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    TRT May Help Men with COPD

    Posted: October 9, 2020

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is predicted to be the third-leading cause of death worldwide by 2030. COPD is an inflammatory lung disease that reduces air flow in the lungs. However, TRT may help men who have COPD. COPD is a serious disease that can have lasting impacts on your health. 

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    TRT may help men with COPD improve their quality of life.

    First, it’s important to understand the risks of COPD. This disease can increase your risk for serious health issues like heart disease. COPD causes the bronchial tubes, which let air in and out of your lungs, to lose their elasticity. This makes it more difficult to exhale completely and can lead to air getting trapped in your lungs when you exhale. COPD can lead to many serious health impacts. For example, COPD increases your risk for high blood pressure in the arteries that lead to your lungs. This is also known as pulmonary hypertension. Low oxygen levels due to COPD can increase the risk for pulmonary hypertension. Over time, this high blood pressure can increase the stress on your heart, overworking the muscles on the right side. COPD can cause right-sided heart failure. In addition, COPD and left-sided heart failure often occur together and exacerbate each other. 

    Some of the symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, wheezing, a chronic cough, frequent respiratory infections, and unexplained weight loss. Men with COPD often also have low testosterone, which is why researchers are looking into the effects of TRT in those who have both low testosterone levels and COPD. Several studies have shown that testosterone may help men with COPD in a few different ways.

    TRT May Help Reduce Hospitalizations for COPD

    A recent study into the effects of TRT for patients with COPD looked at how this therapy may help slow the progression of the disease in men. Looking at hospitalizations for respiratory issues related to COPD, researchers split the men who took part in the study into two groups – one who took testosterone replacement therapy and one who didn’t. The men all had moderate to severe COPD. The TRT group had fewer hospitalizations after starting testosterone. In fact, middle aged men with COPD had a 4.2% decrease in hospitalizations after starting testosterone. The men in the study who were older and taking TRT had a 9.2% reduction in hospitalizations. Therefore, testosterone replacement therapy may help reduce the risk of frequent hospitalizations for men with COPD and low testosterone levels. 

    The study noted that low testosterone may worsen COPD symptoms in a few ways. For example, testosterone deficiency can impact muscle mass, which may directly affect respiratory muscles or may indirectly affect those with COPD by reducing their ability to exercise and decreasing overall strength. While more research must be done, this study along with many others help indicate that testosterone may be beneficial to men with COPD.

    TRT May Help Improve Muscle Mass for COPD Patients

    Also, another study shows that TRT may help increase muscle mass for men with COPD. Low muscle mass is a predictor of death for those who suffer from COPD. Muscle weakness is also common among those suffering from COPD. Muscle weakness and low muscle mass are associated with less functionality and lower quality of life for those with COPD. Low testosterone levels can cause loss of muscle mass, as testosterone helps your body build muscle. Patients with COPD also often develop exercise resistance, even though resistance training may be valuable for COPD rehabilitative therapy. 

    Researchers set out to determine if testosterone therapy and resistance training might be beneficial for COPD patients. Of the men involved with the study, 86% of them had testosterone levels lower than the average level for healthy young men. Scientists broke the patients up into four groups: TRT + resistance training group, placebo injections + resistance training group, TRT group without resistance training group, and placebo injections without resistance training group.  The testosterone without resistance training group noticed improvements in lean body mass and strength. Those in the TRT + resistance training group noticed even more significant improvements in strength. Therefore, researchers believe that testosterone injections may help those with COPD. TRT may be beneficial in not only increasing muscle mass but also may help enhance improvements for those who start a training regimen. 

    Men with COPD May Have a Higher Risk for Low Testosterone Levels

    Several studies have found that men with COPD are at a higher risk for low testosterone. Testosterone deficiency is common among those with COPD. This may be because doctors often prescribe medications that may decrease testosterone levels to help with their symptoms. In addition, low oxygen saturation is often associated with low testosterone levels. Those with COPD generally have lower oxygen saturation levels compared to those who don’t have a chronic lung disease. Therefore, this may also decrease testosterone levels. 

    However, low testosterone comes with an increased risk for death, especially those with COPD. Low testosterone is associated with higher BMI, which can also exacerbate COPD. Testosterone deficiency is also associated with a lower percentage of predicted lung capacity. While low testosterone may increase the risk of death for COPD patients as a whole, it may predict mortality even more significantly for those with stage II, or moderate, COPD. However, research shows that TRT may help slow the progression of the disease and may help improve quality of life for those who suffer from COPD. 

    At Low T Center, our goal is to reinvent men’s health care. We provide advanced diagnostic and treatment options for a wide range of health issues that affect men. Our providers work to prevent, slow, or eliminate serious health issues by addressing underlying causes of your symptoms. We begin your path to feeling better by conducting a comprehensive health assessment to understand what may be contributing to symptoms and health conditions. Then, we work with you to create a customized treatment plan based on your lifestyle. Our goal is to help you feel your best by providing you with excellent, ongoing care. Make an appointment today to take the first step toward better health. 

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    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.