What is Testosterone?
Androgens are male sex hormones. Androgen production increases during puberty to help boys develop into sexually mature men, so young men can reproduce. The most important androgen is testosterone, which is produced in the gonads and adrenal glands in both men and women. In other words, men and women both produce testosterone to some extent, but young adult men have about 7-8 times as much as young adult women.
As adult men and women age they naturally produce less and less testosterone, but opiate use, and in particular heroin use, has been inextricably linked to a premature collapse in testosterone production.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
Symptoms of low testosterone include depression, fatigue, night sweats, reduced sex drive, ED, and diminished sexual arousal and satisfaction. Men may also develop osteoporosis, anemia, and diminished muscle mass. Women may also develop irregular menstrual cycles and diminished sex drive.
Consequences of Low Testosterone
Regardless if it is heroin consumption that lowers your testosterone levels or natural aging, the consequences are often loss of body hair, wrinkling of skin, increased body fat, reduced sexual performance and mood disturbances.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
If you are concerned about your testosterone levels, talk to your physician. We know now that opioids such as heroin and painkillers suppress the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in men and produce a symptomatic state of opioid-induced androgen deficiency (OPIAD). Testosterone patch therapy may normalize hormone levels and improve a number of quality of life parameters, including sexual function, well-being, and mood. If you are concerned about your testosterone levels, you should talk to your physician.
Natural Testosterone Treatment
There is a special mineral found in abundance in oysters, called zinc, which, has been shown in several scientific studies to increase testosterone production. Salmon has a high Vitamin D content, one of the highest of all foods. Optimal Vitamin D levels are strongly correlated with optimal testosterone levels. What you may not know is that it can help optimize your hormones, including testosterone levels. Broccoli (and other cruciferous vegetables) contain indole-3-carbinol, which inhibits conversion of testosterone to estrogen, so natural testosterone levels stay high. Broccoli is high in vitamin C, which lowers cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that often interferes with testosterone production. Cocoa powder is high in magnesium and L-arginine, which support testosterone production. Coconut is a food with a direct link to hormone production. It’s rich in saturated fat, one of the key building blocks of all sex hormones.