Low Testosterone Causes Muscle Loss
Posted: August 28, 2023
You may have noticed that you do not feel as strong as you used to, or that you have less muscle mass overall, even though you are trying to stay fit and healthy. The culprit could be low testosterone.
Loss of muscle is a common sign of low testosterone. Research shows that decreased levels of testosterone can lead to a significant reduction in muscle size. In fact, studies show that if left untreated, men with below average levels may find it extremely difficult to build additional muscle mass, even with a regular exercise routine and protein-rich diet.
Even before you notice reduced muscle mass, you may feel weaker and less energetic. On top of that, a reduced muscle mass can contribute to a slower metabolism, leading to unexpected weight gain even if your eating habits have not changed. This experience can be frustrating and concerning, but there are effective ways to address the root cause of this issue and help regain your strength and energy.
If you believe the cause of your reduced muscles could be low testosterone, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We can help restore your natural testosterone levels with targeted, customized treatment plans.
Men Lose Progressively More Muscle Each Decade
We experience many impacts on our bodies as we age. One significant effect is muscle thinning. This is called sarcopenia, or the age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength. Fortunately, men can help offset this process by engaging in regular exercise and ensuring proper nutrition, but if low testosterone is involved, exercise and diet alone simply will not be enough to slow down this muscle loss. That is why it is essential to address the root cause of muscle loss as soon as possible.
Starting after age 30, men lose about 3% to 5% of their muscle mass per decade. This rate of decline gets much steeper after age 50, making it increasingly difficult to maintain muscle mass. After age 60, this situation is made worse by an age-related decrease in testosterone, leading to an ever-increasing loss of muscle mass and strength. Consequently, being active becomes more of a challenge—and physical movement is key to keeping muscles active and limber as the years pass.
While a decline in muscle mass may be an inevitable part of aging, being aware of the contributing factors is an important step toward finding effective, targeted treatments and lifestyle changes that can help slow down the process of sarcopenia.
Losing Muscle Changes the Composition of Your Body
As we age, our body composition begins to change. Our body produces less and less muscle cells, and what cells it does produce tend to centralize together along the core of the muscle fiber, causing thinner muscles.
The body replaces former muscle space with fat cells, which begin to quickly accumulate within and around the muscle. As the body’s fat percentage climbs higher, it increases insulin resistance, meaning your body now cannot process blood sugars as effectively. This causes your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease to soar—especially when combined with an overall slower metabolism caused by thinning muscles.
Muscle loss also lowers your body’s calcium pumping capacity. Because calcium is essential to bone health, your bones become less dense and your joints get stiffer, raising your risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a serious disease that makes bones weak and fragile, and there is currently no cure.
How Testosterone Works to Build Muscle Mass
Testosterone is responsible for many important roles beyond managing the male characteristics of the body. It is also key to building and maintaining muscle fibers.
Muscle cells have special receptors called androgen receptors. Testosterone activates these receptors, which stimulates the synthesis of proteins to make new muscle tissue. This is called an anabolic effect. At the same time, testosterone enacts an anti-catabolic effect on the body, which slows down muscle degradation. Thus, TRT can not only help maintain your muscle mass, but boost the rebuilding of proteins to increase it.
Studies have shown that testosterone replacement therapy consistently increases muscle strength. At the same time, it can help reduce body fat as your muscle can metabolize calories more quickly, contributing to a healthy body weight and build. Ultimately, improving your testosterone levels and muscle mass can help you maintain your physical health and strength well into your later years.
Muscle Loss Leads to Lower Energy and Less Mobility
Not feeling strong enough to get your work done or to do the activities you enjoy is very frustrating and discouraging. With sarcopenia, men can experience symptoms like decreased lower leg power, functional mobility difficulties, and reduced energy levels for physical performance. This loss of muscle function can greatly impact your quality of life.
If you continue to lose your functional strength, you significantly increase your risk of falls. A fall can happen to anyone unexpectedly when they are used to being able to move in a certain way, but their loss of muscle strength makes them unable to do so. As men get older, they are at greater risk for falls. Each year, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries, and one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones. They are also the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries.
The good news is that recognizing the early signs of muscle loss and implementing preventative measures such as TRT can make a significant difference in halting its progression and sustaining muscle function longer.
Regain Your Muscle Mass and Strength with Testosterone
The human body is a finely tuned machine, and when something goes wrong, it can throw everything out of balance. This is certainly the case when it comes to low testosterone levels, which can have a range of negative effects on the body. Low T Center is here to provide that expert guidance for men who want to pursue TRT and take charge of their health. We offer convenient services for current patients to support their overall physical health. Contact us now to schedule an appointment, and together we will create a personalized plan tailored specifically to your needs.
Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.