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It’s Not Just for the Boys — Raise Low Testosterone Naturally And Feel Your Best

Kick fatigue to the curb.

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Our bodies are complicated. Depending on our age, genetics, and a million other factors, our hormone levels can fluctuate, making us stressed and tired. One of the hormones that can leave us feeling out of whack is testosterone — something that both women and men need in order to function. If your testosterone is low, you may experience unpleasant symptoms like anxiety and fatigue. Talk to your doctor to see if a hormonal imbalance is causing your problems, and in the meantime, check out these research-backed ways to regulate your testosterone and feel like yourself again.

Testosterone and Energy Levels

“At least 90 percent of women I see in my clinic suffer from fatigue and other draining symptoms due to low testosterone,” says holistic gynecologist Shawn Tassone, MD, PhD, author of The Hormone Balance Bible (Buy from Amazon, $18.69).

Despite its reputation as a male hormone, testosterone also plays crucial roles in female brain function, mood regulation, and more. But women’s production of the hormone declines as we age and go through menopause, potentially causing symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, and loss of libido. Another cause of symptoms like these? Low levels of DHEA, the ‘master hormone’ the body uses to make all other hormones, including testosterone.

How To Raise Low Testosterone Naturally

Doctors can order blood tests to measure testosterone and may advise hormone therapy. But Dr. Tassone says even levels at the low end of “normal” can cause fatigue. Check out these easy, research-backed tips that may help you boost your levels of testosterone and feel better overall.

Get your Vitamin D.

Vitamin D may increase testosterone levels in healthy women, according to findings in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Dr. Tassone advises eating D-rich foods like egg yolks, tuna, and fortified nut milks daily. He also recommends incorporating shellfish, grass-fed beef, chickpeas, cashews, and pumpkin seeds as the zinc they supply may also boost testosterone levels, especially for postmenopausal women. Also smart: Sip 2 cups of pomegranate juice daily; doing so may lift women’s testosterone, says research from the Society of Endocrinology.

Take a breather.

Try to lessen the stresses in your life. Dr. Tassone notes that chronic stress can magnify testosterone shortfalls since high cortisol levels impede its production. He suggests performing Andrew Weil, MD’s 4-7-8 breathing technique in the morning, evening, and anytime stress mounts. Watch the instructional video below to see how you can master this technique and feel peace.

Hit the hay.

Sleep is an important part of your overall wellness, and many of us aren’t getting enough of it. In fact, many menopausal women suffer from insomnia and other sleep deficit disorders, and those issues may persist, even after menopause. Poor sleep quality may also contribute to lower testosterone levels in women, say sleep health experts. To catch those elusive Zzz’s, do some light, gentle exercise during the day, like brisk walking (which may also help testosterone levels on its own). Research published in Sleep journal says that postmenopausal women who exercised for about three hours a week fell asleep more easily than those who didn’t.

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

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A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First for Women.

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