Low T and Heart Disease — Should I Be Concerned?
Clients sometimes express concern about a rumored connection between Low T and heart disease.
Obviously, any possible health risks surrounding potential treatment related side-effects need to be investigated thoroughly.
So, let’s dig into the issue.
Low T and heart disease — what’s the connection, and should you be concerned?
Low Testosterone and Its Effect on Heart Health
Right up front, I’m going to tell you that the research available is mostly inconclusive.
Some research says there’s a possible increase in heart disease rates among men also suffering from low testosterone.
But, the results of those studies are not sufficient to substantiate any claims of a cause-and-effect connection between Low T and heart disease.
And, the simple fact that men are three times more likely to suffer from coronary artery disease (CAD) than women in the first place further clouds any correlation found.
There are some logical conclusions we could draw about Low T and heart disease, though.
Decreased Physical Activity
One possible concern is that fatigue and low mood, typical symptoms of low testosterone, could lead to a serious decline in physical activity. Poor exercise habits definitely increase the likelihood of both weight gain and poor cardiovascular health.
Hormone Imbalance Cycle Leads to Weight Gain
Another thing to consider — when testosterone is low, the effects of estrogen become more prominent.
Yes, men’s bodies have estradiol, a form of the female sex hormone estrogen, which is critical for proper hormone balance and good health — read more about that here.
Healthy testosterone levels help burn fat and increase lean muscle, while estrogen-heavy levels facilitate the opposite results — fat production increases.
The excess fat tissue, in turn, acts as an estrogen-producing organ, creating even more estrogen, which worsens the hormone imbalance.
Hormones and Obesity Are the Main Concern
Poor overall health can lead to any number of medical issues.
The connection between obesity and heart disease has been well documented for decades, and you could develop problems if weight gain due to hormone imbalance is left untreated for a long period of time.
That means testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) could be beneficial to your overall health as it can attack the source of the problem (low testosterone) and help promote better physical wellbeing.
Low T and Heart Disease — The Benefits of TRT
TRT is not a miracle cure for weight problems or cardiovascular health issues, though.
It can reduce fatigue and relieve the exhausting anxiety and low mood that are common symptoms of low testosterone, which could help you develop better diet and exercise habits.
Improved overall health drastically reduces the risk of developing CAD (coronary artery disease) or other cardiovascular issues, and TRT can help men with low testosterone achieve better physical conditioning through exercise.
TRT and heart health are connected indirectly by their relationship with your overall physical well being.
Are There Concerns About TRT and Hypertension?
Yes and no.
Every treatment has potential side-effects, and testosterone replacement therapy is no exception.
Possible side-effects, which you can read more about in this post, include the following cardiovascular concerns:
- Potential decreases in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as “good cholesterol”
- Potential Increases in diastolic blood pressure
- Potential increases in hematocrit levels and erythrocytosis (an increase in the absolute number of circulating red blood cells)
This last point, a potential increase in red blood cells, is the main concern connecting treatment of low testosterone and cardiac episodes.
Erythrocytosis and Increased Hematocrit Levels
An increase in red blood cells could potentially lead to increased blood viscosity, or a thickening of the blood.
Fortunately, erythrocytosis is typically managed easily with frequent monitoring through lab tests, and a simple blood donation to charity can reduce the quantity of cells to a normal range.
Frequent blood testing is a priority in our treatment protocol at Testosterone Centers of Texas. We actually exceed the Standard of Care in terms of the number of times we evaluate our patients for this issue.
Low T and Heart Disease Are Not Directly Connected
A summary of the research conducted between 1970 and 2013 on TRT, Low T, and heart disease was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. It reached the following conclusions:
- There was little evidence of a link between low testosterone and atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries that can lead to heart attack and stroke.
- There was also no verifiable connection between high testosterone levels and increased risk of heart attack.
The research shows you should probably be more concerned about the detrimental effects poor overall health and obesity have on your heart than about the direct relationship between Low T and heart disease.
No definitive link between testosterone replacement therapy and cardiovascular disease was uncovered either.
Fight Low T and Heart Disease With Exercise
At Testosterone Centers of Texas, we want to help you pursue a healthier lifestyle and experience increased positivity surrounding your quality of life — low testosterone can lead to a lack of healthy physical activity and feeling “less than my normal self.”
Click the button to read more about exercises that can both boost your testosterone level, elevate your mood, and help you maintain better overall health — lessen your risk of developing both Low T and heart disease with smarter workouts.