Testosterone and obesity
Testosterone played many important roles in men including reproductive and sexual health, bone health, fat metabolism, muscle mass and strength and production of red blood cells. Testosterone levels surge at puberty and peak in early adulthood, and then after a few years of stability, the hormone gradually decline starting from early middle age. Testosterone level reduced by 1% every year from the age of 40 years in a very slow and insidious ways and can predispose men to various health comorbidities such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes. Many signs and symptoms of low testosterone level or testosterone deficiency syndrome (TDS) were often attributes to normal ageing process causing difficulties for early recognition and interventions.
Testosterone has a complex relationship with weight in men. Testosterone level reduced with weight gain and obesity. In men with low testosterone, they tend to gain weight and become overweight. Obesity is a worldwide epidemic crisis and a leading cause of many serious health complications such as diabetes, heart attack, stroke, cancers, erectile dysfunction and renal failure. Being overweight and having insulin resistance cause suppression of sex-hormone-binding (SHBG) and therefore lowering the testosterone level. Studies have shown that body mass index (BMI) is inversely proportional to the serum testosterone level, which means that the more overweight you are, the lower the level of your testosterone hormone.
Men with low testosterone level tend to present not only with sexual dysfunction but often with increase abdominal girth (central adiposity), poor muscle mass and and less vigour. Men with low testosterone are also more likely to develop metabolic syndrome which are clusters of cardiovascular risk factors that increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes. Losing weight can help not just to increase the level of testosterone which in turn improving sexual function in men who are overweight or obese but also prevent development of complications related to metabolic syndrome. Weight loss is an important steps in helping men with low or borderline low testosterone level besides testosterone replacement therapy.
If you have any questions regarding men's health and testosterone hormone, talk to our doctor for more information.