I’ve got an interesting question for you. I’m thirty five years old and for almost twenty years now, I have been suffering from some mild health problems. It has never really been serious, but it has been bothersome enough to where I have spent many of the last twenty years obsessed with trying to self-diagnose my health issues.
You see, my robust health as a youth started to turn sour around age 15. Before that, I had been a very healthy athlete, playing competitive soccer, tennis, and bicycling almost "around the clock". But I started to reach a point when playing in soccer tournaments that I began coming home sick on a regular basis. Worse than that was the effect it had on my game, I was losing speed and stamina and, rather regularly, my legs would sort of buckle during a sprint. I also got to the point in my bicycling around town that, on my home stretch in my neighborhood, my legs would shake in weakness.
I didn’t know what was going on. I was afraid that I had caught some terrible disease. I was simply not accustomed to feeling such muscular weakness and lack of energy. My symptoms amounted to lots of throat infections and fevers. Upset stomachs also began to be a regular problem. Eventually, I lost much of my muscle tone and began to be someone who had difficulty staying awake in school or while driving a car. For years when I worked in a factory, I would have trouble staying awake while I worked second shift on the assembly lines.
I did, at various times, go to see doctors and on one particular occasion spent a healthy amount of money having blood work and a variety of other test done. Everything came up the same. They all basically said I was a hypochondriac.
In my attempts to self-diagnose I tried a number of different supplements. Overall vitamins, Iron, folic acid, B Vitamins etc. I also tried avoiding certain foods. For awhile I was absolutely sure that wheat was my culprit and so I figured I had celiac’s disease (which any doctor would surely have been able to tell me was a ridiculous idea based on my lack of certain celiac symptoms). At times weight loss was a problem. Healthy, I weigh around 185-190. I think I got down to around 150 once or twice. Anyway, I also went through a stage where I figured I was highly allergic to chemicals found in many toothpastes, deodorants, and shampoos, so I tried to find natural products that would allow me to avoid anything remotely toxic.
To frustrate me even more was this. Over the past 20 years, I have had about 5 occasions where, for the duration of about 1-2 weeks, I would feel great. During this time, I went back to being a star athlete. I would go back to the soccer field and play for long durations and make unbelievable goals. One time I felt so good that I immediately picked up running (after not running really at all, I went jogging on about 4 occasions, the last of which was 7 miles. You see, I had sooo much energy that I just couldn’t help it. I would basically go from being someone who was constantly battling a sore, mushy stomach, to having my stomach feeling pain free and solid as a rock.
But none of these times would last. Here recently I have noticed something that makes me think, again, that maybe I have an answer to what has been going on. Don’t laugh, just hear me out. Lately I got a road bicycle, after not having biked in probably 15 years. I have noticed though, that as I have been riding hard lately, that my stomach has been feeling awful and some days my rides leave me feeling very weak, almost sick, and not invigorated. Other days it is just the opposite.
Well, with me riding so much, I kind of got behind on my laundry and ran out of underwear. So, a couple of days I went to work and just kind of wore shorts as boxers under my pants. After doing this one day I noticed that my stomach was all of a sudden better and that I also felt very energetic. Also, my legs, instead of feeling weak and tired after by ride, felt strong and muscular, albeit perhaps a little sore.
Now, I am testing out my “boxer” theory to see if it might be making a difference. Well, it is. One of the things that has always happened when I have had these short bursts of improved health in the past is that, not only do I become more physically active, but my mind becomes very acute instead of feeling slow and mushy. I noticed at the bank the other day that I had a spurt in the morning where I felt extremely coordinated with my usually clumsy hands. Instead of dropping things and moving slowly, I was flying through everything I was doing. It was unbelievable. Just today, after spending all day watching my daughter’s softball tournament (which would normally completely drain the very life out of me), instead, I went for a rather long walk in the early evening, and felt very good. Again, all this while continuing to wear very loose fitting shorts as boxers.
So here is my question. While many doctors talk about tight briefs causing a potential decline in sperm count because of the increase in “groin” temperature, is it possible that some men’s bodies, instead of killing off the sperm, protect the sperm by decreasing the body’s energy production and temperature? Is it possible that the high scrotum temperature was just triggering a decrease in the effectiveness of digestion to prevent my body from producing “too” much energy? This then becomes an malabsorption issue which can have many of the side effects I have been suffering from.
The more I think about it the more this fits. If you consider the age when I started having this problem (not long after adolescence) and the fact that I had recently become an avid biker, (and was starting to regularly wear those very tight fitting padded biking shorts) it adds even more potential to my hypothesis.
What do you think? Is this a possibility?