Holidays usually mean quality family time, joyous celebrations, and the excited giggles of children echoing in the background. But sometimes we forget that there’s more — excessive caloric intake and a distraction from our healthy daily routine. If you’re testosterone deficient, managing your testosterone levels during the holiday season is just as important, albeit it can be more challenging.
While it’s easy to fall into the trap of making this “one-time” exception for the holidays and eating “just one more tiny piece of cake” or “skipping walks just for a few days,” maintaining healthy habits is essential — plus, straying from the path is all too easy.
Who are we kidding — with gingerbread cookies and hot chocolate lurking around every corner, who doesn’t want to indulge in a little extra sweets? But the truth is that factors like diet are quite significant for the maintenance of your hormonal system and can be critical in helping you manage your testosterone levels.
Why You Definitely Don’t Want Low T This Time of Year
Managing your testosterone levels doesn’t just allow you to be in control of your health but it also gives you an opportunity to avoid pesky symptoms and preserve your quality of life. Many symptoms commonly observed in hypogonadal men, can significantly impact your everyday activities and time with your family and spouse.
But the holiday season can present further challenges. Being a busy and stressful time of year, low testosterone symptoms can take a toll on you and turn something joyous into an overwhelming load to carry.
Below are a handful of low T symptoms that you definitely do not want during the holidays.
One of the most common but very unspecific symptoms of low testosterone is fatigue, which can leave you feeling sluggish and tired all day long.
Many types of hormonal fluctuations can trigger changes in mood, including low levels of serum total testosterone. Managing your testosterone levels is, therefore, considered critical as hypogonadism can lead to irritability and impact the people around you.
Let’s be honest, if all your extended family is going to be in town for the holidays, especially your mother-in-law, you’re going to need all the sleep you can get. However, low testosterone levels have been linked to reduced sleep quality and could cost you the rest you need to get through the holiday season.
During the holiday season, getting overwhelmed with the many things on your to-do list can be normal. But if you’re testosterone deficient, you might also experience depressive symptoms, feel a lack of energy, and notice increased levels of anxiety. In fact, research found testosterone to be a potential biomarker for depression, with abnormal levels in the hormone linking to certain symptoms.
Don’t we all want to look our best when our family is in town? Testosterone deficiency, however, like many other hormonal disorders, can cause fluctuations in weight. Associated with metabolic dysfunction, low testosterone levels seem interconnected with reduced lean mass and increased fat in males — which might make you dread any upcoming reunions.
How to Manage Your Testosterone During the Holidays?
Managing your testosterone levels means maintaining healthy habits throughout the year — including the holiday season. There’s much more you can do on your end than you think. It just takes some commitment. Here’s what that looks like in practice:
(1) Maintain a Healthy Diet
A versatile diet is imperative in supplying your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs to function the way it should. In fact, certain nutrients significantly aid the well-being of your hormonal system.
Research found that certain dietary patterns have a high probability of causing low testosterone levels (including the consumption of dairy products and desserts). In addition, obesity and low testosterone were also found to be interconnected — driven by dietary choices, holiday or not.
(2) Don’t Forget to Exercise Regularly
To some, it seems arbitrary, but exercise is more powerful than you think and can help alleviate a variety of health issues. In fact, exercising regularly can support maintaining a healthy weight and keep your BMI in the normal range.
Why that’s important for your testosterone? Low testosterone has been correlated with obesity and with rates of obesity on the rise, lifestyle modifications are essential factors that can contribute to testosterone health.
(3) Limit Your Alcohol Consumption
It is a well-known fact that the excessive consumption of alcohol can have countless adverse effects, cause chronic illnesses, and lead to fatty liver disease. However, consuming high amounts of alcohol can further impact the male hormone in your body.
A study found that heavy drinkers were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with testosterone deficiency when compared to non-drinkers. While alcohol might flow freely in some households around the holidays, it is important to steer clear of factors that can adversely affect your testosterone.
(4) Avoid Additional Stress — If You Can
This one might be tricky because holidays can be oh-so stressful. But letting the stress get to you can cause digestive issues, high blood pressure, headaches, and more. Acute stress can further decrease your testosterone levels.
While family reunions can be delicate, try to limit your stress by taking breathers, allowing time for yourself, and tuning out the noise if you need to. It may take some work but you can get through the holiday season with a positive attitude and listening to any internal signs.
(5) Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep
With your family in your neck and a to-do list that can cover the cobblestones between your house and work, you might end up staying up later than you should. But sleep deprivation can also send your testosterone levels on a nose-dive, drain your energy, and make it hard for you to concentrate.
Make Managing Your Testosterone a Habit, Even During the Holidays
Holiday season or not, try managing your testosterone levels at all times and make it a healthy everyday habit. Be diligent about any symptoms you may have and reach out to your healthcare provider if you feel your levels might be on a decline.
On the other hand, even if you’re feeling great, make a point by checking your testosterone levels regularly. As testosterone levels decrease naturally with age, it’s always a good idea to monitor your serum testosterone.
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