Skip to content

Men's Health

Low Testosterone and Your Health

Font Size
A
A
A

Researchers are unlocking the mysteries of how low testosterone is related to men's overall health. Along the way, they're uncovering connections between low testosterone and other health conditions.

Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and high blood pressure have all been linked to testosterone deficiency. Low testosterone isn't known to cause these health problems, and replacing testosterone isn't the cure. Still, the associations between low testosterone and other medical conditions are interesting and worth a look.

Recommended Related to Men

Lookin’ Good: A Man's Guide

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the vainest one of all? If you think women win the prize for vanity, think again. In a recent market research poll of Americans and Europeans, 73% of the men described spending time in front of the mirror as “important” or “very important.” Only 72% of women set the same value on mirror time. Marketers have taken note. Male grooming and beauty products now represent a $30 billion industry. Cosmetic companies that once marketed exclusively to women now have extensive...

Read the Lookin’ Good: A Man's Guide article > >

Does Low Testosterone Indicate Poor Health?

In recent years, researchers have noticed general links between low testosterone and other medical conditions. One showed that in 2,100 men over age 45, the odds of having low testosterone were:

  • 2.4 times higher for obese men
  • 2.1 times higher for men with diabetes
  • 1.8 times higher for men with high blood pressure

Experts don't suggest that low testosterone causes these conditions. In fact, it might be the other way around. That is, men with medical problems or who are in poor general health might then develop low testosterone.

Research into the relationship between low testosterone and several other health conditions is ongoing.

Diabetes and Low Testosterone

A link between diabetes and low testosterone is well established. Men with diabetes are more likely to have low testosterone. And men with low testosterone are more likely to later develop diabetes. Testosterone helps the body's tissues take up more blood sugar in response to insulin. Men with low testosterone more often have insulin resistance: they need to produce more insulin to keep blood sugar normal.

As many as half of men with diabetes have low testosterone, when randomly tested. Scientists aren't sure whether diabetes causes low testosterone, or the other way around. More research is needed, but short-term studies show testosterone replacement may improve blood sugar levels and obesity in men with low testosterone.

Obesity and Low Testosterone

Obesity and low testosterone are tightly linked. Obese men are more likely to have low testosterone. Men with very low testosterone are also more likely to become obese.

Fat cells metabolize testosterone to estrogen, lowering testosterone levels. Also, obesity reduces levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), a protein that carries testosterone in the blood. Less SHBG means less testosterone.

Losing weight through exercise can increase testosterone levels. Testosterone supplements in men with low testosterone can also reduce obesity slightly.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore.
man swinging in hammock
And how to get out it.
 
shaving tools
On your shaving skills.
muscular man flexing
Four facts that matter.
 
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Slideshow
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Quiz
 
Man taking blood pressure
Slideshow
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Condom Quiz
Quiz
thumbnail_angry_couple_in_bed
Slideshow
 
man running
Quiz
older couple in bed
Video