How to Naturally Boost Your Testosterone

Posted on December 29, 2016. Filed under: Exercise, Health, Hormone, Testosterone, Weightloss | Tags: , , , , , |

Dr. Greg & Monica bodybuilding

Dr. Greg & wife, Monica

~by Dr. Greg Steiner
CA Acupuncture & Chiropractic

Over the years, testosterone levels have diminished a great deal in men and women both.  Average numbers for young men used to range in the 800’s. In the 1940’s,  an average, 40-45 year old male’s numbers had decreased down to the 700’s and by early 2000’s,  it had dipped into the 500’s. In my clinic today, we are seeing numbers for the majority of males in the 100’s-300’s.  Clearly there is a generalized decrease.  So why is it?

Years ago, in past generations, work would be done by 5:30pm, the male would come home and eat, and usually would rest and just relax after a hard day of work. This included sleeping in on the weekends and taking it easy.  Food was less processed.  Fast forward to today and it’s usually go-go-go 24/7 for both men and women.  There are no breaks, there’s high stress levels and poor quality nutrition. Many people suffer from the following…

Symptoms of low testosterone include:
Fatigue
Depression
Irritability & mood swings
Inability to build and maintain muscle mass
Weight gain
Hair loss
Breast enlargement (in men)
Hot flashes and night sweats
Low sex drive
What does Testosterone do for us?

Having optimal levels of testosterone can help you:
Lose weight
Build muscle mass
Boost your sex drive
Increase bone density
Improve memory and cognitive function
Decrease hot flashes & night sweats

Fortunately, there are ways to naturally increase those testosterone levels…

1. Take Control of Your Stress. Several hormones work against testosterone, one being cortisol. If you’re under constant stress, your body will churn out a steady stream of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone actually blocks the effects of testosterone so your body will be less able to create testosterone. So, controlling your stress is important for keeping up your testosterone.

2. Get Enough Rest.  If a person has unrelenting stress and cannot sleep, then it’s hard for the body to shut down externally to turn on internally to produce testosterone.  A lack of sleep affects a variety of hormones and chemicals in your body and rest is needed to restore them.  Make sleep a priority, aim for 7 to 8 hours a night.

3. Get to a Healthy Weight.   Overweight or obese men often have low testosterone levels.  Losing the extra weight can help bring testosterone back up.  For underweight men, getting weight up to a healthy level can also have a positive effect on the hormone. Studies are now showing that the more fat you carry, the lower your testosterone levels will be.

4. Reduce Sugar. Testosterone levels decrease after you eat sugar, which is likely because the sugar leads to a high insulin level, another factor leading to low testosterone.  Eat foods that increase testosterone production. These include:
Tomatoes
Red peppers
Cruciferous vegetables
Alfalfa sprouts
Apples and pineapples.
Olives & olive oil
Coconut oil
Grass fed butter
Raw nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pecans
Eggs
Avocados
Grass fed meats

5. Increase Omega Oils.  Most people lack a sufficient quantity of Omega oils which are the backbones of hormones.  Whether it is from a supplement or increased intake of food sources like fish, walnuts, chia, flax or hemp seeds, a person needs good fats to make a good hormone.

6. Reduce Carbohydrate Intake.  Immediately following any high-carbohydrate meal there is a temporary drop in testosterone levels. If you are eating 3-4+ carb dominant meals per day, this will lead to lower testosterone levels overall. Try to limit your consumption of starchy or simple carbohydrates to the 2-3 hour window after your training session for the day. This will ensure that your body is adept at handling the insulin spike a little better, and will also limit your consumption of carbs.  Try starting your day with a high protein/medium fat/low carbohydrate meal like eggs or turkey bacon, along with some green vegetables and avocado/nuts. Most people who switch from a high carb breakfast, to a high protein/moderate fat breakfast report increases in energy, satiety (feeling full), and almost always end up leaner from that one change.

7. Change up your Exercise.  Testosterone adapts to your body’s needs. If you spend most of your time lying on the couch, your brain gets the message that you don’t need as much to bolster your muscles and bones.  When you’re physically active, your brain sends out the signal for more of the hormone but know that longer workouts are not necessarily better. Exercise type and duration can influence your testosterone levels.  If you regularly engage in long, drawn-out workouts with lengthy rest periods or excessive endurance exercise, then your testosterone levels may actually see a reduction.  Workouts lasting longer than about an hour may begin to spike cortisol levels and subsequently decrease testosterone. Additionally, research has shown that a quicker rest period between sets (1 minute vs 3 minutes) triggered higher acute hormonal responses following a bout of resistance training. So, keep your rest periods short and engage in vigorous exercise like weight training incorporating big compound lifts like squats, dead lifts, bench presses and lunges or running hills in order for you to maximize your testosterone response.  Workouts should be between 15-45 minutes up to an hour but no longer, even with rest breaks included. While cardio is important and  it’s good for the circulation, it’s not the most effective way to produce testosterone.  You want to focus more toward the amount of exertion, not just how long you can keep endurance up.

