Can Alcohol Cause Low T?
Men who are experiencing the symptoms of Low T often ask whether drinking alcohol could be contributing to their problem.
If you’re enjoying the occasional beer after work or while watching the game, that amount of alcohol is unlikely to decrease your testosterone levels to a symptomatic level.
However, it’s no secret that drinking too much alcohol is bad for your health. It can cause both short-term and long-term changes to many hormones in your body, including testosterone.
When testosterone production plummets, it can diminish the function of critical bodily systems resulting in:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of muscle mass
How Heavy Consumption of Alcohol Affects Testosterone
Males consuming more than 15 drinks a week are more likely to have poor testicular function compared with men who consume a moderate amount of alcohol due to the interference with glands responsible for releasing LH, FSH, and GnRH, hormones forming the signal chain that instructs the testes to produce testosterone.
Medical experts also conclude that heavy alcohol consumption over any significant period of time can alter the Leydig cells in the testes directly responsible for testosterone production—alcoholic men are known to suffer increased rates of infertility and extremely low testosterone levels.
In addition, sudden, large doses of alcohol also disrupt testicular function and reduce testosterone. Research approximates that a 160-pound man who drank 5 or 6 glasses of beer containing between 4.5 and 6 percent alcohol per 12-ounce glass could trigger a decrease in serum testosterone levels, supporting ethanol alcohol as a testicular toxin.
Further evidence demonstrates that no differences between adolescents and adults exists, which means binge drinking among younger males likely has harmful effects on their hormone balance, possibly resulting in Low T symptoms despite their relatively young age.
Alcohol, Weight Gain, and Low T
Frequent consumption of large quantities alcohol can lead to elevated levels of the female sex hormone estrogen—a hormone balance issue directly caused by the lower testosterone production associated with excessive consumption of alcohol described above. An estrogen-heavy balance leads to Low T symptoms.
Low T levels also could be the result of alcohol-associated weight gain.
Beer contains high amounts of sugar, and it’s high in calories while providing very few nutrients. Excessive calories lead to weight gain and an increase in fat tissue, and fat often functions as an estrogen-producing organ.
Beer also contains prolactin, a substance that tends to increase fat production, increase estrogen, and is thought to be a key contributor to the “beer gut.”
When Will Levels Return to Normal?
Quitting or significantly restricting alcohol consumption can help reverse some of the damage to your testes and your endocrine system, but it’s important to emphasize that the medical community doesn’t fully understand the extent to which the human reproductive system can heal itself.
It would depend on how much and how long you’ve been drinking, but such a recovery could take months or years.
The fact is that, directly or indirectly, too much alcohol strains your body’s ability to produce hormones correctly.
If your testosterone levels regularly fall below the optimum range and you’re experiencing chronic symptoms, or your symptoms are of a severity that hinders your enjoyment of life, it may be time to learn more about Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT).
Our comprehensive TRT guide has the facts and answers to the most common questions asked by concerned people just like you.