"Low T," one of the hot medical buzz phrases going around, has been detected and treated in Traditional Chinese Medicine as early as the 1st century CE. What is it, what causes it, do you or someone you know have it, and how can you treat it? You may have noticed the title of this post is "Treating Low T in Men with TCM." Yes, women can have Low T as well. More about that on a future date.
What is Low T (in men)?
The symptoms of Low T tend to appear during or shortly after reaching middle age, and many simply consider them to be a normal part of the aging process. In many cases, this is true. In many cases, it does not have to be a foregone conclusion. Low T can lead to the following:
- Lower lean muscle to fat ratio
- Physical decline/frailty
- Sexual dysfunction
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of muscle mass and function
- Decreased bone density
- Low libido
- Cognitive impairment
What Causes Low T?
There is no one answer to this question, nor is there a one size fits all treatment. At Affinity Acupuncture, we adhere to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, including the premise that each individual is a unique case with their own triggers and specified treatment plan.
Testosterone is a steroid hormone produced in both men and women. For men, it's produced primarily in the testes and secondarily in the adrenal glands. Keep your eyes on this blog for future postings on adrenal fatigue.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, testosterone is Yang in nature. If Yin and Yang are off balance, it can lead to a decrease in the production of testosterone.
Some of the causes of Low T include:
- Certain traumas including injuries and certain cancers
- Certain high blood pressure medications
- SSRI medications
- Steroid use
Non-biomedical causes include:
- Excess of physical/emotional work
- Chronic stress
- Prolonged alcohol use
- Age (Testosterone tends to decrease by ~1%/year after the age of 45)
- Chemical exposure including pesticides, pharmaceuticals BPA (found in many canned foods and plastics), meats, dairy products, petrochemicals, and personal care products
- Lack of sleep
- Excessive or deficient amounts of exercise
- Frequency of sexual activity
So, how are you supposed to avoid processed foods, get the perfect amount of exercise, get a full night of restful sleep, maintain a healthy sex life, and avoid all of these chemicals in the world while decreasing stress? For most people, making lifestyle changes is in of itself stressful. The good news is, you're not on your own in this journey. The good news is, your life and your body are yours. There are certain things you can't control, but others that you can. We can help.
Do You or Someone You Know Have Low T?
This content is for informational purposes only. If you are experiencing some or all of the symptoms above, please consult with a professional. Self-diagnosis and self-treatment can lead to dangerous consequences.
Affinity Acupuncture offers free consultations to new clients. If you or someone you know may suffer from Low T, call 615-939-2787 or visit our website, www.affinityacupuncture.com, to schedule a consult.
Please consult with a professional before making dramatic changes, altering medications, or selecting your own supplements. Causing too dramatic a shift in Yin and Yang can have significant consequences, including anxiety, constipation, heart palpitations, and acne. It can also cause the body to "crash" and deplete itself further.
How Can You Treat Low T?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it's important to compete an accurate TCM pattern diagnosis. This will allow your practitioner to develop a protocol specific to you and your needs.
It is likely that your practitioner will recommend a specific acupuncture point protocol, supported by herbal formulas. They may also recommend dietary therapy and certain types of physical activity.
For those of us who are lucky, aging is inevitable. It is, however, possible to keep the body in balance as it ages, slowing or even decreasing the signs and symptoms associate with growing older. We get one body. We get one life. We should take care of them.