Adding in supplements like zinc, vitamin d, and b-complex have also shown to help testosterone.  Even body building experts (like my wife) believe that eating at certain times during the day and frequent meals with controlled portions also help.  I recommend get your blood levels tested first to find out where you fall on the scale and devising a plan from there.

 

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Slowing the Aging Process

Posted on November 20, 2015. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Aging, Chiropractic, Exercise, Health, Hormone, Joints, Pain, Posture, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

~ by Dr. Greg Steinerbigstock-Mature-couple-having-fun-in-co-13905050

Growing old is inevitable, but getting old shouldn’t be used as an excuse.  For those who say, “I can’t do this because I’m getting older”, that’s an insufficient answer.  You don’t have to fear aging and let it prohibit you from the things you want to do.  There are a number of things that can be done to slow the process or at the least, allow you to age well.

Many processes going on in the body effect how we age.  Circulation is one of them.  It’s similar to having narrow roads, with fewer trucks on the road making deliveries.  Circulation is our transport system for our bodie’s resources, namely oxygen and nutrition.  As we age, we have a less efficient delivery system.  Also influenced by age is mobility and elasticity.  The gradual need for reading glasses demonstrates a decrease in elasticity in eyes.  It’s kind of ironic how we age that certain things get saggy while other things stiffen up.  Hormones can also get out of whack.  Testosterone & estrogen usually become unbalanced and growth hormone, responsible for repair also decreases.  Imbalanced thyroid levels and insulin can lead us to  suffer from fatigue and other issues.  And let’s not forget about inflammation.  There is inflammation that comes from a recent injury (like breaking a toe), but there’s also inflammation from an injury from 10 years ago.  Some of this stems from scar tissue forming, which over the years becomes less elastic and reduced circulation in that area.  Natural anti-inflammatories in the body work at a slower rate so we feel pain in that particular spot.

But know this, all of those things, at least by some degree are correctable.  Stretching for elasticity and mobility is helpful, but won’t necessarily solve everything.  Due to the computer generation, people these days can barely turn their neck left or right.  It’s double the problem from what I was seeing 20 years ago.  If the neck isn’t kept flexible, it can promote shoulder pain and headaches as well.

Chiropractic can be very helpful in restoring and maintaining mobility and flexibility.  Some people stretch and stretch yet still can’t touch their toes.  Usually this indicates a ligament issue.  Their bones and spine aren’t flexing.  One of the secrets to having a bouncy, happy walk isn’t about being flexible, it’s about having your bones & ligaments moving properly.  If everything is aligned and moving correctly, and the structure is perfectly aligned, the individual has a light, bouncy walk with or without flexibility.

Diet and exercise can help circulation.  Acupuncture and herbs are also useful in promoting circulation as well as helping reduce inflammation.  If you improve the circulation, you’ve got a better supply system which can transport out the waste products.  The healthy diet can then provide the right nutrition to be transported in.  Blood tests can determine how well hormones are balanced.

Everything is tied into one another.  Just like a plate of spaghetti, if one noodle falls off, it usually takes several with it.  Just be sure to treat all the issues together as a whole rather than trying to look at each “noodle” independently.

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Can Eating Local Honey Reduce Seasonal Allergies?

Posted on March 7, 2013. Filed under: Allergies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Health Experts have long touted the wonders of using honey for ailments.  It’s been slathered on wounds to prevent infection and hasten healing and even been used as a natural cure for diarrhea and upset stomachs.  It’s even recommended today as a way to help the body overcome seasonal allergies and hay fever.

Allopathic Medicine utilizes a process called “Immunotherapy”  wherein an allergen is injected into the body to help an individual become desensitized to it by building up an immunity toward it. This is the premise for the “Allergy Shot”. The same process can be done in a natural, painless, and healthy way by eating local honey.

