Researchers say lower testosterone levels may affect men’s health in unexpected ways
Although men do not experience a sharp decline in female sex hormones during menopause, they do experience a natural decline in hormones, which may have some surprising effects on their health.
Hypogonadism The gonads (testes in men and ovaries in women) produce very little hormones. Although autoimmune diseases, obesity, kidney and liver diseases, and genetic diseases may cause autoimmune diseases, the decrease in hormone production is also a natural cause of aging.
in menopause, A woman’s ovaries no longer continuously produce the same levels of estrogen and progesterone. This can lead to the cessation of menstrual periods and other symptoms, including vaginal dryness, hot flashes, difficulty falling asleep, night sweats, mood changes, weight gain, dry skin and thinning hair.
As men age, their testosterone levels decline, but the impact of this decline is less than that of women’s menopause. according to Cleveland Clinic, Testosterone not only helps maintain sexual and reproductive function, but also helps muscle mass, red blood cell level and bone density.
Low testosterone affects almost half of men over 45. However, doctors are still not sure what the normal level of this sex hormone is, because it may fluctuate throughout the day and is affected by body mass index, alcohol consumption, medication, disease, and age.
Experts say that the natural decline of testosterone begins after the age of 30 and will continue throughout the life of a man. However, this is a gradual downward trend, about 1-2% per year.
Symptoms of low testosterone
The most common symptoms of low testosterone are low libido, erectile dysfunction, depression, cognitive impairment, fatigue, moodiness, and loss of muscle strength.
Men may also experience mild anemia, decreased body hair, increased body fat, breast development, osteoporosis, and infertility.
Testosterone replacement therapy Can help resolve most of these symptoms, but hormone replacement can bring some side effects, including acne, mild hydrops, worsening sleep apnea, smaller testicles, and Stimulates the prostate and may cause urination problems.
It can also reduce sperm count, thereby affecting fertility and possibly leading to prostate growth. If a person has early-stage prostate cancer, hormone therapy may unintentionally accelerate the growth of the cancer.
Can testosterone replacement therapy help?
Not all medical experts are rightMale menopause“But studies have shown that lower testosterone can affect a person’s overall health.
Although there is no way to prevent the natural decline of testosterone, experts say that a healthy lifestyle, including a good diet, exercise and weight control, and avoiding excessive drinking and drug use, can help maintain normal hormone function.
previous studies It has been shown that mPeople with low testosterone levels are more likely to be obese and develop diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver. But a new study offers hope that testosterone replacement therapy can help.
inside Two years of studyThis therapy not only reduces the symptoms of hypogonadism, but also reduces the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver in these men. The data has just been published at the 23rd European Congress of Endocrinology.
Dr. Kristina Groti Antonic from Slovenia, explained “The increase in the grade of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the result of improved insulin resistance, body mass index and weight loss, and changes in body composition.”
She explained that testosterone can increase lean body mass and has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce chronic inflammation in the liver.
The link between testosterone and COVID-19
Researchers at the University of Washington say that lower testosterone levels may also help explain men’s increased risk of severe COVID-19.
It was previously thought that the higher incidence of severe COVID-19 among men was the result of higher testosterone levels, but The latest data The suggestion may be attributed to the decrease in sex hormone levels.
Although the researchers were unable to make a direct cause and effect relationship, they found that lower testosterone levels could predict more serious disease.
Researchers pointed out that severe COVID-19 is also related to old age, obesity and diabetes, which is also related to lower testosterone levels.
Senior author Dr. Abhinav Diwan said: “During the pandemic, it is generally believed that testosterone is not good.” Say. “But we have found the opposite situation in men. If a man has low testosterone levels when he first comes to the hospital, his risk of severe COVID-19 (i.e., the risk of requiring intensive care or death) is higher than that of those with men. Men are much higher. Circulating testosterone levels are higher. If testosterone levels fall further during hospitalization, the risk will increase.”
It is recommended that men who are concerned about testosterone levels talk to their doctor about their testing. A simple blood test can measure the level of hormones in the blood.