An interview with Dr. Harry Fisch for The Testosterone Project.
I was driving to NYC recently with a friend of mine. In the car, she shared that she was struggling with her marriage. She had become the dominant one, making all the money and the decisions and she was tired of it. She wanted her husband to step up and although she’d asked and even demanded it, he seemed to be collapsing even more.
It made me think of the research I’d read where a scientist named John Coates tested trader’s serum T levels in the financial district in London. He found a clear correlation between T levels and earning power. On days when traders made an above-average profit, their testosterone levels went up. He also found that morning testosterone levels correlated with how much money the traders would make that day: high levels forecast high earnings.
This made me wonder, was the issue for my friend’s husband psychological or physiological? Did he need more testosterone?
When I began doing research for The Testosterone Project, I knew I needed to find an expert in men’s health in order to get the basics of what testosterone is, how it’s made, what factors support healthy T levels and what factors don’t. I called Dr. Harry Fisch. He is a Park Avenue urologist, the author of Size Matters, The Male Biological Clock, and The New Naked, and is considered one of the leading experts in men’s health.
Dr. Fisch began by giving me the lowdown on what testosterone is and why it matters. “It is the male hormone,” he began, “it’s made in the testicle, it’s made while we sleep, and it’s responsible for the man being a man, for hair, muscle mass, sex drive and when men lack it, they become overweight, they have poor muscle mass, low energy and a low sex drive.”
One of the key clues to low T is the belly, he continued. Research has proven that there is a relationship between being overweight and low testosterone levels. In fact, the bigger the belly, the lower the T because testosterone converts into estrogen in fat cells, specifically in belly fat cells. But there are a lot of other reasons why testosterone levels can be low.
Dr. Fisch mentioned that more and more men are coming to his office asking about testosterone supplementation but he believes that’s due mostly to the marketing of testosterone products which is raising awareness. But what he explained is that testosterone issues are typically not the source of the problem but rather the symptom of an underlying issue like weight, lack of sleep, and too much stress.
He admitted he was jealous of women’s health because there is so much awareness of their issues. A quick Google search revealed that there are 813,000,000 hits for a “women’s health” search versus 215,000,000 hits for “men’s health”. There is so much more known and so much more information disseminated to women but he is hopeful that this ratio will shift over time. Until then, what men can do is listen to their own bodies because it’s really good at giving us clues to what may be going on inside.
To learn more about other factors that can affect your testosterone levels, check out The Testosterone Project.
BIO: Dr. Harry Fisch is a board certified urologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He is one of the nation’s leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of Men’s health issues as well as sexuality and fertility problems in couples. Internationally renowned, he has pioneered microsurgical techniques for disorders associated with male infertility such as vasectomy reversal and varicocele repair. He has been named to the “Best Doctors in America” and “New York Magazine Top Doctor” the past 9 years. He regularly appears on the Dr. Oz show as a medical expert on Men’s Health. www.harryfisch.com