Why Not Treating Testosterone Deficiency Can Really Cost You
According to a recent study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine ( Vol. 10, Issue 2, 2013) there is a much higher cost imposed on men with testosterone deficiency than one would believe.
The study looked to find the real answer as to what the actual, quantifiable cost, is of not treating testosterone deficiency. The researchers examined six national databases, and estimated that testosterone deficiency currently affects 13.4 percent of men between the ages of 45 and 74. The researchers also estimated that testosterone deficiency is contributing to the development of about 1.3 million new cases of cardiovascular disease, 1.1 million new cases of diabetes, and more than 600,000 osteoporosis-related factures in the first year of its presence.
Based on these pieces of information, researchers found that over a 20-year period, it is estimated that testosterone deficiency would be responsible for up to $525 billion in health-care costs in the United States alone.
This study points out the fact that testosterone deficiency can cause much more damage than what was formerly believed. The cost of not treating testosterone, according to the figures above, are extremely severe, and can lead to a number of different diseases ranging from cardiovascular disease, to osteoporosis-related factures.
One of the most common symptoms related to low testosterone is fatigue. Other symptoms of testosterone deficiency include low libido, irritability, weight gain, and poor brain functioning. Thus, any man older than 45 who is experiencing any of these symptoms should inquire to their medical physician as to whether or not they may have testosterone deficiency.
Testosterone Deficiency Found to be linked to Diabetes
According to recent studies, men with low testosterone may be at a greater risk for developing diabetes. Several researchers from the University of Edinburgh found that low testosterone levels have been associated with resistance to insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar levels. While testosterone is present throughout the body, low levels of it have been linked to increased obesity, a known risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. Still, however, researchers say that the study provides evidence of increased risk “even when the body mass is not affected”. Dr. Kerry McInnes, from the University’s endocrinology unit said “We know that men with low testosterone levels are more likely to become obese, and as a result, develop diabetes”.
The research team that conducted this study has stated that this is the first evidence available which has directly shown how low testosterone levels in fat tissue can be a key factor in the onset of the condition. Their research on lab mice demonstrated that the mice with impaired testosterone function in fat tissue were more likely to be insulin-resistant. However, it was also shown that the insulin resistance occurs in mice when testosterone function was impaired regardless of the body weight of the mice.
Researchers have stated that these findings may be able to help explain why older men are at a higher risk of developing diabetes because of how testosterone levels begin to fall as they age. These researchers also believe that a protein called RBP4 plays a critical role in regulating insulin resistance when testosterone is impaired. They found that levels of this protein are higher in mice with decreased testosterone. The research team is now hoping that its findings could lead to treatments that regulate the production of RBP4 and may be able to reduce the risk of diabetes in men with less testosterone. Additionally, the team now plans to study patients with type 2 diabetes to see if their levels of testosterone correlate with levels of RBP4.
Testosterone Deficiency Found to be linked to Diabetes
A recent study regarding testosterone therapy is beginning to show signs that treating for testosterone deficiency may be able to help men lose weight. German researchers have taken a group of overweight men and restored their testosterone levels to normal. The group of patients has since lost weight, lowered their blood pressure, and even improved their cholesterol. The study detailed 115 obese men between the ages of 38- 83 with low testosterone levels, and recorded their effects after being treated with testosterone therapy. The subjects were injected with the hormone every 2 weeks to gradually increase testosterone levels back to normal, and the research was paid for by Bayer Pharma, a manufacturer of testosterone replacement therapy. The study also found no increased risk for prostate cancer, and the findings were announced at the European Congress on Obesity.
This research comes with great excitement for those who have begun testosterone replacement therapy recently. Testosterone replacement therapy prescriptions have doubled over the last six years, according to the International Journal of Clinical Practice. Dr. Harry Fisch, a urologist of New York’s Weill-Cornell Medical Centers, also adds that testosterone should never go below normal levels in a man’s lifetime. “A lot of people think that testosterone levels as you get older go below normal levels. That’s not true” Fisch stated in an interview on CBS This Morning.
Fisch, who is the author of “The Male Biological Clock”, stated that he can tell within a couple seconds of someone coming into his office whether or not that person has low testosterone. How, you may ask? He simply looks at the size of the man’s stomach. “The bigger the belly, the lower the testosterone” Fisch stated.
The Impact Low Testosterone can have on your Sex Life
As a medical physician that deals directly with male fertility, Dr. Fenig mentions that low testosterone can make a serious impact on one’s sex life. “Testosterone is essential to sexual function, through effects on both the brain and sexual organs. Studies demonstrate a reduction in frequency, amplitude, and rigidity of the erection in men with low testosterone. Testosterone also affects energy level, which may contribute to a decreased interest in sex”, Dr. Fenig explains.
