Low Testosterone, Diabetes, & Body Fat

low testosterone diabetes
The work week is back upon us. I took a little break this weekend to catch up on things around the house but now it’s back to the grind. And to start the week off on a very manly note, I came across a couple of studies published in separately relating to testosterone levels in men. One study from a team of researchers led by Dr. Thomas G. Travison at the New England Research Institutes found that men who have love handles have low testosterone... or at least testosterone levels which decline with age approximately 28 percent faster than those without love handles… otherwise known as excess body fat on the torso.

Low Testosterone | Diabetes

What does this mean, you might ask. It could mean any number of things. Simple increases to BMI leads to lower testosterone levels which can then increase the likelihood that you will experience decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis, sleep disturbance, depressed mood, lethargy, and diminished physical performance, all possible symptoms of low testosterone levels. However, according to a second finding identified in the CDC’s Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, you are 4 times more likely to develop diabetes if you have low testosterone count.

Diabetes | Body Fat

These two findings indicate a possible mechanism for diabetes to manifest in men who are overweight. It is widely known that obesity is an increased risk factor for heart disease and diabetes but here we find one indication as to why that might be. In obvious cases obesity is an indication of a lack of physical activity (another increase risk factor for diabetes) but in the cases where men are fit but overweight, the increased risk for diabetes could be attributable to an increased risk for low testosterone due to excess fat buildup. Interestingly it has been shown that low testosterone and alcohol consumption are fairly related.  It seems that too much alcohol consumption will also lower a man's testosterone count. 

A logical reaction to a situation such as this would be to work on ridding yourself of excess belly fat through eliminating empty calories such as sugars, decreasing alcohol intake if it is in excess, and maintaining or increasing your physical activity regimen.

Low testosterone has been shown to be prevalent in 1 of 4 men over the age of thirty and notably 1 in 4 people in the nation are considered obese with BMI’s greater than 30. What I wonder is what the stats are on those who are not obese but who still have low testosterone; do they too have an increased risk for diabetes?

And what about women? If a quarter of women are obese is there an intermediary risk factor for them like testosterone count is for men? I’ll have to follow up on this down the road because as of yet I cannot conclude much from this info other than to reiterate the typical prescription for diabetes risk factors. Don’t drink or eat too much and get more exercise. Soda is another major enemy and should be avoided. Do these things and you are far less likely to have low testosterone, belly fat, and diabetes… but then, we all knew that already.

Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Feb. 2007 - http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/92/2/549
CDC’s Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey - http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/elec_prods/subject/nhanes3.htm

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