Too many men now days have both Low Testosterone and Type 2 Diabetes. There are plenty of studies about this new epidemic. So, does having diabetes cause low t or does low t lead to developing diabetes? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. No one has really determined which one comes first. Studies have shown both.
So, my question is, can we treat both of them at the same time with the same treatments or supplements? I will attempt to answer that question in this article.
Let’s start with, what causes Type 2 Diabetes.
What Causes Type 2 Diabetes?
Unfortunately, I am very familiar with Type 2 Diabetes, because sadly I have it. Around 5 years ago, a normal yearly physical blood test indicated I was pre-diabetic. Of course as most men do, I blew it off and kept eating all the stuff I liked. That was a big mistake. Then next years physical showed I had an out of range A1C and my blood sugar was too high. I had developed Type 2 Diabetes because of my own stupidity and stubbornness.
So, what caused it?
Type 2 Diabetes is caused by several things, with genetics and lifestyle being the most important ones. Either of these or a combination of them can cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when your body does not use insulin like it is supposed to. Insulin resistance is the most common cause of type 2 diabetes.
Genetics Can Have a Critical Role in Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is one of the many things you can inherit from your parents. That doesn’t mean that if one of them has or used to have type 2 diabetes, that you are guaranteed to develop it. But is does mean you have a better chance of developing it, than someone whose parents did not have it.
Researchers know that you can inherit a risk for type 2 diabetes, but it is not easy to determine which genes carry the risk. The medical community is hard at work trying to figure out the certain genetic mutations that lead to a risk of type 2.
Your Lifestyle Plays Another Critical Role
Genes do play a role in type 2 diabetes, but lifestyle choices are also very important. As an example, you can have a genetic mutation that may make you susceptible to type 2, but if you take good care of yourself, eat right, exercise and all the other things that make your body healthy, you may not develop diabetes.
Lifestyle choices that have an impact on the development of type 2 diabetes include:
- Lack of exercise: Physical activity has many benefits—one of them being that it can help you avoid type 2 diabetes, if you’re susceptible.
- Not planning healthy meals: A meal plan filled with high-fat foods and lacking in fiber (which you can get from grains, vegetables, and fruits) increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Being Overweight or Obese: Lack of exercise and unhealthy meal planning choices can lead to obesity, or make it worse. Being overweight makes it more likely that you’ll become insulin resistant and can also lead to many other health conditions.
Sadly, I was bad at most of these for many years. Worked too much; too many hours; didn’t eat right; didn’t exercise enough. DON’T BE ME!! Take care of yourself!!
Let’s Review: Let’s say that two people have the same genetic mutation. One of them eats well, watches their cholesterol, and stays physically fit, and the other is overweight or even obese and inactive. All the studies say that the person who is overweight and inactive is far more likely to develop type 2 diabetes because certain lifestyle choices greatly influence how well your body uses insulin.
Be Aware, Type 2 Diabetes is Not Always Caused by Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is the most common cause of type 2 diabetes, but it is possible to have type 2 diabetes and not be insulin resistant. You can have a form where you body simply doesn’t produce enough insulin, which is not as common. Researchers are not sure what exactly keeps some people from producing enough insulin, but that’s another thing they are working hard to figure out.
In my case, we found out I had an enlarged spleen and what is called a Fatty Liver. Turns out that affects the production and processing of the insulin you produce. Bad for me. Luckily there is what’s called a Fatty Liver Remedy that I strongly recommend if you ever have that issue as well. It just works!
What Causes Low Testosterone (hypogonadism) ?
The two basic types of hypogonadism are primary and secondary hypogonadism.
Underactive testes cause primary hypogonadism. This is because they aren’t capable of producing adequate levels of testosterone for proper growth and health. This lack of testosterone production can be caused by heredity or it can happen due to accident or illness.
Inherited conditions include:
- Undescended testicles: When the testicles fail to descend from the abdomen before birth. Mine did drop 🙂
- Klinefelter’s syndrome: A condition in which a man is born with three sex chromosomes: X, X, and Y.
- Hemochromatosis: Too much iron in the blood causes testicular failure or pituitary damage.
Types of testicle damage that can lead to primary hypogonadism include:
- Physical injury to the testicles (um ouch!): The injury must happen to both testicles to affect testosterone levels.
- Mumps: A mumps infection can injure testicles.
- Cancer treatment: Chemotherapy or radiation can damage testicles.
Secondary hypogonadism is caused by damage to the pituitary gland or hypothalamus. These parts of the brain control hormone production by the testes.
Inherited or disease conditions for secondary, include:
- Pituitary disorders: These can be caused by drugs, kidney failure, or small tumors.
