are all touted as potential treatments to gynecomastia. Yet while these may work, they are only treating the symptom rather than the real cause.
What’s more, there’s an element of danger attached to such solutions, whether pain, risk of infection, scaring or complications.
The good news is that it is possible to treat gynecomastia naturally, focusing on treatments that help the body elevate testosterone and block the aromatization that drives high estrogen levels.
What’s more, opting for something natural means no potential for dodgy side effects, pain or huge money investment – and don’t we all want that?
What Should I Be Looking For?
When it comes to treating gynecomastia you want to look for a T-boosting supplement that actively works to raise testosterone levels. This means that you should be looking for proven T boosting ingredients like Zinc, Magnesium, Vitamin D3 and D-aspartic acid for starters.
Of course, these can’t work miracles on their lonesome – it’s up to you to keep your diet in check and ensure you’re not putting off trips to the gym, If you don’t like gyms, then a good daily brisk walk is equally as effective.
But if you’re looking after yourself, there’s no reason why a good natural T booster won’t be a powerful tool in regaining your physique and losing those hated man boobs.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR –
I am 59 years old, I currently live in London. I have one married daughter aged 33
I have always had a passion for fitness, In my younger days I was a keen swimmer and competed at county level both at home and abroad. I am also a keen squash and tennis player and have always been a keen gym goer.
I have a CPD accreditation in Sports Nutrition and am a published author with my articles featuring in some popular publications.
Over the past 13 years I have studied the effects of testosterone both in the younger man and as we get older, the effects of low or reduced testosterone and how increasing its production can really improve your health.
On a personal level, a number of years ago, I was diagnosed with Low-T myself, and my own in-depth research has helped me to redress my own health concerns.