How can you tell if the man in your life has IMS?
Ask him, “Can you please pass the salt,” to which he replies, “Take, take, take…that’s all you ever do!”
Men, have you been feeling too busy, tired or distracted to engage in sexual relations with your parțner? Does your sex drive these days seem much lower than before?
Testosterone is not responsible for libido alone. In women, desire stems from a far more complicated set of hormonal and emotional interactions. But for men, while testosterone is not the whole story, it does play a lead role and the modern lifestyle may be your T’s nemesis.
Clinician and author Jed Diamond identified a new syndrome called Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS) that relates to testosterone deficiency. Going beyond low libido, IMS also includes anxiety, emotional withdrawal, lack of motivation, aggression and personality changes. Extremely self-destructive behaviours like gambling, alcoholism and workaholism can also be present.
If this resonates with you, know that you are not alone. Low testosterone affects at least 18 million men, with a significant number of those being men in their thirties.
The impact of low T is not just low sex drive or even mood issues. Testosterone deficiency leads to higher rates of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and bone fractures, projected to cost upward of $500 billion in the United States in the next 20 years.
Low testosterone also elevates a man’s chance of early death. One study tracked 800 men for 50 years and showed that the group with the lowest testosterone levels had a 33% greater chance of death from all causes than the group with the highest testosterone levels. Meanwhile, other studies consistently showed that men with testosterone deficiency had substantially higher mortality levels than those with normal testosterone.
- Where do you stand when it comes to T?
- Are you experiencing IMS symptoms in the form of weight gain, fatigue, muscle loss, male pattern baldness or changes in libido?
If so, visit your primary care physician for testing so as to identify the root cause of the problem.
Hormone replacement is an option for some men but if you follow these seven steps, you may be able to naturally rehabilitate your testosterone levels, sex drive and other related T-deficiency symptoms.
1. Stay Fit And Trim. Belly fat and obesity are testosterone killers. One study showed that obese male teenagers have up to 50% less testosterone than their non-obese peers. This may be due to the fact that fat cells contain more aromatase (enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen).
Sadly, obesity and low testosterone reinforce each other, fuelling weight gain and hormone imbalance in men; however, reversing the spiral is also mutually reinforcing.
2. Get Eight Hours of Regular Sleep. One study showed that after only one week of just five hours of sleep nightly, testosterone levels dropped 10-15%. Surviving on only a few hours may sound macho but it actually depletes your most vital male hormone.
3. Avoid testicle-harming toxins. Phthalates and parabens in personal care products (lotions and shaving creams) and BPA in plastic bottles and store receipts are anti-androgens, meaning they disrupt the production and function of multiple hormones, including testosterone.
Therefore, clean out your bathroom cabinet, use stainless-steel reusable water bottles, and refuse store receipts to avoid these chemicals.
4. Learn How to Deeply Relax. Stress is a major driver of low T. Ultimately your adrenal hormones, thyroid hormones and sex hormones are all interconnected in an awesome but highly complex dance. A stress-driven phenomenon called “cortisol steal” can induce a hormone imbalance wherein the production of testosterone is decreased in favor of cortisol. Stress also increases the production of aromatase and 5-alpha-reductase, two enzymes that break down testosterone. For at least 10 minutes daily, relax and breathe, meditate, do yoga or otherwise boost your parasympathetic nervous system. In so doing, your hormone system has a chance to reboot and rebalance, thereby lowering cortisol and boosting testosterone. Explore an on-line Mindfulness training program to help you alleviate stress and ultimately enhance your T levels.
5. Avoid Statins and Eat More Fish Oil. Studies show that Statin drugs negatively impact mitochondria, the energy powerhouses of your metabolism, as well as lower free and total testosterone. This is most likely because cholesterol is the building block of all your steroid hormones: cholesterol becomes DHEA, which in turn becomes testosterone.
Eating more fish oil will reduce inflammation (inflammation lowers testosterone) and also support the production of healthy cholesterol, the ultimate building block for T. In addition, fish oil also lowers sex-hormone binding globulin, the protein that ferries testosterone around the body, so that more testosterone is free and available.
6. Get Into A Daily Vitamin Supplementation Habit. Vitamins A and E, and minerals zinc and selenium are like fertilizer for androgen production and testicular function. In the developed world, much of our food tends to be low or totally missing these crucial micronutrients. Supplements are the ideal way to guarantee that you are ingesting more of these critical nutrients. At the same time, you can eat more shellfish for zinc and selenium, carrots and kale for vitamin A, along with almonds. along with pumpkin and sunflower seeds for vitamin E.
7. Get More Sun! The male reproductive tract is a target for vitamin D, and studies show that vitamin D supplementation can boost total testosterone, bioavailable testosterone and free testosterone. In North America, an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency has been occurring for some time. Men, if you are unsure of your T levels, visit your physician and ask for a simple blood test. As well as supplements, strive to get 15 minutes of direct sunshine daily!
I am Dakini Devi Bliss, a Certified Tantric Teacher Sacred Intimate, Blissful Bodyworker and Certified Bondassage® practitioner. A lifelong spiritual seeker, I have been formally trained in energetic aura manipulation, hypnosis, Kundalini awakening, Tantric healing, massage therapy, Reiki and Dark Tantra. In my multi-disciplined approach, I manipulate sexual energy for the highest good. With a background in tantra, kundalini yoga, meditation, qi gong, energy work, sexual psychology and relationship coaching, I am also a certified Bondassage® and Elysium practitioner. I employ a unique, rich healing blend for each client. My tantra training initiation was a lengthy process extending over several years, including studies in India, to gain the requisite experience to instruct others. My spiritually-based practice is ideal for those who wish to embrace a higher, enlightened state and use tantra to create kundalini awakening and a deeper connection to their partner(s). I possess a nurturing, joyful nature with a peaceful warrior mindset.