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Low Testosterone In Military Veterans ‒ Understanding The Issues

Written by: Dave Morrow, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Low testosterone is becoming a growing concern if you’re a military veteran. You have made countless sacrifices to serve your country and have faced numerous challenges and obstacles along the way. Unfortunately, many veterans face new health issues after leaving active duty, including low testosterone.

What Is It?


Low testosterone, also known as hypogonadism, is a medical condition that affects the production of the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone plays a critical role in maintaining muscle mass, bone density, and sex drive. Unfortunately, low testosterone is becoming an increasingly common problem among military veterans, with studies showing that veterans are more likely to experience low testosterone than the general population.


The HPG Axis


It’s important to understand what is going on. We have a clever cascade of hormones that starts in the brain to initiate the synthesis of testosterone in the testes. Scientists call this the “Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Gonadal Axis”.


The hypothalamus, a small structure inside your brain, secretes a hormone called Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) which then stimulates the pituitary gland to release follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). LH then drives the production of testosterone in the testes. Of important note, there is plenty of evidence that poor sleep affects the proper functioning of the hypothalamus which I explain in more detail here. I had a great podcast about poor sleep with Navy SEAL, Dr. Kirk Parsley.


According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, military veterans are almost twice as likely to suffer from low testosterone compared to the general population. The exact reason for this increase is still unknown, but it is believed that the stress of military service, exposure to toxins, and physical trauma may all contribute to the problem.


Symptoms & Treatment of Low Testosterone


Symptoms of low testosterone can range from mild to severe and may include decreased energy levels, decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction, mood changes, and decreased muscle mass. In severe cases, low testosterone can lead to other health problems, such as osteoporosis, decreased bone density, and an increased risk of heart disease.


Diagnosing low testosterone starts with a simple blood test to measure testosterone levels. Find out some more details about this in my post, T-Series Part 1: Why Warfighters Have Low Testosterone, and How To Test Your Hormones Properly. If the levels are found to be low, further tests may be conducted to determine the underlying cause. Depending on the cause, treatment options may include testosterone replacement therapy, lifestyle changes, or a combination of both.


Testosterone Replacement Therapy


Testosterone replacement therapy can be delivered in various forms, including injections, skin patches, gels, or pellets. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, testosterone replacement therapy has been shown to effectively increase testosterone levels and improve symptoms in most cases. However, it is important to note that testosterone replacement therapy does come with certain risks. In some cases, testosterone replacement therapy has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and prostate cancer. Before starting any form of testosterone replacement therapy, it is crucial to discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.


Non-Medical Therapies


In addition to testosterone replacement therapy, there are also several lifestyle changes that can help improve testosterone levels. These may include maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular exercise, reducing stress, and avoiding alcohol and tobacco. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, maintaining a healthy weight and engaging in regular exercise can significantly increase testosterone levels in most cases.


Based on this study and more compelling evidence, I created a 5 step, 90-day BE.A.S.T. Body Blueprint program designed to improve testosterone levels, naturally. Each step addresses a major pillar of hormonal health. The goal is to provide not only a great workout plan but a customized meal plan that is non-restrictive, a mobility plan to reduce chronic pain and a Navy SEAL approved sleep hygiene plan to get your testosterone moving in the right direction so that you can lose weight and feel great again.


Conclusion


Low testosterone is a growing concern for military veterans, but with proper treatment and care, it is a condition that can be managed and controlled. If you are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone, it is important to talk to your doctor and get a proper diagnosis. With the right support and care, you can reclaim your health, vitality, and continue to live life to the fullest.


In conclusion, low testosterone is a significant problem that affects many military veterans. The exact reason for the increased incidence of low testosterone among veterans is still unknown, but it is believed to be linked to stress, exposure to toxins, and physical trauma. With a proper diagnosis and the right treatment, low testosterone is a condition that can be effectively managed and controlled. If you are a military veteran and are experiencing symptoms of low testosterone, it is essential to talk to your doctor and get a proper diagnosis. With the right care, you can reclaim your health and vitality and continue to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life.


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Dave Morrow, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dave Morrow is a fitness coach driven to improve the lives of military veterans across the planet. A 15 year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, Dave injured himself during the war in Afghanistan and came back home struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. This experience left him in severe physical and emotional pain and when it became too much to bear, he made the decision to completely change his outlook on life and aggressively rebuild who he was. Now he shares the hard fought lessons he learned about managing chronic pain and establishing a bullet-proof mind so that all veterans can thrive and become pillars of their communities. His mission: For the veteran community to lose 2 million pounds

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