- Kallmann syndrome: A condition connected to abnormal hypothalamus function
- Inflammatory diseases: These are things like tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, and histiocytosis, which can affect the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus
- HIV/AIDS: Can affect the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and testes.
Acquired circumstances of secondary hypogonadism include:
- Normal aging: Aging affects production and response to hormones. For men this starts at age 30.
- Obesity: Too much body fat can affect hormone production.
- Medications: Opioids and steroids can affect function of the pituitary gland and hypothalamus.
- Types of Stress: Severe emotional stress or physical stress from an illness or surgery can cause the reproductive system to temporarily shut down.
You may be affected by primary, secondary, or possibly mixed hypogonadism. Mixed hypogonadism is more common the older we get. It also can affect people with sickle-cell disease, thalassemia, or alcoholism.
How do We Treat Both Low T and Diabetes Together?
The bottom line is, there is no magic pill that will treat both Low T and Type 2 Diabetes. But, there a lot of natural things that can be done that will treat both.
My endocrinologist says a heart-healthy diet and exercise should be part of the overall treatment for both low testosterone and diabetes. As a matter of fact, a 2011 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that certain lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and getting regular exercise, not only raise testosterone levels but also resulted in many other health benefits for overweight men with low testosterone and type 2 diabetes. Another study published in 2013 in the journal Hormone and Metabolic Research showed that overweight men who ate fewer calories each day experienced considerable increases in their testosterone levels.
In addition to lifestyle changes, your diabetes treatment plan may include oral medications. A 2014 study published in the European Journal of Endocrinology showed that in people who had just been diagnosed with diabetes, insulin treatment for diabetes also increased levels of sex hormone binding globulin, which promotes the production of more testosterone in the blood stream.
If low testosterone continues to be a problem for you, your doctor may prescribe testosterone replacement therapy. It’s important to continue communicating with your doctor and a certified diabetes educator when you’re on these treatments.
Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) a Viable Option?
The research I found basically says, maybe.
Research has shown that between 40 and 50 percent of diabetic men have low testosterone.
A recent study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine investigated the role of TRT for diabetic men. The researchers used a type of testosterone called long-acting testosterone undecanoate.
In the first part of the study, 199 diabetic men with low testosterone were divided into two groups. One group received testosterone replacement therapy. The other group received a placebo.
After 30 weeks, the men who took testosterone saw some improvements in their erections, orgasms, and sexual desire. They were more satisfied with their sexual activities overall.
Also, at this point in the study, 46% of the men who took testosterone felt that their health had improved with treatment. Only 17% of the men in the placebo group felt the same way.
At this point, the men were given the option of continuing their treatment for another 52 weeks. 106 men decided to move forward. At the end of the 52 weeks, 70% of all the men felt that their health had improved.
As with all studies, there were some not so encouraging results as well. Men who were diagnosed with depression at the beginning of the study did not have as much improvement. Men who were severely overweight did not benefit as much.
The authors of the study stressed the importance of screening for low testosterone and depression in men with type 2 diabetes. Testosterone replacement therapy could be a way to alleviate symptoms, including sexual ones, and improve quality of life.
But, there are some serious side effects of Testosterone Replacement therapy that make it much less appealing.
Side effects of TRT according to WebMD, include:
- Acne or oily skin
- Mild fluid retention
- Stimulation of prostate tissue, with perhaps some increased urination symptoms such as a decreased stream or frequency
- Increased risk of developing prostate abnormalities
- Breast enlargement (Man Boobs)
- Increased risk of blood clots
- Worsening of sleep apnea
- Decreased testicular size
- Increased aggression and mood swings
- May increase risk of heart attack and stroke
Laboratory abnormalities that can occur with hormone replacement include:
- Changes in cholesterol and lipid levels
- Increase in red blood cell count
- Decrease in sperm count, producing infertility (especially in younger men)
- Increase in PSA
TRT is Not for Everyone – Stick to More Natural Remedies.
If you have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and you are tired all the time and having sex issues, you need to have your doctor order a test to check for low testosterone levels. There are now DIY Home Testosterone and Men’s Health test kits like this one,
if you don’t want to go to the doctor and get poked.
In my humble opinion, you should stick to lifestyle changes that I talked about earlier in the article:
- Eat healthier meals
- Get daily quality exercise.
- Lose weight
- Take a good quality multivitamin (my recommendation for this is on the bottom of the article)
- Consider taking one of my recommended T-Boosting supplements – Read this article.
In other words, take care of yourself!
I hope this article has given you some important information to help you with your health!
For the Best Natural Multivitamin, CLICK the Add Below: