How Does Low Testosterone Affect Diabetes?
There is still no clearly answer to explain how low testosterone levels affect diabetes! Many statistics show that diabetes (particularly for type-2 of diabetes ‘the most common type of diabetes’) is pretty common in men who have low levels of testosterone (particularly for hypogonadism – a condition of low levels of this male hormone associated with certain health conditions).
It seems that the connection between both health conditions is well established, but experts still don’t have clearly answer to explain this. Overall, some experts believe that men with low levels of testosterone are likely to have diabetes – and men with diabetes are also likely to develop low testosterone [source].
The peak levels of this male hormone are during adolescence & early stage of adulthood. Then it gradually decreases as we get older.
The decline of testosterone may occur after about the age of 30-40, typically it declines about 1 percent a year. As a result, more symptoms associated with aging occur as you get older. These symptoms may include:
- Some emotional changes, such as decreased self confidence and motivation. Elderly men are also easier to have depression.
- Changes associated with the physicality. For instances, decreased strength of muscle and bone. As you get older, you are also easier to have increased body fat (as a result you are more likely to have overweight or obesity (particularly for abdominal fat) which is one of the most common risk factors of diabetes). Hair loss and gynecomastia are other physical changes that may occur as you get older.
- Difficulty sleeping! Insomnia is pretty common in men with low testosterone. Even this low male hormone sometime also can increase the risk of sleep apnea (a kind of sleep disorder).
- Decreased sexual function, this may include; fertility problems, ED (erectile dysfunction) or poor spontaneous erections, and decreased sexual desire. According the American Diabetes Association, among men with low levels of testosterone, there is about 63 percent complained about lack of sex drive and about 70 percent reported about problem with erection (erectile dysfunction). Problems associated with fertility are usually top leading issues if low testosterone occurs in younger men.
The gradual, declining of this male hormone with age is very common, perfectly normal. But if this decline occurs abnormally or when it comes too early due to a health problem with the pituitary gland /testicles, treatments are probably necessary see a doctor for more guidance!
Again, there is still no a clear cut answer on this link, though low testosterone in diabetics are quite common. Also, low testosterone is not easy to diagnose since the symptoms are closely similar to other health conditions.
Interestingly, some similar risk factors are found in both conditions. Here are a few explanations.
I can tell you by experience. I am a Type II diabetic. My A1C was about 7.7 when I was not on TRT and taking a fair amount of Jardiance as well as insulin and those medications did just about nothing for my A1C levels. I did get a slight improvement of about 0.3 points lower over 6 months. But I had improved my diet dramatically. When I got TRT, I dropped 85% of my Jardiance and all my insulin (I just stopped taking insulin). Within 7 weeks my A1C fell from 7.4 to 6.5. Now I can eat pancakes and not spike my blood sugar over 200 for 8 hours which nearly killed me before. Now It still goes up to about 200 but it drops back to 110 in at most 3 hours tops. So I know that the TRT has improved my insulin sensitivity so I can process sugar much better now. I would not be surprised if my A1C has fallen to below 6 ( And I haven’t lost any weight I’m 310 lbs with a BMI>40). I’m not saying I don’t need to lose weight but the TRT improved my type II diabetes dramatically and very quickly. [ Oh and when my Endocrinologist found out I got TRT, she fired me….guess she knew I wouldn’t be a very good Type II diabetic patient that would need massive treatment for the next 20 years while I was on TRT. I guess my numbers prove that TRT helps treat Type II diabetes a whole lot]