It is also known that men with type 2 diabetes often have symptoms of low testosterone, but a recent survey from the American Diabetes Association found that men with low testosterone and erectile dysfunction were unaware that they had a treatable condition and felt frustrated, and had not talked about the issue with their sexual partners or a doctor.
Talking about Low Testosterone with your Partner
As with most men, talking about sex or sexual inadequacies can often be a difficult conversation to have with a partner, but it is a conversation that must be had. Being able to discuss these problems with your partner and being able to identify the problem of low testosterone is one of the most critical aspects of dealing with low testosterone.
“While some men are uncomfortable discussing sexual issues with their partner, it can be comforting to know there may be a medical reason for decreased libido,” Fenig says. “This affects the sex life of both partners and becomes a ‘couples’ issues. For that reason, men should be encouraged to discuss their feelings with their partners and, if diagnosed with low testosterone, discuss potential treatment options”.
12 Common Warning Signs of Testosterone Deficiency
While guys often make jokes about testosterone, low testosterone is actually a very serious issue. Recent research indicates that guys without enough of this essential hormone face a higher risk of several serious illnesses, including diabetes, osteoporosis, and even cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, a blood test can determine whether a guy has low testosterone, but there are also a number of other indicators, such as feeling an increased sense of tiredness, or feeling groggy.
Low Sex Drive
One of the main indicators of low testosterone is sex drive. Testosterone is one of the key factors which fuel a man’s sex drive. If a man has a testosterone deficiency, it’s likely that he will be less interested in having sex. A Clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and author of “Testosterone for life”, states that “Testosterone is what’s responsible for ‘the g factor'”. He explains that men can differ in how frequently they like to have sex, but for men with low testosterone, he says, “It’s completely absent”.
The male erection is triggered by the body’s release of a chemical called nitric oxide. Unfortunately, certain levels of testosterone are needed to trigger this chemical’s release, and without enough of it, there will be a lack of anything happening in the bedroom. Either the erection will impossible to maintain, or they will not be firm enough for intercourse
Often times, a testosterone deficiency can cause big medical problems such as diabetes, osteoporosis, and even Heart Disease. However, low testosterone cause smaller impacts such as the inability for a man to achieve orgasm.
Low Fluid Level
It has been shown that three parts of a man’s body work together to produce the sperm-containing fluid that’s released when he ejaculates; the prostate, the seminal vesicles, and the testicles. These three critical components must be in good supply of testosterone to produce a normal ejulatory volume of 1.5to 5 cubic centimeters. A man with warning testosterone levels may notice a sharp decline in his ‘volume’.
Another indicator of low testosterone is the feeling, or lack of feeling down, down below. While the genitalia may not be completely numb, but a touch of the penis or scrotum fails to elicit that feeling of ‘electricity’ needed to spark a sexual encounter, or even make sex pleasurable.
While, it is perfectly normal for a guy to feel tired at the end of a busy day, it is not normal for men to feel tired all throughout the day. Men who experience low testosterone often feel completely depleted, and can often experience a sense of overwhelming fatigue.
Along with feeling fatigued, men with low testosterone have also reported losing their drive and initiative. Men who once go-getters’ will often feel no sense of drive when experiencing testosterone deficiency.
Although men can certainly be depressed, another common warning sign of low testosterone is that men will continually feel down in the dumps. Low testosterone can often cause men to feel less than optimistic or even blue.
Low testosterone can often cause guy to become grouchy or irritable. The problem is more apparent to friends and family members than themselves in many cases. “a guy might say he’s fine”, says Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, associate clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of “Testosterone for Life”, but the people around him know otherwise.
Reduced Muscle Mass
While men with testosterone may not become weaklings, they will often feel as though they are not as strong as they used to be. Several men have actually noticed that there is significant shrinkage in their arms and muscles after experiencing low testosterone, and they will often find it frustratingly difficult to build muscle mass.
More Body Fat
One of the most significant indicators of low testosterone is the increase in body fat. While it is true that many men gain some weight around the middle as they get older, men with testosterone deficiency often witness severe weight gain and can even develop gynecosmastic, a.k.a. “man boobs”. Most men experience this dip in testosterone levels in their 40s, but these symptoms can manifest as lethargy, moodiness, weight gain, or even reduction in muscle mass.
Another indicator of low testosterone can often be the shrinkage of testicles.
Low T. level is a usually tell-tale sign that the brain and the testicles aren't properly communicating with each other. It also occurs when the body is physically unable to produce normal levels of testosterone. A male that continually has low T. levels could end up with a medical condition. known as hypogonadism.