1. Evaluate your own testosterone levels and the state of other hormones. These self-assessments are the same ones I’ve used with thousands of my patients.
2. Heal your adrenal glands. These glands produce testosterone and many other hormones. Stress is killing us and prevents the adrenals from performing at their best.
3. Detoxify your liver. The liver activates testosterone and other hormones and converts them to safe, cancer-protective metabolites. Your liver also works overtime to filter all the pollution and pesticides you’re exposed to. A sluggish liver can’t do its job right. This detox, which is different from detoxification of the colon, includes an easy two-week cleanse that pulls out and disposes of toxins and heals and tonifies the liver.
4. Eat nutrient-dense foods. Nutrients are the raw ingredients for building our cells, detoxifying the liver, and healing the adrenals. But few of us eat enough fruits and vegetables to get the vitamins and minerals we need. Our food sources are also less nutrient-dense than 50 years ago, due to pollution, pesticides, and farming practices. Results of a landmark study in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2013 show that a plant-based Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts and olive oil can reduce risk of heart disease by 30%. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, even though most of us are more afraid of breast cancer. The diet also promotes hormone production. My nutrition recommendations closely resemble this diet.
5. Use herbs and vitamin/mineral supplements to boost testosterone and balance other hormones you need. These are available over-the-counter. For example, maca, the herb Stephanie used, removes the testosterone that is bound to carrier proteins and is virtually useless—and makes it available to do its important work as a “free” hormone. The herb ashwagandha boosts testosterone, too, and the B vitamins—B1, B6, and B12—help the adrenals.
6. Slash stress. Low-impact, stress reducing exercises include tai chi, sitting mindfully in silence and stillness (some call it meditation), and breathing exercises. Research also shows moderate exercise like walking increases testosterone production. It’s a myth that watching TV relaxes you. You actually have to do something in order to relax. You need to turn on the “relaxation response.” These exercises are ways to do that.? Incidentally, your body’s response to stress is to produce fat. One of the stresses in our lives is malnourishment. We are an overfed malnourished society.