Can low testosterone shorten lifespan of males?
The short answer: Yes, it can.
The concept of testosterone affecting your lifespan is not a novel one. Epidemiological studies have found that men with low testosterone have an increased risk of mortality than those with healthy levels of this hormone.
But how exactly does testosterone affect life span?
Read on to understand how low testosterone can affect your health and how to manage testosterone levels.
What is Testosterone?
To understand how low testosterone affects your lifespan, we have to fully understand the role testosterone plays in the body first.
Testosterone is a male sex hormone responsible for facilitating the following functions:
- Hair growth
- Muscle mass
- Voice deepening
- Heart function
- Sperm production
- Bone health
- Energy levels
- Muscle mass strength
Testosterone levels and age are inextricably linked. Testosterone levels usually peak by a man’s late teens to early 20s. Once a man reaches his mid-30s to early 40s, his testosterone level gradually declines by about 1% every year. When it falls below a certain threshold, low testosterone can occur.
Low T, also known as low testosterone, can have many negative effects on your well-being, both physically and mentally. Here’s more information about them.
Signs of Low Testosterone
Sufficient testosterone production in males fall between 300 to 1000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). Testosterone deficiency or hypogonadism is when testosterone levels dip below 300 ng/dL.
Low testosterone can be identified by physical, mental, and sexual symptoms. These symptoms are:
|Fatigue||Depression||Loss of libido|
|Reduced muscle bulk||Low self-confidence||Psychogenic ED|
|Decreased bone density||Obstructive sleep apnea||Infertility|
|Increasing body fat||Reduced concentration||Orgasm problems|
The Effects of Low Testosterone
While some cases of low testosterone can lead to concerning symptoms, many cases go unnoticed as low testosterone may also be asymptomatic.
And due to these health risks, men may also be at heightened risk of developing conditions that can shorten their lifespan.
For example, low testosterone can lead to an increase in body fat percentage. This can result in obesity, which puts men at a higher risk of developing potentially fatal heart problems.
Bone problems like osteoporosis may also occur as a result of low testosterone—causing men to be at higher risk of injury and lifespan shortages.
If you have any of these symptoms or are generally worried about your health, consult your doctor to find an appropriate Low-T treatment plan.
Health Conditions Associated with Low Testosterone
Low testosterone can cause complications that come with potentially life-threatening risks.
These conditions include:
Obesity and health problems often go hand-in-hand—and this is no different in the case of testosterone. In fact, one of the most important modifiable risk factors for late-onset hypogonadism is obesity.
The reason for this has to do with the molecular process that takes place when too much fat enters the body. Fat cells metabolize testosterone to estrogen, which adversely affects testosterone levels in the process by reducing its production.
Diabetes is another risk factor associated with low testosterone.
Testosterone helps the body’s tissues take up more blood sugar in response to insulin. And when testosterone is too low, this process can be impaired.
The opposite is also true. Research has shown that low testosterone levels in men are linked with increased visceral fat deposition, which exacerbates type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, a study shows that diabetic men who received treatment for low T had a mortality rate of 8.4%. In contrast, untreated men with low T had a mortality rate of 19.2%.
When the body metabolizes testosterone optimally, dihydrotestosterone is produced. This chemical is essential to heart function—as it decreases heart attack and stroke risk.
However, when the body produces too little testosterone, heart attack and stroke risk may be more likely to occur.
Prolonged periods of stress can contribute to long-term problems in the heart and blood vessels—producing cortisol in the process. And, unfortunately enough, an increase in cortisol levels rapidly reduces testosterone levels in the body.
Additionally, stress and elevated cortisol levels might cause you to eat more, gaining excess weight and increasing your body fat percentage in the process.
Clinical Treatment For Low Testosterone
Testosterone replacement therapy is the standard treatment for low testosterone.
This form of therapy involves the use of several testosterone-boosting aids to regulate and improve testosterone levels in the body.
Some of these testosterone supplementation come in the following forms:
- Skin patches: A transdermal patch is applied on the arm or upper body, allowing the testosterone to permeate the bloodstream. (ex. Androderm)
- Gels: Testosterone gets absorbed directly through the skin and enters the bloodstream. (ex. AndroGel and Testim)
- Mouth patches: Mouth patches release testosterone continuously into the blood through oral tissues. (ex. Striant)
- Testosterone injections: Testosterone can also be injected directly into muscles. The injected dose gets absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
However, speak with a doctor first to determine the best course of action and whether the treatment is right for you.
Testosterone treatment is a lifetime commitment. If you stop the therapy without medical supervision, it could adversely affect your body.
Some potential side effects of the treatment include:
- Acne, rashes, and itching
- Swollen feet or ankles
- Lowered fertility
- Enlarged prostate
That said, testosterone therapy is generally effective. But it’s only beneficial if your clinician has cleared you to undergo the treatment.
As such, speak with a doctor for a proper treatment plan.
Natural Ways to Remedy Low Testosterone
If you want to improve testosterone levels at home, here are some lifestyle changes you can consider.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
Some foods help regulate your testosterone levels. These include:
- Fatty fish
- Green leafy veggies
In addition, it’s best to cut out fatty and sugary foods in your diet. Not only does it help balance hormones in the body, it also cuts the risk of developing high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease in the future.
2. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to prevent many lifestyle-related diseases, including low testosterone.
In fact, it’s shown that resistance training can boost testosterone levels in the short term. Weightlifting and HIIT are also particularly effective in naturally restoring low testosterone.
3. Sleep More
A study shows that only 5 hours of sleep per night results in a 10% to 15% reduction in testosterone levels.
As such, sleep more. Improving sleep quality is just as important as diet and exercise. Avoid blue light an hour before bed if you’re having trouble falling asleep.
Contact Jacksonville’s Top Male Sexual Health Clinic for a Medical Consultation
When your testosterone levels decrease, you’ll be at higher risk of developing chronic and cardiovascular diseases. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
The medical professionals at men’s clinic Prime Men’s Medical Center specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health. Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as ED, Low Testosterone, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.