Thursday, October 15, 2015

More testosterone does not necessarily mean better sexual function

We all know that testosterone level is closely related with a man's erectile function, but it is not the only factor that contributes to impotence. The normal range of testosterone level is very wide: from 300 to 1000 pg/mL. You would think a man with testosterone level around 300 pg/mL would probably have some erectile dysfunction, but that is not always true. Let me tell you a story about a man who came to me for weak erections after turning 45 years old.

This man, who formerly served in the US army, used to have such strong sexual drive and function that when he was in his twenties, he went to a bar, had a one night stand with a girl, and ended up with a child before he even thought about setting up a family. He became more responsible in his thirties, got married, and had two other children. He had been a very disciplined military man and later became a successful businessman.

During his first marriage, he started gaining weight around his middle because he ate more candy than before to make him happy. Due to his unhealthy diet and lack of physical exercise, he gained more fat and lost more muscle. He ended up in the hospital for a small surgery and met a beautiful, active younger lady. This new stimulation made his sexual function stronger for a short period of time, but this did not last very long because he did not change his lifestyle.

By the age of 48, he started having knee pain after running for 20 min and noticed that his muscle mass was declining faster then he expected. More important is that although he loves his new girlfriend, his erection still became weaker and he told me he could not have as strong and as long of an erection as a few years ago. On the other hand, his girlfriend, who eats healthy and has a very positive attitude on life, still had beautiful skin and strong sex drive.

My patient did not want to develop impotence and upset his beloved girlfriend, so he did research on the Internet and found that acupuncture can help his knee pain and more importantly, his sexual function. He called me a few months before moving to Boston, and we started treating his knee pain first. Because he still has pretty good circulation and strong muscles due to years of military training and regular sleep pattern, he responded to the treatment very well, and after 6 treatments, he started running again without knee pain.

Then, he brought up his declining sexual function. He told me that he used to have sex with his girlfriend 4 to 5 times a week and their intercourse could last about 40 min. Now, he can barely make once a week, and it only lasted for 10 to 15 min. He told me his first testosterone level was low, around 300 pg/mL. I told him that he needed to build strong muscles and eat a lot of fruit and vegetables to bring up his testosterone level. In the mean time, we started using kidney and liver points to improve the energy flow to his adrenal gland, thyroid gland and testicles.

Within the next 6 months, he lost 40 lbs and gradually gained back his muscle mass.He can have longer and stronger erections and have excellent sex 3 to 4 times a week. He was so thrilled about the changes. However, in a subsequent test for testosterone level, he found that his testosterone level only increased slightly. He is happy with his sexual level, but puzzled by his low level of testosterone.
My answer is that his body may not need that much testosterone to have normal sexual function. Although 350 pg/mL low for other men, it is sufficient for him because acupuncture made his testosterone receptors more efficient. Furthermore, his strong muscle also helps to make his testosterone work better. This phenomenon makes since if we draw an analogy to heart function. A strong heart does not need to beat too fast to provide enough blood and oxygen to your body and brain. From an evolutionary point of view, a lower hormone level can actually protect our body because it allows us to produce less metabolic waste products.

Boston Chinese Acupuncture can help you resume normal erectile function even if your testosterone level is low. Men who a lot of stress from work and high expectations to fulfill may need acupuncture to help them reduce their stress and redirect energy to their testicles, pituitary gland, thyroid gland and hypothalamus every two weeks or once a month. This investment to balance your hormone levels will help you have a healthy and fulfilling sex life through middle age and beyond!