Local honey is produced by bees usually within several miles of where the person eating the honey lives. There’s no rule of thumb on what the exact proximity needs to be, but proponents suggest the closer, the better. The reason you want “local honey” is that this increases the chances that the varieties of plants and flowering grasses that give the allergy sufferer trouble are the same kinds the bees are including in the honey they produce. By consuming this honey, you are creating a natural form of “immunotherapy”. Because the honey includes the pollen spores which so many allergy sufferers are affected by, introducing them into the body in small amounts by eating honey can help make the body accustomed to their presence and decrease the chance of an immune system response like the release of histamine. Since the concentration of pollen spores is low, ideally, the production of anti-bodies shouldn’t trigger symptoms similar to an allergic reaction.

In addition to finding “local honey”, be sure to purchase “raw” honey. This means that it has not been pasteurized, or heated to more than 120 degrees. While pasteurization can help keep the honey from fermenting, it kills the active pollen spores that your body needs to help build up its immunity.

Recommended amounts are about 1-2 teaspoons per day. Try to start taking it at least a month before allergy season, or take it throughout the year. Adding the honey to a cup of green tea is a great way to incorporate it into the diet.

Scientific research has not determined honey to be the cure for seasonal allergies, namely hay fever, but many people claim that their intake of local honey has had a direct correlation to the reduction in their allergy symptoms.

Note: Be sure not to serve honey to infants under 2 years of age.

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Enzymes – A Catalyst for Good Health

Posted on August 31, 2012. Filed under: Aging, Healing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Enzymes are energy-rich protein molecules that are essential for life.  They catalyze and regulate chemical reactions and are an essential part of every activity in the body.  Their process speeds up rates of reaction for a specific chemical reaction in a cell.  With an enzyme, reactions work faster in the body than they would without.  For example, a digestive enzyme helps break down the food we eat, releasing nutrients for energy production, cell growth and repair.  Due to existing factors such as genetics, stressful lifestyle, environment and diet, we are all at risk for compromised digestion.  This is why many people may benefit from the support of a digestive supplement.

Enzymes are used for numerous therapies including promoting detoxification, improving overall digestion, increasing immune system health, and helping repair tissues and ligaments.

Why do we need Enzymes?

Except in cases of genetic deficiencies, most organisms (including humans) have the ability to synthesize and secrete the enzymes that are needed for metabolism.  However, under certain conditions, that synthesis or activity may be impaired.  These conditions are often the result of poor diet, poor lifestyle (smoking, alcohol, etc…), exposure to environmental pollutants and/or aging.

When we eat a meal, the requirement for digestive enzymes becomes a high priority.  Our body’s enzyme-making machinery must work over-time and still can’t usually meet the body’s demands and enzyme requirements.  Since digestion takes precedence over nearly everything else, many bodily functions that require metabolic enzymes are often short-changed during these times.  The result is a lower disease fighting capability and a general weakening of the body’s ability to mend itself.

Enzymes contribute to the delivery of vitamins and minerals throughout our system.  If this process is not functioning at maximum capacity, then foods are poorly digested.  Protein putrifies, fats turn rancid, and carbohydrates ferment in the body.  These undigested food particles may serve as nutrients to the various intestinal microorganisms resulting in the generation of microbial metabolites which are toxic and can leak back into the bloodstream, undermining health and creating further toxicity.  Without the support of an effective enzyme reserve, we begin to lose energy, lose our ability to fight disease, and lose our body’s ability to remedy its own naturally occurring malfunctions.  This loss may lead to disease and may eventually lead to death.

This concept supports the case for safe, supplemental enzymes.  If the body can get the necessary extra digestive enzymes it needs to complete the digestive process, then a metabolic enzyme shortage will not occur.  Without overstressing the body’s enzyme-making potential, our body will be in  a much more favorable position to fight biologic and genetic malfunctions and diseases as they occur.

Excerpts taken from Transformation Enzymes, which produces a superior product line with documented successes & results

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The Mystery of Weight

Posted on June 11, 2012. Filed under: Weightloss | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

By Dr. Gregory Steiner~

As another hot summer descends upon us, the calls for weight loss become even louder; many frustrated women and men continue to seek the Holy Grail of losing unwanted weight and keeping it off. If only it were that easy….

Probably the most frustrated of all are the sincerely dedicated people who exercise, watch their diet, and sigh every time they look at the unmoving, heartless scale!

Over my 21 years of clinical practice I have noted there are actually three common weights people speak of and desire, not just one.

