How Obesity Affects Testosterone Levels

For the last few decades, Americans have been struggling with being overweight or obese. In fact, since the 90s, there has been a steady increase in adult obesity. While this is concerning for so many reasons, since obesity affects your health and the quality of your life in general, it’s extra concerning for men who need to maintain proper testosterone levels to avoid health complications. 

At Seskin Urology, Dr. Floyd Seskin is a urologist with more than 25 years of experience in his field. He helps his male patients in Aventura, Florida, and the surrounding Miami area communities, manage low testosterone levels. If you’re dealing with this issue, take a few minutes to learn how obesity affects testosterone levels and what you can do about it. 

Testosterone: The major male hormone

While both women and men have the testosterone hormone in our systems, it’s considered to be the major male hormone. Testosterone is responsible for a deep voice, large muscles, and strong bones — all characteristics of the male gender. Additionally, testosterone functions to develop male reproductive organs, produce sperm, and allow you to grow a beard. 

As you’re probably aware, your testosterone levels surge during puberty, then peak in early adulthood. What you may not know is that testosterone tends to stabilize, then slowly drift downward during middle age, typically just a 1% decrease each year. For most men, this slow decline is manageable without a problem, and even in your later years, you’re able to maintain normal testosterone levels. 

However, if you have certain contributing factors that cause an acceleration in the decline of your testosterone levels, such as obesity or diabetes, you may experience a more rapid decline of this essential male hormone.

Obesity increases your risk of developing low testosterone

You’re considered obese if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. BMI is a calculation of your weight in relation to your height. If you’re over 45 years old and obese, the odds of having low testosterone — and all the health issues that come with that, including erectile dysfunction — increase by more than two times. 

If you have diabetes — often a “side effect” of being obese — your odds increase by another two times, and if you have high blood pressure, your odds double again. 

A larger waistline contributes to lower testosterone

Additionally, low testosterone levels are directly linked to an expanding waistline. The larger the circumference of your waist, the higher your risk of developing low testosterone. 

Studies show that having a waistline just four inches larger than it should be means you have a 75% higher risk of developing low testosterone than if you had an average-size waistline. In comparison, 10 years of aging increases your chances of low testosterone levels by only 36%.

Know the signs and get help for obesity and low testosterone levels 

If you’re obese, you may have low testosterone, yet not be aware that’s what your symptoms mean. The obvious signs most people think of that are associated with low testosterone levels include difficulty maintaining an erection, reduced sex drive, and lower semen volume. 

However, low testosterone may also come with hair loss, fatigue, and an increase in body fat while you lose muscle mass. Frequent mood swings, difficulty sleeping, and even hot flashes can indicate an unhealthy drop in testosterone levels.

At our practice, we understand what you’re going through and we can help you get on the road to losing weight and stabilizing testosterone levels so you feel better overall. There’s no quick fix for obesity. You have to make the decision to make positive nutritional and lifestyle choices that help you shed some pounds and get to a healthier weight.

As you adopt healthier habits, we can also prescribe testosterone replacement therapy in the form of injections, pellets, and topical creams. Testosterone replacement therapy helps stabilize your hormones and provide relief from unpleasant symptoms. 

If you’re concerned about obesity-related low testosterone, give us a call at 786-584-8217 to schedule an appointment today. It’s your first step to a healthier, happier life. 

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