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6 Lifestyle Modifications for Managing Low Testosterone: Our Toronto Functional Medicine Approach


It’s important to recognize that imbalances in male hormones can impact optimal wellness. Functional medicine therapies in Toronto, though, can provide valuable support for hormone optimization, particularly for helping address low testosterone levels in men.

Also called “low T” or male hypogonadism, this occurs when the testicles cannot create optimal levels of testosterone. This can be alarming, as the hormone needs to nurture male reproduction, sexual health, cognitive performance, muscle function, red blood cell maintenance, and even bone density. 

Low T can occur at any age; but the following may be risk factors: 

    • Obesity
    • Unhealthy lifestyle factors (i.e. smoking, alcohol)
    • Unmanaged type II diabetes 
    • Sleep apnea
    • Chronic diseases, HIV/AIDS, kidney disease, liver disease

For this post, we discuss the impact this issue has on men, how lifestyle changes can help manage low testosterone, and details about our functional medicine therapies. 

Understanding Low Testosterone Levels in Men

In Canadian labs, low T is diagnosed using a combination of blood testing and understanding clinical symptoms; the normal testosterone range is between 8.5 – 29.5 nmol/L (from early-morning blood tests). 

Low T may happen for various reasons. Stress, disease conditions, or pituitary gland or testicular issues may reduce testosterone levels. Though hypogonadism can occur in young or old males, testosterone levels naturally decline with age. In fact, scientific studies have suggested that low T may start around age 40. 

Clinical symptoms of hypogonadism include:

    • Reduced libido
    • Lack of body and facial hair
    • Erectile dysfunction
    • Increased visceral body fat
    • Low energy levels 
    • Sleep issues
    • A decrease in bone and muscle mass, and reduced size of testicles
    • Mood swings
    • Depression
    • Lethargy
    • Poor cognitive function (i.e. concentration)

When left untreated, it can put the body at risk of cardiovascular disease and lowered red blood cell production. Low T can trigger osteoporosis and reduce protection against chronic diseases. Plus, it may lower your sperm production, which can be problematic for fertility health goals. 

Thus, understanding how to maintain testosterone levels can help prevent hormone imbalances. Keep reading to learn how with the functional medicine model. 

Suggested Reading: Thriving Through Winter Using Functional Medicine from Toronto: Tips for Wellness and Embracing the Season

Key Healthy Lifestyle Factors to Support Low T Concerns

At the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre, we treat a range of patients with these concerns. Though hormone optimization programs with conventional or bio-identical hormones may be advised, lifestyle changes bear significance, too. So, we recommend these modifications for leveling testosterone:  

    1. Reduce stress levels: Chronic stress can increase cortisol levels; studies have shown that when cortisol heightens, testosterone suddenly declines. Learning how to manage pressures can potentially support testosterone balance. We suggest giving acupuncture a try. 
    2. Improve sleep: Adults should get 7-8 hours of rest per night, but in the end, sleep quality and duration are individualistic. But one study revealed that 5 hours of sleep per night was linked to lowering testosterone levels by up to 15%. 
    3. Cut back on alcohol: Scientific evidence has shown that testosterone can reduce in the body approximately half an hour after consuming alcohol, which can affect testicular function. “Both testosterone production and spermatogenesis seem to be affected by alcohol abuse in a dose-dependent manner…,” clarifies a Journal of Clinical Medicine piece. 
    4. Reduce BPA exposure: Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical known for disturbing the endocrine system, can initiate low T. BPA may be found in household items, food containers, or workplace materials, so consider lowering exposures to these. 
    5. Diet: A balanced diet of fat, proteins, and carbohydrates, along with whole, unprocessed foods, can be a factor in leveling hormone production. As reported by studies, Western-styled diets composed of processed, take-out foods (versus homemade, dark leafy greens-based meals) can diminish serum testosterone amounts. 
    6. Exercise: In our post “Undertaking Low Testosterone Levels”, we discussed how exercise can boost serum testosterone. To expand on this, we recommend regular resistance training, as it’s been clinically shown to temporarily boost testosterone. A personal trainer can help devise your weight-training regime. 

Lifestyle changes can help manage low testosterone. If you’re concerned about this, our personalized approach to wellness could help you cope, as functional and integrative medicine focuses on the root of your health concerns. By pinpointing this source, our clinic can help prevent additional chronic symptoms and help optimize long-term health.  

Addressing Hormone Imbalances at the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre (TFMC)

When you become a new TFMC patient, you must book a complete diagnostic session. This would be an introduction to our integrated health care, and we’ll scrutinize your comprehensive health history, lifestyle/environmental factors, current health symptoms, health goals, and the use of core tests. 

Once we’ve dissected your individual components, we can tailor your comprehensive treatment plan. This may contain several personalized integrative medicine services, such as functional and naturopathic medicine, intravenous therapy, Western medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, bioidentical hormone therapy, herbal medicine, and more. Treatment plans, including dosages of oral and IV supplements, are customized with integrative functional medicine principles, which is how we target personal nutritional deficiencies, hormone imbalance, menopausal symptoms (irregular periods), disease prevention, etc. 

Hormones are necessary for a wide variety of reasons – let’s help alleviate low T symptoms with conventional and natural therapies! A functional medicine wellness program may also be tailored for your particular needs.

A customized, proactive, long-term health plan can play a role in optimal health. Request your initial visit for personalized functional medicine Toronto tips! Click here to reach us today

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.



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