First, is what could be called a best ‘athletic’ weight, in which a person is at his or her strongest (e.g. a weight lifter), or has the best endurance (e.g. a runner). This weight is achieved by a combination of consistent exercise and diet specific to the sport they are engaging in.

Second is the best cosmetic weight which is the most common desire. Most patients will tell me they want a healthy weight – which they do – but on further examination what they really, truly want is to achieve their ideal ‘visual’ weight, which us usually – but not always – quite thin.

Then there is the third weight, which is where a person actually feels and functions the best in daily life; they feel very energetic, they have few aches and pains, and they rarely get sick. Often this weight is a bit heavier than their ideal weight, and occasionally it is less. Interestingly enough it is usually not the best athletic weight, because a sport-specific weight demands that a body be tip-top to the demands of that sport, not for daily living. For example, I have known more than one weight lifter who could lift 600 lbs., yet who could barely walk up stairs without losing breath or downstairs without pain.

It’s a lucky person (genetically that is) where all three are the same.

“Ideal’ weight then, is particular to what you want and is determined by bone structure and hormones, and then by your activity level and what you eat. Where people run into frustration is when they want a weight -either too big or small – for what their skeletal frame will support, or when they have hormonal issues that hinder fat loss and muscle gain. For example, I often see a larger framed female who wants to be model-thin, or a small framed lanky man who wants to have Mr. Universe muscles. Their desires are real, and they spend no small amount of time and emotional energy fretting about not getting their dream body; it’s no wonder cosmetic surgery is such big business in the Metroplex.

Hormonal imbalances are frequently talked about, as the prevalence of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone excess and deficiencies become more known to the general public. Debates rage over the causes of hormonal irregularities and the resulting obesity, diabetes, premature puberty and low testosterone, but the ‘natural health community’ usually points to the use of hormones in food, plastics that leach into the system, and the persistent stress of modern  American culture as likely culprits that either cause or exacerbate the situation.

Living in such an environment makes it challenging to defend against such hormonal ‘imbalancers’, but the natural medicine approach includes herbs to defend against the toxicities, acupuncture to balance the body’s energetics, chiropractic to do the same to the nervous system, and following a solid nutritional program day after day, meal after meal. Correction and re-balancing is the first step, but real nutrition and defense against the ‘bad stuff’ is the key to long lasting results and keeping the weight you want.

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What Else Makes a Child Hyper?

Posted on October 27, 2011. Filed under: Acupuncture Information, Allergies, Chiropractic, Healing | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Sugar hides in all shapes & forms of food

~by Dr. Gregory Steiner

Just this last weekend I attended a course in clinical nutrition that explored the links between food and mental and emotional function. Nutritional status is linked to moods good or bad, attention focused or scattered, aggression, and of course overall energy.

In our clinics (both Allen and Dallas) we have treated children and adults with attention disorders, as well as for nutritionally-linked affective problems, e.g. depression. One of the first avenues of inquiry we look at is allergy or hypersensitivity, and while a person may be only too well aware of seasonal pollen allergies, he or she – or the parent – usually overlooks underlying food intolerance, and there may be several or even many.

Each of us has by virtue of our constitution has levels of tolerance for many factors; some people tolerate pain better than others, some fatigue, some people do better in heat, and others in cold. In a similar manner, some people have a touchier digestive system and others a very touchy respiratory system. Here is where environment really comes into play.

Perhaps you have a child or spouse with a pollen allergy, and every September you can’t sleep because your family member sniffles and coughs the night away. Poor you! However, what no one can figure out is why the presumed allergy is worse on some days than others, regardless of the pollen count. What we have found is that the poor person keeping you awake may have an underlying food intolerance that only compounds the problem. Let’s use sugar, for example. Did you know that if you take in refined sugar your immune system can be weakened within a short time of ingesting it? So, the next logical question is to ask about the condition of the immune system of a person who consumes sugar every day. Thought it took years for me to realize the answer, many years ago while in college I got quite a few colds, and finally I realized that there was a pattern to the illness: if I had a diet of cookies, Doritos and soda, I’d be sick a week later. Often though only a low-grade sore throat and some sniffles, after I started paying attention I saw a pattern that was all-too obvious.

Let’s put some pieces together.

Many allergy sufferers seem to go between allergy, illness, and allergy and back to illness. In many cases the problem is simple: they do have an allergy that causes them misery, but they also have a diet that weakens their immune system, which means they are often carrying a low-grade infection for weeks and months, on top of the allergy. In other words, their systems are just overwhelmed, and they often suffer for months or even years.

