Obesity and Low T—What You Need to Know
If you’re not feeling your best and are worried about the symptoms of low testosterone, it might be time to talk with your medical professional about your weight. Although it can be an uncomfortable conversation, obesity is recognized by many medical experts as the most effective predictor of low testosterone in men.
The point shouldn’t be sugar coated:
Your spare tire, the excess fat you’re carrying around your midsection, could be hindering your body’s performance and damaging your overall health.
Is There Scientific Evidence Supporting an Obesity-Low T Connection?
There is a wealth of scientific evidence negatively correlating obesity with low testosterone levels and the symptoms of low testosterone.
In this 2013 study, researchers examined the association between body fat distribution and testosterone levels (both free and total) among middle-aged and elderly men.
A total of 922 male residents between 40 and 70 years old participated in the study. Their waist circumference (WC), waist-height ratio (WHtR), body mass index (BMI), were compared to their total and free testosterone levels. As expected, the study demonstrated that both general and abdominal obesity were associated with total testosterone deficiency, and abdominal obesity was found to be associated with free testosterone deficiency.
A 2007 study of 1,667 men ages 40 and above found that each one-point increase in BMI was associated with a 2% decrease in testosterone, demonstrating that overall obesity coincided with lower testosterone levels.
Is Obesity Causing My Low T, or the Other Way Around?
Some fluctuation of weight is expected in later life, but, if you are finding it difficult to control your weight, and mild changes in diet or exercise aren’t making much of a difference, low testosterone could be a problem.
The evidence indicates that obesity and Low T are intertwined in a self-perpetuating cycle where each condition exacerbates the other. It makes logical sense as well—Low T results in less lean muscle being produced by your body, and more fat tissue is produced in its place.
The increased amount of adipose (fat) tissue functions as an estrogen-producing organ, and the resulting estrogen-heavy balance in your system effectively drives testosterone levels lower.
It’s a true chicken-or-the-egg situation. Whether the initial weight gain was brought on by low testosterone or whether the low testosterone was caused by the weight gain, they each feed into the other, creating a damaging downward spiral that’s difficult to get out of.
Men trapped in this conundrum often report that no matter how hard they exercise, how well they eat, or how careful they are, they continue to gain weight as they age, especially around the midsection, and continue to feel less and less like themselves.
Obesity and Low T—Breaking Free
If you’re a man who is somewhat overweight and suffers from Low T, controlling your weight or achieving significant weight loss is going to be more difficult, even for men who may have had no trouble staying lean and strong in their younger years.
Low Testosterone could explain why it’s so much harder as we age for us to maintain the lean, healthy body we kept with much less effort when we were younger. This cycle must be interrupted somehow in order for weight loss solutions to be effective.
If you’re struggling with obesity, current research into the symptomatic health risks of low testosterone and effective treatment options should be addressed with your medical provider.
Restoring testosterone levels to normal through a regimented TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) program could be a far more effective way to treat obesity and reduce the risk of associated life-threatening illnesses than lifestyle changes alone.
To learn more about the benefits of TRT and the specific treatment methods we use at Testosterone Centers of Texas, read our comprehensive guide. It covers the most common questions and presents the facts associated with the treatment of low testosterone.