Diabetes Hormone Therapy for Men
Benefits of HRT for Male Diabetes
The endocrine system is a closely connected network of glands that produce the hormones that regulate almost all of your body functions, from your metabolism to your sex drive. As a result, if one part of your endocrine system malfunctions, you have an increased risk of additional hormonal problems.
Low testosterone and diabetes are an example of how one system in your body can influence another. There are clear links between diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity, and low testosterone (hypogonadism.) While low T doesn’t cause diabetes, if you have diabetes or are obese, you are more likely to have lower than normal testosterone levels.
What is diabetes?
Let’s start at the beginning. Diabetes is a disease that interferes with the way your body produces or uses insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps your body convert glucose (blood sugar) into energy. There are a few types of diabetes, but the most common are Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes occurs when your pancreas doesn’t produce insulin. It’s the result of an autoimmune condition that damages the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. It usually develops in childhood, which is why it’s sometimes called juvenile diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes, also called insulin resistance, usually develops later in life as your body stops using inline correctly. While your family medical history and genetics contribute to your risk of Type 2 diabetes, your lifestyle has a significant impact on your chances of developing the disease. For example, a high-sugar diet, low activity levels, and obesity are all linked to Type 2 diabetes.
It’s also important to be aware of prediabetes. Prediabetes occurs when you have elevated glucose levels, but they’re not high enough to meet the diagnostic criteria for Type 2 diabetes.
The connection between diabetes and low testosterone
While the link between diabetes and low testosterone is well established, the details aren’t yet clear. Medical researchers are still studying the connection between diabetes and hypogonadism, although some clear trends have emerged. A study of 2,100 men over the age of 45 revealed that the odds of having low T are:
- 2.4 times higher for obese men
- 2.1 times higher for men with diabetes
Research indicates that men in poor health who don’t take care of their bodies are more likely to develop low testosterone. However, men with low T have a higher chance of developing insulin resistance. Men with low testosterone tend to have more visceral fat (the fat that surrounds your abdominal organs), which contributes to insulin resistance.
Testosterone — Obesity — Diabetes
In other articles and our comprehensive guide to testosterone replacement therapy — Testosterone: The Complete Guide for Men to Feel Great — we talked about the hormonal axis, which explains some of the ways that different endocrine glands work together and influence each other. The testosterone — obesity — diabetes axis is similar.
Low testosterone levels lead to weight gain, muscle mass loss, and increased visceral fat, all of which contribute to obesity. Obesity interferes with the way your body uses insulin, which leads to diabetes. The hormonal imbalance caused by diabetes can interfere with your testosterone production. And the cycle continues.
Maintaining testosterone with diabetes
Bear in mind, that having diabetes doesn’t ensure that you’re going to have low testosterone or vice versa. You can manage your health with a nutritious diet low in sugar, salt, and fat and daily exercise. Healthy choices help you manage your weight, regulate your blood sugar, and stay healthy overall.
Does testosterone replacement therapy help regulate diabetes?
To be clear, testosterone replacement therapy is not a treatment for diabetes. However, if you have low testosterone and diabetes, testosterone therapy might help regulate your disease.
A study from 2018 shows that testosterone replacement therapy can significantly reduce your fasting glucose levels. The study included 55 men who had Type 2 diabetes and obesity as well as hypogonadism. None of the men were being treated with insulin at the time of the study. All participants had full physical exams, measurements, and blood tests at the beginning of the study.
The participants either received testosterone injections or a placebo. After a year of treatment, the participants who had testosterone therapy had decreased fasting glucose levels and lost inches from their waist circumference. They also had significantly reduced insulin resistance. The testosterone group also showed improved vascular health.
The moral of the story?
If you have low testosterone, your risk of some other health problems increases. Talk to the doctors at HRT Wellness about your symptoms and get the customized testosterone therapy you need to improve and protect your health.
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