Can Low Testosterone Kill You?
Testosterone is one of the most important hormones in the human body. It stimulates several vital physiological processes, including cell reproduction. It is the chemical that induces the growth of hair, increases muscle build-up, and increases bone densities, among several other processes. Testosterone is essential in order for a human being to develop fully and to remain in good health.
Andropause is a condition associated with male aging. Testosterone levels in the human body tend to decline with age. Andropause is characterized by abnormally low levels of testosterone. These low levels can lead to increased fatigue, adverse psychological health, reduced sex drives, erectile dysfunction, and most importantly an increased risk of serious cardiovascular complications.
Andropause has been known to be successfully combated with testosterone replacement therapy. This is a treatment that involves exogenously administering testosterone through injections or orally, in order to counter to the effects of aging in men.
Can low testosterone levels be life threatening?
While initially the effects of low testosterone were not believed to be life threatening, recent research and study indicates that there is a correlation between low testosterone and higher mortality rates.
Several studies have been conducted over the last few years to deduce whether low levels of testosterone could have lethal consequences. Testosterone, when administered in large quantities, is said to increase red blood cell concentrations and mass, increase blood sugar levels, and resultantly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
However, research now shows that even low levels of testosterone could lead to the same result. The studies and statistics need to discount several other factors in order to determine whether low testosterone was indeed the cause of death. Factors like age, amount of physical activity, past medical history, tobacco, and alcohol consumption were few among many that required to be taken into consideration when conducting the studies.
Yet despite removing these factors from the equation, the correlation between mortality and low testosterone was still significant. Low testosterone can cause increase in fatty tissue build up, high levels of blood sugar, high blood pressure levels, and low levels of HDL cholesterol. These conditions can lead to serious consequences like heart attacks, strokes or diabetes. Low levels of testosterone were tied with what is known as metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome refers to a set of risk factors that greatly increases the chances of heath complications and vascular diseases. Metabolic syndrome is combated through regular exercise, as well as testosterone replacement therapy.
More research required
Scientists conducting the study of low testosterone on the physiological state of the human body are not entirely convinced that it is directly related to higher levels of mortality. Metabolic syndrome can be caused by numerous other factors besides low testosterone. However, they do recognize the strong correlation that exists, and call for more thorough and comprehensive study to prove that the two are interrelated.
The topic is still up for research and debate amongst the scientific and medical community. There is no debating that the research indicates a strong positive correlation between low levels of testosterone and higher rates of mortality. What is up for debate is whether these low testosterone levels may itself be a symptom of a separate underlying condition.
Regardless of whether low testosterone levels are lethal or not, it can lead to many complications that seriously jeopardize a patient’s quality of life. From fatigue to fat build-up, low testosterone levels have the potential to send patients into vicious downward spirals. This is why testosterone replacement therapy is becoming more and more popular as a prescription treatment among doctors.