Skip to content

    Men's Health

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Low Testosterone and Your Health

    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

    Gray Anatomy

    Gray hair creeps up on you — sometimes literally. I was in my 30s, sporting a full beard, when I first noticed a few gray hairs appearing. Then there were more than just a few. It wasn’t long before the lumberjack image was beginning to give way to something closer to Old Father Time. It wasn’t just the image that bothered me. It was the way I felt. Sure, gray hair is supposed to make men look distinguished. To give them gravitas. Look at Bill Clinton. Look at the baby-faced newsman Anderson Cooper,...

    Read the Gray Anatomy 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:

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