Stressor Spotlight: Testes
What role to the testes play in health?
Though a they play a key role in the male reproductive system, namely producing sperm, the testes have a much bigger influence on overall health than simply reproduction. Testes also produce testosterone, which not only gives males such characteristics as lowering of the voice and growth of facial hair, but is also a critical hormone for maintaining muscle and bone mass, heart health, and energy.1
Unfortunately, recent studies have revealed that males today have around 20% less testosterone than their ancestors.2 Whatever the reason for that drop, males are more likely to suffer from low testosterone levels, which can lead to a variety of health problems. Because of to this recent phenomenon, you could say that now is a more critical time than ever to pay attention to testicular health.
Structure and function
The testes are housed in a sac of skin called the scrotum, which hangs below the penis. Inside this skin, the testes are also covered by fibrous layers of tissue called tunica. Past the tunica, the actual testicle consists of lobules, which contain roughly 800 coiled, u-shaped tubes known as seminiferous tubules. These tubules are where sperm are produced, and they make up around 90% of the testicle’s mass.3
Seminiferous tubules connect to the rete testis and then to a tube called the epididymis before joining a large duct called the vas deferens. This brings us back to the spermatic cord, which not only contains the vas deferens, but also lymph vessels, blood vessels, and nerves. The spermatic cord holds the testicle inside the scrotum, and also facilitates the travel of lymph fluid from the testes to lymph nodes behind the abdomen.4
As mentioned earlier, the main function of the testes is to produce sperm and male hormones, the most important of which is testosterone. Though produced and secreted in the testes, testosterone production is regulated by the pituitary and hypothalamus gland. Thus, hypogonadism—a disorder in which the testicles don’t produce enough testosterone—may stem from a dysfunction in the testes or the pituitary gland, which stimulates testosterone production.5
Hypogonadism is associated with a number of problems, including:
- Decreased sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decrease in muscle mass
- Enlarged breast tissue in males
- Depression, fatigue, mood swings
In addition to pituitary disorders and physical problems with the testicles such as trauma and undescended testicles, hypogonadism can stem from a number of causes, including hemochromatosis (too much iron in the blood), medications, and normal aging.6
In relation to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the testes are energetically connected to the Triple Warmer Meridian, a meridian which is a functional energy system that helps regulate organ activity.7 It’s also connected to your 4 front teeth on the top and bottom, as well as your cuspids and first molars on the bottom teeth. In addition, the testes are connected to many of the vertebrae in the lower spine, including all the S-vertebrae and the L1, L2, and L3 vertebrae.
Because these areas are energetically connected, an issue with the lower back or front teeth may stem from an issue with the testes. Likewise, problems in these areas may also affect the testes. Furthermore, disorders of the side of the head, throat, eyes, and ears may influence and be influenced by testicular health, as the Triple Warmer Meridian runs along these areas of the body.
Keeping the testes healthy
Lack of testosterone is more likely to become an issue for males as they age. But the good news is that there are a variety of things you can do to boost testosterone levels naturally. First, diet is key. According to Dr. Alvin M Matsumato of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, men that are obese or overweight are more likely to have low testosterone levels. Along with weight management tips such as portion control and only eating when you’re hungry, the following diet tips can help with low testosterone:
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and seeds
- Avoid processed food and sugar
- Consider herbal supplements such as ginkgo biloba and yohimbe
- Get out in the sun or consider taking a Vitamin D supplement8
Exercise is also important for maintaining testosterone levels. In addition to cardio, strength training will help you maintain muscle mass. And interestingly, it has been found that intermittent fasting combined with moderate- to high-intensity exercise can boost low testosterone levels.9
Another key component of maintaining testicular health is living a healthy lifestyle—and more specifically, effectively managing stress. When the body is stressed, it produces the hormone cortisol which disrupts testosterone production.10 Getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, finding a healthy work/life balance, and meditation are all effective ways to manage stress levels, thus decreasing cortisol production.
Another option if you suffer from low testosterone is testosterone replacement therapy. This may involve injections, implants, or applying patches or gels to the body. You should only consider this option if you have been diagnosed with low testosterone by a medical professional. Also keep in mind that this therapy can have side effects, and long-term benefits and risks are not known.11
Testes stressor Virtual Item
A digital signature representing the testes is available to scan with ZYTO professional software. This digital signature, or Virtual Item, is automatically scanned during a Balance scan as part of the hormonal/endocrine system category, and can also be scanned with the Select and Elite software.
When you do a ZYTO scan, the testes and other stressors that are scanned may show up as out of range, or in range. A balancer scan is then done to find which items bring those stressors back into range for a balancing effect.
Testes balancer Virtual Items
The balancing Virtual Items scanned to bring the testes and other out-of-range stressors back into range may include supplements, essential oils, foods, affirmation statements, and wellness services. This individualized information not only helps you support testicular health, but also the health of the entire body.
Emotional health can also play a role in male issues like low testosterone and erectile dysfunction. Perception reframing with EVOX can help address this issue from an emotional standpoint, which can lead to enhanced physical health and performance.
1. “Testosterone Week: The Benefits of Optimal Testosterone.” The Art of Manliness. Artofmanliness.com.
2. “Generational decline in testosterone levels observed.” Healio. Healio.com.
3. “Anatomy and physiology of the testicles.” Canadian Cancer Society. Cancer.ca.
4. “Anatomy and physiology of the testicles.” Canadian Cancer Society. Cancer.ca.
5. Sargis, Robert M. “An Overview of the Testes.” Endocrine web. Endocrineweb.com.
6. “Testicular Disorders.” Cleveland Clinic. Clevelandclinic.org.
7. “The Triple Warmer Meridian.” Natural Health Zone. Natural-health-zone.com.
8. “How to Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally.” wikiHow. Wikihow.com.
9. O’Leary, C. B., & Hackney, A. C. (2014). Acute and Chronic Effects of Resistance Exercise on the Testosterone and Cortisol Responses in Obese Males: a Systematic Review. Physiological Research, 63(6), 693-704.
10. “Stress Hormone Blocks Testosterone’s Effect, Study Shows.” UTNews. News.utexas.edu.
11.“Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy Right for You?” WebMD. WebMD.com.