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TRT and Its Potential Role in Diabetes Treatment and Prevention

Low testosterone, obesity, and type 2 diabetes form a preventable triangle of ill health that damages many men’s quality of life.

Consider these three facts:

  1. Obesity is a scientifically established contributor to low testosterone
  2. Obesity is directly related to type 2 diabetes
  3. Men with type 2 diabetes often suffer from chronic low testosterone

When you look at these relationships, it’s easy to see the cycle of disease form.

One condition causes another, which causes the other, which winds up causing or worsening the first.

The downward spiral continues unabated without some form of intervention.

A male doctor uses a measuring tape to measure the stomach of an overweight male patient. The potential role of TRT in the prevention of diabetes may be discussed as part of his treatment plan.

No Easy Way Out

Since obesity is a significant contributor to both low testosterone and diabetes, weight loss is a common-sense approach to breaking the cycle.

However, this avenue is somewhat problematic in practice.

The degree of weight loss needed to improve the balance of testosterone levels and other hormones (like estrogen, which is produced in fat tissue and abnormally high in many obese men) and to break the cycle is all too often:

  • Of an extreme amount
  • Difficult to Achieve
  • Exhausting to maintain

Although there are cases where someone overcomes the obstacles and loses the weight necessary to achieve a much improved level of metabolic and hormonal health, the reality is that such a degree of weight loss is unrealistic for most people.

Low Testosterone—A Direct Connection With Type 2 Diabetes

Medical researchers have needed to look for other approaches to break the cycle—addressing low testosterone levels through Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) seems the most promising route.

The logic behind such an approach is sound, since evidence shows that men suffering chronic low testosterone are highly susceptible to diseases directly related to metabolic health, such as:

  • Insulin resistance that results in elevated blood sugar levels, which is likely caused by increased body fat and reduced lean muscle mass
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Type 2 diabetes

In addition, there is some data that indicates as many as half of men suffering from chronic low testosterone exhibit symptoms of prediabetes.

Rather than treat patients’ poor physical health while hoping testosterone levels will be restored naturally, researchers are examining whether improving men’s hormonal balance from the initial treatment stages would have positive benefits on the remaining problematic aspects—obesity and metabolic health.

TRT and the Treatment of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes

Long-term studies examining the effects of TRT on poor metabolic health show promising results.

One study followed men with low testosterone and either metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes for 6 years. Those maintaining healthy testosterone levels through TRT showed significant improvement in:

  • Glycemic control (reduction in fasting glucose levels)
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced cardiovascular risk

These results support the benefits of treating low testosterone first, thereby increasing the possibilities for breaking the cycle of Low Testosterone, obesity, and diabetes.

Further Study Needed

That said, it’s important to continue to recognize the need for lifestyle changes and interventions in the management of type 2 diabetes and other conditions related to poor metabolic health.

The best results are likely achieved through the combination of TRT, a well-regulated diet, and a consistent exercise program, aimed toward improving blood sugar control, waist circumference, and cholesterol profile.

This combined treatment approach shows more promise than a supervised diet and exercise program alone.

Although there is little data from large-scale studies that would clearly show the effects of TRT combined with lifestyle intervention versus lifestyle intervention alone, one such research project is currently underway.

Find out more about the Testosterone 4 Diabetes Mellitus study here.

Learn More About TRT and Your Health

For more information on our methods and the associated health benefits of TRT, we recommend reading our comprehensive guide, which contains facts and answers to the most common questions regarding the treatment of Low Testosterone.

Read the Guide

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Glenn Steponaitis, PA-C

Glenn Steponaitis, PA-C began his healthcare career nearly 20 years ago as a medical technician at Seton Medical Center while concurrently earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology at the University of Texas in Austin.   His interest in medicine lead him down the path of becoming a certified Physician Assistant and achieving a Bachelor of Science degree in this field from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.   Following completion of his schooling, Glenn started a 10 year career in the field of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and in 2010 he began focusing on the medical management of those suffering from symptoms caused by low testosterone after witnessing hormone replacement doctors help Low T sufferers.

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