By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
October 26, 2020
The causes of health problems aren’t always obvious. I know this more than most people.
That’s because – as a functional medicine doctor – I’m trained to look deep into every issue. I talk with my patients, learn about their diet and lifestyle, and avoid looking for easy fixes at the bottom of a pill bottle.
So, when I have men come into my office with bedroom issues, I don’t always go with the obvious solution. Many of these fellas think there must be something wrong with their testosterone levels.
And sure, that makes sense… at first… if they can’t perform in the bedroom, surely the issue has to do with their manly hormones.
They might ask me if they need testosterone replacement therapy. Or maybe one of those little blue pills will do the trick.
It’s around this point in the conversation when I usually hold my hands up and get him to listen…
There are a few really important things that all guys need to understand about their testosterone levels. Some of these little nuggets of wisdom might surprise you.
Let’s dive in.
- The problem probably isn’t your hormones at all.
First off, let’s be clear about the most common cause of Erectile Dysfunction (ED). Believe it or not, the problem might not have anything at all to do with your hormone levels.
The problem may have to do with your heart!
Cardiovascular disease is a major player when it comes to trouble performing. In fact, ED is linked to double your risk of heart attack, stroke, or cardiovascular death.
So, if you’re having trouble in the bedroom, it may be a sign of a much scarier problem. Be sure to talk with your doctor and have a full cardiac checkup to make sure your heart and blood flow are in good order.
- The obvious solution is not a good one.
After being cleared of any heart concerns, lots of guys will jump to the next logical solution – mainstream testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
This type of therapy involves a synthetic (manmade) chemical being pumped into your body to take the place of your naturally occurring testosterone.
First off, I want you to go back and reread point #1 above…
I say this because TRT actually increases your risk for heart attack, stroke, and death. If you skipped over your heart exam and went right to TRT, you may be making an existing heart issue even worse.
In addition, this type of therapy is fake in every way possible. These synthetic hormones will not be properly recognized by your body and give you the results you desire. They are not a magic fix.
There’s actually a better hormone option, which I’ll get to in a second…
- This heart drug is bad news.
But first, I want to drop a bombshell revelation on you.
There’s a really good chance your low testosterone levels are actually related to a medication you’re taking every day.
I’m talking about statins. And to say they are “bad news” is an understatement. A recent article I read actually called them “a colossal waste of money.”
That’s a strong phrase to use when you consider how more than one out ever every four adults over the age of 39 were taking statins in the year 2013. That’s 39.2 million people! I’m sure the number is even higher today.
All of these people are wasting their money on a drug that is designed to lower your cholesterol. Statins have been pushed hard by society and doctors over the last few years – leaving them as one of the most over prescribed drugs in history.
But for now, I want you to consider this. Men just so happen to be the largest group of statin uses. And not all men know that statins actually ZAP your testosterone levels!
That’s because cholesterol is a precursor to the production of testosterone. As soon as you begin taking statins, your levels of bioavailable testosterone will begin to decline.
Overall, this makes statins one of the main culprits for age-related testosterone deficiency.
- There is one safe hormone option.
Let’s imagine that you learn that your testosterone levels really are low. You really do need some sort of replacement therapy.
If mainstream TRT isn’t the answer, what’s better? This is where your integrative physician can play a role. He or she can help you find a bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, or BHRT.
Unlike those fake chemicals I mentioned earlier, BHRT uses hormones that are exact copies of those your body naturally produces. They allow your body to respond naturally – and gives you those bedroom results you’re looking for.
BHRT with a qualified doctor is a much safer alternative to mainstream testosterone replacement. Plus, it is more effective and costs less.
- These supplements may help.
The final bit of news I’d like to share is directed towards you lucky few. You may be taking a statin drug, hopefully with COQ10, but have not yet suffered from any lowered testosterone levels.
In this case, there are a few important supplements I’d recommend to help you maintain your T levels.
If you’re considering taking a known and researched herbal route you might want to consider either tongkat ali or forskolin. Both increase testosterone production to boost free testosterone levels. In just a few short months you should see a beginning rise in your testosterone lab values. If you’re already taking prescription medication, I recommend seeing an herbal specialist to check for any potential (and unwanted) interactions if you can.
And lastly, my favorite hormone after testosterone, Vitamin D3. In the form of cholecalciferol it can increase your testosterone by up to 20%. Use 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day. You may want to increase this dose to 5,000 IU per day if you’ve been diagnosed with D3 deficiency. (Just be sure to have your levels retested in three months.)
Remember, other than dropping cholesterol levels, diabetes is one of the main reasons physicians are tempted to prescribe statins in the first place. So, keep an eye on your eating habits for both issues so you can maintain healthy insulin and glucose levels and even cholesterol levels. This will ensure no doctor is ever tempted to put you on these testosterone-zapping drugs!
Uddin SMI, et al. Erectile Dysfunction as an Independent Predictor of Future Cardiovascular Events. Circulation. 2018 Jul 31;138(5):540-542.
FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA cautions about using testosterone products for low testosterone due to aging; requires labeling change to inform of possible increased risk of heart attack and stroke with use. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Feb 2018.
Ferenczi EA, et al. Can a statin neutralize the cardiovascular risk of unhealthy dietary choices? Am J Cardiol. 2010 Aug 15;106(4):587-92.
Torjesen I. Statins are overprescribed for primary prevention, study suggests.
Salami JA, et al. National Trends in Statin Use and Expenditures in the US Adult Population From 2002 to 2013: Insights From the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. JAMA Cardiol. 2017 Jan 1;2(1):56-65.
de Keyser CE, et al. Use of statins is associated with lower serum total and non-sex hormone-binding globulin-bound testosterone levels in male participants of the Rotterdam Study. Eur J Endocrinol. 2015 Aug;173(2):155-65.
Mędraś M, et al. Treatment with statins and testosterone levels in men. Endokrynol Pol. 2014;65(6):464-8.
Mohd Effendy N, et al. Eurycoma longifolia: Medicinal Plant in the Prevention and Treatment of Male Osteoporosis due to Androgen Deficiency. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:125761.
Godard MP, et al. Body composition and hormonal adaptations associated with forskolin consumption in overweight and obese men. Obes Res. 2005 Aug;13(8):1335-43.
Pilz S, et al. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men. Horm Metab Res. 2011 Mar;43(3):223-5.
Wehr E, et al. Association of vitamin D status with serum androgen levels in men. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2010 Aug;73(2):243-8.
Mercola, Dr. Joseph. New Research Confirms Statins Are Colossal Waste of Money. 26 August 2020. Available Online: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/08/26/have-statins-reduced-heart-disease.aspx?v=1603243901