The Link Between Low Testosterone And Diabetes
Testosterone may bring to mind many things: manly men, burly muscles, and lots of body hair. What it may not conjure in your head is a link between testosterone and diabetes. Yet, low testosterone and diabetes are major concerns that are interrelated.
You may also think that all things having to do with testosterone are reserved for men or people who were assigned male at birth. That is a common misconception. This is because, how much testosterone a person has can affect a number of bodily functions regardless of biological sex. Men and women both need a certain amount of this hormone to maintain their health.
In this blog, we’re going to focus on the concerning link between testosterone and diabetes. We will discuss why testosterone is so important, for both men and women. We will also determine how you can lower your chances of developing diabetes by keeping an eye on your testosterone production.
What Is The Importance Of Testosterone?
Testosterone is an androgen hormone that plays an important role in the human body. While many people think that only men produce testosterone, this is not true. Women or people who were originally assigned female at birth, also produce testosterone in their ovaries.
The functional role of testosterone for men and women includes the following:
- Keeping bones strong
- Playing a key role in sperm production
- Contributing to a healthy sex drive or libido
- Contributing to the health of the female reproductive system
- Stimulating the development of secondary sexual characteristics in men
Testosterone is often associated with men or people who were assigned male at birth because of how it changes or regulates bodily functions. Testosterone plays a role in many developmental changes as well. It also contributes to any person’s overall health when testosterone levels are optimal.
The Risks Associated With Low Testosterone
Having too much or too little of any hormone isn’t good for humans. Low testosterone is a concern because it can lead to various health risks. When testosterone is low, the body has to work harder to do the same things. This can lead to several health problems.
Low testosterone levels have been linked with:
- Increased risk for type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Loss of muscle mass and bone density
- diminished interest in sex
- erectile dysfunction (ED)
- reduced lean body mass
- depressed mood
- lack of energy
Low testosterone can be caused by several sources. It is common for men’s testosterone production to decrease as they get older. Some diseases such as diseases of the pituitary gland can affect testosterone production. Additionally, hormonal imbalances can affect whether or not a person is producing optimal levels of this important hormone.
What Is Diabetes?
First, it’s important to understand what diabetes is exactly. Diabetes is a group of diseases that result in a higher than normal level of sugar in the blood. This may not sound serious but can result in many serious effects. The different diseases in the category of diabetes include:
- Type 1 Diabetes: Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body will attack insulin creating beta cells in the pancreas.
- Prediabetes: Prediabetes is a condition where a person’s blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. In the absence of intervention, this can lead to a type 2 diabetes diagnosis within 10 years.
- Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that is characterized by insulin resistance and relative lack of insulin. It is often associated with obesity and an unhealthy diet. This type of diabetes can be prevented by making necessary lifestyle changes.
- Gestational Diabetes: Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy. It is caused by the placenta produces hormones that block the action of insulin.
The Link Between Testosterone And Diabetes
The link between testosterone and diabetes is a strong one. People who experience low testosterone are most likely to be at risk for type 2 diabetes. Usually, people who have type 1 diabetes developed it in early adolescence or childhood. While the exact cause of this disease is unknown, it is considered to be one that can be brought on by a virus or passed down genetically.
Type 2 diabetes is usually the type that is being referred to when you hear about diabetes prevention. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder that results when the body can’t use insulin properly or make enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps move sugar from the bloodstream into cells, where it’s used for energy. This condition is highly concerning since when there’s too much sugar in the blood, it can damage organs and tissues.
High Blood Sugar Levels And Testosterone Production
High blood sugar levels are harmful to human health in many ways. Too much sugar in the blood can disrupt important bodily functions. This can include the reproduction of testosterone, further cementing the link between testosterone and diabetes.
Consistent high blood sugar levels disrupt body functions due to its effect on the pituitary gland that produces the luteinizing hormone (LH). The pituitary gland is unable to produce enough of this hormone which is critical to testosterone production because of the heightened blood sugar. This then leads to a decrease in testosterone.
Testosterone And Diabetes: Relationship With Insulin Resistance
Low testosterone levels have been associated with type 2 diabetes in men. One possible explanation is that testosterone helps improve insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body doesn’t use insulin properly. This can lead to high blood sugar levels and eventually type 2 diabetes.
There are several ways that testosterone may help improve insulin resistance. For example, testosterone may help reduce inflammation, which has been linked to insulin resistance. Additionally, testosterone may help improve the function of cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
What You Can Do To Maintain Normal Testosterone Levels
If you want to maintain normal testosterone levels, there are many ways to do so. These include exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight. However, physical health isn’t the only way to maintain testosterone levels.
High testosterone levels can sometimes become low testosterone levels because of stress or emotional duress. Stress can increase the production of the steroid hormone called cortisol which can lower testosterone levels in the blood.
What You Can Do To Maintain A Healthy Weight
Excessive weight gain is one of the major causes of testosterone deficiency. Being obese can influence testosterone levels because excess testosterone is converted into estrogen, which accumulates in fat cells. This results in lower testosterone levels. Losing as little as 10 pounds can restore testosterone to normal levels.
What You Can Do To Reduce Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” and high cortisol levels are often associated with low testosterone levels, particularly among men aged 30 or older. Managing stress through healthy habits like exercising, getting adequate sleep, and eating a healthy diet can help reduce cortisol production. Supplementing with amino acids like L-arginine has also shown some promise for reducing the level of cortisol in the human body.
How To Detect Risk Of Diabetes And Test Your Testosterone Levels
If you’re concerned about your risk of diabetes due to the link between testosterone and diabetes, there are ways to determine if you could be at risk. The simplest method for determining testosterone levels is to ask your doctor. Your doctor will be able to order testosterone (or complete) blood tests.
While testosterone levels are sometimes associated with insulin resistance, they can also indicate other problems like anxiety, depression, or thyroid disease. If you notice any symptoms of testosterone deficiency in addition to diabetes risk factors like obesity or high cholesterol, testosterone replacement therapy may be an option.
Increasing Your Testosterone Levels With Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Hormone Replacement Therapy is a form of treatment that can raise testosterone levels. There are a few different ways to go about testosterone replacement therapy, including injections, patches, gels, and creams. Oral testosterone is not typically recommended because it can damage the liver. Luckily, the other methods of administration listed can help bypass the liver.
Benefits of testosterone replacement therapy may include the following:
- Improved insulin resistance
- Increased libido or sex drive
- Better sleep quality
- More energy
- Stronger bones
- Improved mood
Testosterone replacement therapy is not right for everyone, and there are some risks associated with it. You should talk to your doctor about whether testosterone replacement therapy is right for you. Additionally, if you’re concerned about how testosterone and diabetes relate to you and your health, it’s important to broach your concerns with a medical professional.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy: How Androgenix Can Help
If you’re considering starting your testosterone replacement therapy journey, we are here to help. At Androgenix Advance Health and Wellness Center, we focus on helping you become the best version of yourself.
Our professional staff in North Palm Beach Florida is ready to explain more about the many health benefits of testosterone replacement therapy. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
*Unless otherwise stated, individual results may vary depending on many factors not all patients “feel” or achieve the same results.