Low Testosterone and Type 2 Diabetes
Posted: February 7, 2020
Testosterone deficiency, or low testosterone, affects many men throughout the nation. Low T can cause unwanted symptoms, including fatigue, low libido, mood changes, and impotency. Additionally, low testosterone can exacerbate other health conditions. Studies show that there is a link between diabetes and low T levels. Additionally, testosterone replacement therapy may increase insulin sensitivity for those who have both low T and type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.
What is Low Testosterone?
Before we can understand how low T can interact with diabetes, we first have to know what low testosterone means. Testosterone is a hormone in your body responsible for reproductive development, production of new blood cells, and maintaining muscle and bone strength. Men with low testosterone often experience unexplained weight gain, decreased memory and cognitive function, and mood fluctuations.
Testosterone levels naturally decline with age, which means older men have a higher risk of developing low testosterone. A common treatment for low T is regular testosterone injections to help increase levels to normal ranges. This can help with symptom management, general health, and improve quality of life for those suffering from low testosterone.
Hypogonadism, or low testosterone, is a condition which affects the amount of testosterone in your body. Diagnosis for low T includes a blood test from your men’s health clinic to measure both the total amount of testosterone in your blood stream, as well as the amount of testosterone that your body can use, also known as free testosterone.
Free testosterone is affected by the amount of sex hormone-binding globulins, or SHBG, in your body. SHBG refers to the proteins that bind to sex hormones like testosterone to transport them throughout your body. Therefore, even if you have normal ranges of total testosterone, your body may not be able to use all of it due to high SHBG levels.
In addition to causing unwanted symptoms and leaving men feeling tired, less interested in intimacy, and overall not as healthy as they could be, testosterone levels can also affect other health conditions. For example, studies show that there is an association between low testosterone and insulin resistance.
The Link Between Diabetes and Low T
Many of the men who suffer from type 2 diabetes also have low T levels. A recent study showed that 43% of type 2 diabetic men have reduced total testosterone levels, and 57% have lower free testosterone levels. The two main factors impacted by testosterone levels are insulin sensitivity and glycemic control. Insulin resistance occurs when your body’s ability to respond to insulin is compromised in some way. Glycemic control refers to blood sugar level management for those with diabetes.
Insulin resistance is also linked to low levels of both total testosterone and free testosterone. Those with higher levels of SHBG also tend to have poorer glycemic control. Therefore, low testosterone often accompanies diabetes.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Those with Hypogonadism and Type 2 Diabetes
Luckily, scientists are carrying out studies related to testosterone replacement therapy and diabetes. In a recent survey of those with type 2 diabetes and hypogonadism, testosterone therapy was able to decrease insulin resistance by 15.2% after 6 months of therapy, and 16.4% after one year. This same study also found that after 9 months, patients’ glycemic control improved. Other health improvements patients experienced during this study were improved total cholesterol levels, LDL cholesterol, and sexual function. Therefore, patients with both diabetes and low testosterone levels may benefit from testosterone therapy by relieving the symptoms of low T and by improving overall health and insulin sensitivity.
TRT for Patients with Testosterone Deficiency and Prediabetes
Another interesting area of research is how testosterone therapy can assist those with prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition where you have higher blood glucose levels than normal and is usually a sign that you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Oftentimes, physicians recommend weight loss strategies for patients with prediabetes.
Researchers have studied the effects of TRT on a group prediabetic patients to determine the benefits of testosterone replacement treatment for those who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This study concluded that testosterone injections may help slow down or prevent progression into type 2 diabetes.
For prediabetic patients, physicians often recommend weight loss strategies to help with prediabetes. Research has also shown that long-term TRT can lead to sustained weight loss, which can help prediabetic patients. Additionally, this study found that those with low T and prediabetes improved their glycemic control after testosterone replacement therapy. Patients in the group who received TRT also had a mortality rate of 7.4%, versus the 16.1% rates for those not treated for their low testosterone. Therefore, testosterone replacement therapy may be able to help your health management if you have both of these conditions.
Visiting a Men’s Health Clinic for Low Testosterone Levels
Due to the strong correlation between diabetes and hypogonadism, you may want to have your testosterone levels checked by your men’s health clinic if you suffer from diabetes. If you do have low T, your physician may recommend testosterone replacement therapy. TRT can help alleviate your symptoms and improve your overall wellbeing. Testosterone replacement therapy often involves regular testosterone injections to increase your levels to a healthy range. Many men who undergo TRT notice improved sexual function, decreased body fat, and increased energy. These positive effects can help you enjoy life and even help you pursue a healthier lifestyle. When you feel better, it is easier to make positive lifestyle changes, like regular exercise. Therefore, testosterone replacement therapy can help you make the most of life and take part in activities you enjoy.
At Low T Center, our medical professionals can help treat both your diabetes and low testosterone levels. Our physicians take a holistic approach to men’s health management to help you feel better. We help you customize treatment plans that fit your condition and your lifestyle to help you achieve your health goals and feel revitalized. For a comprehensive men’s health assessment, make an appointment today at one of our Low T Center locations near you. We are here to help you fine-tune your health.
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.