I mentioned I had seen an article about some things I didn’t remember mentioning before that testosterone affects. The article I saw was 8 Sneaky Signs Your Testosterone Is Too Low from Men’s Health. It was linked by Mens Wellness Center (@MensWellnessCtr) on Twitter. It talks more about some of the signs of low T or problems that can come up if your testosterone is low.
I have mentioned the first six problems in the list before, muscle loss, mood problems, low libido, and belly fat. To be honest, for some reason I thought the belly fat was more a side effect of muscle loss but knew it was related. The article also mentions dangers to your heart and bones. The doctor and an earlier article warned me in the first few month there was a possibility of heart problems or other problems related to high blood pressure. My blood pressure has been on the line at the top of regular for a while so I’ve been trying eat and exercise in ways I thought would keep it in line. It seems after the initial few months then there is a benefit to heart health. I had caught that in a study I wrote about a while back but this article brought that home again.
While I was looking through tweets to find the link to this Men’s Health article I came across another link to Low Testosterone and Your Health from WebMD. This second article mentions some problems like diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure that aren’t necessarily caused by low T or cause low T but seem to go along with it.
A few years ago I had a wellness check and the blood work showed my testosterone in 400’s and my triglycerides high. I didn’t know what a good number for testosterone was. The report I received said mine was near the lower end of average or normal. I worked really hard on my diet and exercise and the triglycerides came down to the high end of normal. The testosterone number was near the same as before. I kept working at it but then at the end of my next to the last year of teaching I caught an upper respiratory infection. I finally went to the doctor after a week in bed. My cough had gotten bad enough I wasn’t getting much sleep. It took me long enough to recover we had to change a number of things in our lives. One was my wife suggested we get a natural gas fired stove instead of our wood burner. I used to get a lot of good exercise cutting dead trees down and to length then hauling them home from the national forest. It also helped clean out beetle killed trees so lowered problems should a fire get going. I just wouldn’t have the strength that year to do that and we had been thinking a changing as the air here gets worse and worse each winter. I had gotten somewhat back into being active but the triglyceride numbers went back up a bit. That winter eleven months ago with retirement schedule instead of work I just got really sedentary. The blood test to see if I had gotten the number down instead showed a really big increase and testosterone levels in the 200’s. That low T number was highlighted in red on the report, yet the doctor’s office wanted me to take medication for lipids and not worry about diet, exercise or any other problems.
I got busy with the improving weather but I just couldn’t seem to get the energy to exercise. There was a time with heavy smoke in our air due to wildfires and I just sat around even when the winds took the smoke other directions. Once I went to the clinic for TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) my T numbers were back in the 400’s. Now I am seeing more energy to exercise. Air quality is bad with the inversions holding in the pollution yet I am exercising, even if it is walking back and forth in the house. I have about 40 days until my next blood draw so I’m hoping my T levels are staying near optimal by now. I know I’m feeling much better than last year and the biggest difference is having the energy and be in a mood that I can get moving a bit.
So, even if the researchers aren’t saying testosterone affects some of those health hazards, exercise does improve chances of avoiding them. As my testosterone levels get near good levels I’m exercising more regularly, the exercise is building muscle mass more easily, and those two things have to be helping my over all health.
As the WebMd article said, there may not be a cause and effect relationship between Low T and these other problems, but overall health is improved by good levels of testosterone so there is an indirect effect by improving one part of being healthy so other parts improve as well. Doing what you can to keep healthy overall is the best way to prepare to enjoy your senior years so instead of trying to get back to being healthy, like I am, you just keep enjoying the good things life brings, including a physical relationship, or relationships.