Studies reveal that men with low testosterone count have a greater risk of contracting cardiovascular problems compared to those with normal counts. This topic has stoked controversy with the majority of people looking out for their health and those of their loved ones. So how true is this? This piece aims at identifying the valid links between the testosterone hormones and the blood circulatory system.
Forget designer shoes. In every real sense, testosterone is what makes a man. It’s responsible for the strong bones, deep voice, and huge muscle size that characterizes the male gender. The hormone is also known to stimulate the production of red blood cells by the bone marrow. It is the hormone crucial in maintaining healthy libido levels or sex drive. It’s responsible for normal erections and sexual performance. Sperm production throughout a man’s adult life is fully attributed to the hormone.
While testosterone effects on various body organs are positive and well established, the medical field has been working to verify the link between the cardiovascular system and testosterone.
Early Testosterone Worries
According to reports, men are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases about ten years earlier before women. Testosterone levels are higher in men than in women. All these facts tell us that certain testosterone levels have evident links to cardiovascular complications. High levels of the hormone are equally dangerous, with many illustrations making it apparent. For instance, athletes abusing testosterone, and androgenic steroids are more prone to suffer from hypertension, cardiovascular attacks, high blood pressure, and stroke. But do low-T levels actually cause any heart-muscle complications? Let’s find out.
What’s Considered “A Low Testosterone Level”?
As men begin approaching their mid-thirties, testosterone production starts to decline. Normally, blood tests showing levels of about 300 nano-grams per deciliter or less of the hormone will confirm the situation. Also, some symptoms may tag along showing the effects of decreased levels of the hormone. They include:
- Low sex drive.
- Shrinking muscles.
- The penis may reduce in size.
- Growing belly.
- Impaired memory and concentration capacities.
- Mood tanks and may trigger depression.
- Bones may weaken.
How Low Testosterone May Affect Your Cardiovascular System
Studies reveal that normal testosterone levels open up blood vessels arteries responsible for transporting blood to and from the heart-muscle. Low-T levels may trigger atherosclerosis, which is the narrowing and hardening of the blood vessels. This restricts seamless blood flow into the heart, and when the heart-muscle receives inadequate blood supply, it starts to die off. Eventually, the condition may trigger a heart attack or stroke.
High content body fat also plays a significant role in increasing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. High LDL cholesterol levels contribute to the development of fatty deposits in the blood vessels causing blockage and eventually stroke or a heart attack. At times, these deposits break suddenly causing clots that trigger heart attacks or stroke.
One of the symptoms of decreased levels of testosterone show affected individuals may start to show increased body fat. It puts extra strain to the heart muscle. With a weakened heart muscle, the work rate is significantly reduced, causing inefficient blood flow and circulation. It could lead to the development of heart failure, hypertension, blood pressure problems, heart attacks, and stroke.
Some studies show close links between low-T levels and thrombosis or arrhythmia. Thrombosis is a condition where blood clots develop in the blood vessels, while arrhythmia is a problem with the heart-rate or heartbeat.
Low-T levels increase your risk of diabetes as it contributes to the increase in blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels are detrimental to cardiovascular health and could trigger the development of cardiovascular issues.
What Can You Do to Boost Testosterone
With the multiple undesirable effects of low testosterone levels, many men will seek to reverse these hormonal changes. Among the options, testosterone replacement therapy has become popular with many questioning its safety and effects.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Before passing you as the right candidate for testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, your doctor will take tests to confirm the low hormone levels alongside the symptoms. While most insurances may not approve TRT as a form of treatment for men with low hormone levels due to aging, so some out of pocket expense should be expected, but the benefits may outweigh the cost.
TRP is available in several forms, all targeting at improving hormone levels. They include:
- Skin patch- it’s a patch worn on the arm, mostly and applied once a day.
- Gels- it is applied directly on the skin and absorbed into the system.
- Injections and implants- the hormone can also be administered through injections directly into the muscles where the body gradually absorbs the testosterone into the bloodstream
- Mouth patch- as the name suggests, it comes in the form of a tablet that sticks to the upper gums and normally applied twice a day.
These medications are not found over the counter to prevent abuse and health complications to patients with little knowledge about the risks linked to the therapy.
Many men report improvement in quality erections, energy levels, and sex drive after hormone treatment. However, there is possible risk of heart diseases associated with TRT. This reason confirms why FDA and physicians pass TRT fit for patients with medical-related low testosterone levels.
Lifestyle Changes to Improve Testosterone Production
Cardiovascular exercises and losing weight are two confirmed changes that can help increase testosterone levels. Exercises such as lifting weight contribute to weight loss, especially around the waist area, significantly reducing the chances of developing cardiovascular problems.
Foods That Might Boost Testosterone Naturally
There have been studies that have shown positive testosterone increases when adjustments in your diet are made. Foods rich in vitamin D and zinc play a vital role in moderating testosterone levels. You could also try over the counter supplements that will aid in improving these levels. The trick here is to keep your hormone levels balanced and keep the cardiovascular problems at bay.
A low-t count can be a bother to the majority of adult men. While this piece explains how low hormone levels can affect your health and heart, it also informs you of ways to increase the count safely. Keep in mind, TRT is only recommended on men with severe symptoms accompanied with low-T. It is best to talk to your physician when experiencing these symptoms before settling on hormone replacement therapy. He or she should educate you on the risks and benefits associated with TRT and determine if you are the right candidate for the treatment.