How difficult is the solution? Let me tell it this way. I will always recall the very fit and very tired mom of a two-year old who hadn’t slept for both years of her young life due to an endless supply of green mucus running out her young nose. I will also recall the conversation with the mom, which went something like this:

“Mom, do you feed your daughter much sugar, because this is what it looks like is happening.”

“Oh no, doctor! We try to eat healthy in my house.”

“Well, I said, “what does she eat for breakfast?”

Mom replied: “She has a Pop Tart or two, then some orange juice, and …..”

I stopped her right there, because Mom needed some real education as to what sugar is actually in.

Mom did stop the Pop Tarts, and within 3 visits using some additional care, the young child’s nose cleared up, and to this date Mom and daughter are sleeping…..and the daughter can concentrate much better.

Allergies, illness and sugar often run together, and with kids, if blood sugar is either too high or low, they will become hyper or even aggressive and mean. There are ways to test for excess sugar and food intolerances, but a simple plan that can help both attention, (not to mention dental bills) is to eliminate or greatly reduce sugars intake, though if a food comes in a box, bag or can, it probably has sugars in it. Not an easy task, but it certainly can lead to better health in the family, as well as better performance in school.

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Chronic Fatigue – Causes and Corrections

Posted on October 11, 2011. Filed under: Fatigue, Pain | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

By Dr. Gregory Steiner~

Tired woman yawningEvery single week a new patient enters my clinic, and we’re not talking about ordinary “pain the neck” patients. These patients are suffering in a particularly difficult way, with a combination of extreme loss of energy and pain in multiple areas of their bodies.

The foremost symptom is never-ending, unrelenting fatigue. The second symptom is unending pain and stiffness, day-after-miserable-day. The fatigue and pain often appear together, but a person may suffer from one or the other. However, in my professional life I’ve never met a chronically tired person who didn’t hurt all the time, and I’ve never met a person who hurt all the time who wasn’t tired.

On the subject of energy, have you noticed that when you are energetic, there is no task that can’t be done, no problem that can’t be solved, and that pain – whatever the level – is tolerable. Have you also noticed that when you are not energetic that everything is difficult – – that slipping on your shoes becomes a major ordeal? These two syndromes are often confused, often ignored, and most unfortunately denied.

I’ll always, always remember the mountain of a man who became my patient in N. Ireland while living there a few years ago. He was a traditional man – strong, a good provider, a devoted husband and father, and he knew what is to gain and achieve through hard work. I’ll always remember the day he came to my clinic – dead tired and barely able to stay awake more than a few hours a day. He was unable to work, and had lost much of his self-esteem.

Up to that point in my career I was uncertain whether chronic fatigue (formerly called “Yuppie Flu” even existed. Some doctors thought it was a very bad reaction to viral infection; others thought it was depression under another name, and many didn’t believe it existed at all; after working with him I finally understood that chronic fatigue certainly does exist, and that in its harsher forms it can be debilitating.

The symptoms of chronic fatigue are physical, mental and emotional. A “typical” patient will tell me that usually everything feels heavy and sluggish to move. They often feel very stiff all over. Mental symptoms are quite interesting – patients tell me that that they their thinking is equally sluggish, and that they feel themselves in a state in-between sleep and wakefulness – not really awake, but not really asleep. Sleep quality is typically poor and these patients can hardly remember the last night of restful sleep they had. I’ve also had many say that they are unusually vivid dreamers, and that the dreaming seems to tire them out in an unusual way.

The condition can have dramatic effects on a person’s lifestyle. Some people are unable to work, and others underperform. People with mild but significant cases have enough energy to work, but usually come home, flop on the couch and have little energy for family or recreation.

In my experience there is no one cause for chronic fatigue, but there are several that appear with frequency. Post-viral syndromes do exist, but blood sugar handling issues involving poor carbohydrate metabolism are perhaps the most common cause or complicating factor. Some people have thyroid issues, and others are suffering form multiple allergies. Occasionally someone – usually a heavy person – suffers from sleep apnea. In Oriental medicine we look to the energetic function of the liver, spleen and kidney, as these organs and pathways are seen to be particularly influential in overall body energetics.

The real complicating factor is that several of these can occur together, and over time can lead to depression which makes correction harder yet again. Still, chronic fatigue is treatable and it is possible to regain lost energy. The corrections involve accurately figuring out where the pieces of the puzzle fit, and incorporating such nutritional intervention, acupuncture points, herbs, or medications as needed.

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