Obesity, a condition linked to heart disease and diabetes, now appears to be associated with another health problem, but one that affects men only — low testosterone levels.
In a study conducted by the University at Buffalo endocrinologists, researchers discovered that about 40% of obese participants had lower-than-normal testosterone levels. The percentage escalated to 50% among men who also had diabetes. It also was found that as body mass increase levels rose, testosterone levels dropped. Given the fact that about one-third of the United States’ population is obese, this news is concerning for men.
Effects of Low Testosterone
A decrease in testosterone levels is a normal part of the aging process for men. For every year beyond age thirty, male testosterone levels decrease by about one percent. Currently, over thirteen million men have low testosterone levels.
Low testosterone levels can affect sexual functioning including a reduced desire for sex, fewer spontaneous erections, and infertility. The ADA maintains that 70% of men with low testosterone levels have erectile dysfunction, and 63% have experienced a decrease in sex drive. One study showed that men who lose significant amounts of weight reported having better sexual functioning.
Physical changes may also present such as increased body fat, decreased strength and muscle mass, fragile bones, decreased body hair, hot flashes, and increased fatigue.
Low testosterone levels can also cause sleep disturbances such as insomnia and emotional changes such as sadness or depression.
Age is Not Always the Deciding Factor
As previously noted, testosterone levels naturally decrease in men as they grow older, but obesity seems to be an important factor for decreased testosterone levels regardless of a person’s age.
A study that was published in the 2012 journal Clinical Endocrinology found that obese teenage boys were not only at greater risk for diabetes and heart disease but also had testosterone levels that were between forty and fifty percent lower than their normal weight peers.
Controlling for age, physical maturity, and medical factors, 25 obese males and twenty-five normal weight males between the ages of fourteen and twenty were blood tested to measure total and free testosterone levels. Free testosterone is testosterone that is not chemically bound and thereby available to the body.
Mean testosterone levels were found to be 50% lower in the obese young men and mean free testosterone levels were found to be 46% lower.
With our waistlines expanding, the results could speak to many American men. In view of the fact
that almost one-third of the U.S. is obese, these observations have profound pathophysiological, clinical, epidemiological and public health implications.
Weight loss increases testosterone levels.
It goes without saying that weight loss can improve testosterone levels, or other hormone imbalances in men.
If you have struggled with weight management and would like medical assistance, Lifestyle Solutions offers a free assessment of your nutrition and fitness levels. We can then customize a weight loss plan tailored to your individual needs, aspirations, and lifestyle. Physician supervised weight loss has proved to be an effective way for many men to lose the weight they have struggled with for years. If needed, prescription weight loss medications or fat burning injections can be given to assist with your weight loss. Our experienced weight loss physician, attends to every patient, providing guidance and support at every step along the way.
Maintaining a healthy weight allows the body to better regulate testosterone and other hormones.
At Lifestyle Solutions we also offer growth hormone replacement to help treat adult growth hormone deficiency that affects adults over 30-40 years of age.
For an appointment or to speak with someone about our weight loss programs, call 352-368-2148. today.