My hand reached into the fifth pocket on my jeans, praying I would find a little yellow pill inside. My Cialis, the only thing that could help. Then the panic would set in. Nothing was there! I had a girl lined up ready to go and I was so fearful my dick just wouldn’t work. Anxiety was the mental problem; Low T was the physical problem.
I wreaked havoc on my body and my hormones by playing “science experiment” on myself for a decade. Now, At 35 with testosterone levels floating around 300 (A man my age should be around 500-600), I struggle with the side effects of Low T. Including the most dreaded issue, erectile dysfunction. Some of the other common side effects are:
- Low sex drive
- Lack of energy and fatigue
- Hair loss
- Muscle loss
- Increase in body fat
- Mood Changes
Normally, Low T can be easily treated with a low dose of testosterone (hormone replacement therapy). However, in my case, that’s not an option. During my years of using steroids I developed what are known as hepatic adenomas. This is a rare side effect of steroid use. A hepatic adenoma is an uncommon benign liver tumor that is hormone induced. It is most commonly found in young women who are on an oral contraceptive pill. Large hepatic adenomas have a tendency to rupture and bleed massively inside the abdomen.
I was diagnosed with the adenomas two years ago during a CT Scan of my abdomen. My doctor told me the two lesions were the size of pool balls. I had two options. Have the adenomas removed (Which Later I had to because they became cancerous), through a very invasive liver resection, or stop using steroids and monitor the lesions. They tend to shrink when the hormone causing the growth is removed. I opted for the latter.
Because of my condition, my doctors are unwilling to prescribe testosterone to increase my testosterone levels. This left me with three choices: deal with the symptoms and hope my levels came back, take testosterone on my own, or look for vitamin and mineral supplements that could help. I researched the topic in depth and experimented on myself over the last month with very positive results. This is what I’ve done:
- Lift – Get your ass in the gym and workout! This is one of the best ways to increase testosterone. I’m not a big proponent of lifting for maximal strength because of the injuries I have suffered in the past. However, I started to throw in a couple heavy sets each workout. I use compound movements, sticking to the 5-6 rep range. It’s something I’ve been experimenting with again to increase strength and boost testosterone.
- Magnesium – 500 mg post workout and 500 mg an hour before bed. Multiple studies show a link between magnesium supplementation and increased testosterone levels by as much as 26%. Magnesium also helps with relaxation and improves sleep, which is important for testosterone levels.
- Zinc – 100 mg post workout. Zinc plays an important role in modulating serum testosterone levels. Many men are zinc deficient, which blood work can easily detect.
- Garlic – 1500 mg post workout and in the evening. Garlic has been shown to decrease cortisol levels as well as increase testosterone.
- Fish oil – I take two servings. One post workout and the second in the evening. Fish oil has been shown to decrease Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), which is a protein that binds to free testosterone molecules, inhibiting them to be directly used by androgen receptors.
- Vitamin C – I take 4000 mg a day broken up in 1000 mg doses. Vitamin C has been shown to decrease cortisol production.
- D-Aspartic Acid – I take 6 g in my intra-workout shake and 3 g before bed. I started taking this 10 days ago. D-Aspartic Acid is said to stimulate the release of Luteinizing Hormone, which boosts testosterone production. However, there are conflicting studies on its’ result. Anecdotally, I have experienced an increase in libido as well as a greater frequency and fullness in my erections. I feel like I am walking around with a half a hard on most days since I have started this product. This may be due to the supplement enhancing Nitric Oxide production.
- Increase your good fats – Research shows that a higher intake of saturated fats and monounsaturated fats leads to higher testosterone levels. This means you can eat lots of amazingly tasty things! Think coconut oil, macadamia oil, peanut butter, grass fed butter, almond butter, olive oil, eggs, grass fed beef.
- Caffeine – Studies have shown that taking caffeine before a workout can increase you testosterone levels. I take 100 mg pre-workout. Don’t overdo it! Too much caffeine will spike your cortisol levels which decreases testosterone. Also, avoid it late in the day as it can have a negative effect on sleep patterns. Caffeine can also be a little tricky when it comes to erectile dysfunction because it is a stimulant. Stimulants can make getting an erection more difficult.
- Adequate Sleep – Sleep boosts testosterone and keeps cortisol in check. The increased boost in testosterone at night is one of the reasons you wake up with morning wood. Try to get to sleep at the same time every night in order to develop a pattern. For me this is not always possible. But I make it a habit to do so on weekdays, as my schedule permits that. I aim for 6-8 hours of sleep per night. Not getting enough sleep can reduce testosterone levels.
- Control Stress – Stress leads to elevated cortisol levels. And as we know by now, that means decreased testosterone. I’ve improved my stress management by Meditating, distancing myself from stressful situations and people, and using breathing techniques to calm down.
I will be getting blood work done in 60 days to see the actual results of my testosterone levels. However, the protocol I have used has greatly reduced my physical side effects and virtually eliminated my ED issues. Gaining confidence by waking up with erections and seeing my penis function in a proper manner, greatly reduces much of my anxiety around getting an erection.
I realize I am basing some of this post off anecdotal evidence. That being said, I am pleasantly surprised with how well this has worked for me. I will continue using this protocol and post my blood test results.