Can Low Testosterone Cause Weight Gain

Can Low Testosterone Cause Weight Gain

There has long been an association between menopause and female weight gain, and now doctors also know that aging men with low testosterone levels are also likely to put on extra pounds – especially around the midsection. Abdominal obesity in older males is becoming something of an epidemic. Changes in diet and exercise often do very little to shed those excess pounds. The answer may lie in correcting declining testosterone levels.

Can low testosterone cause weight gain in both men and women?

Yes, low levels of testosterone have been found to play a significant role in how the body is metabolizing food. What is even worse is that studies have already connected low testosterone and obesity into a cycle of reinforcement – Low T increases weight gain and additional belly fat further lowers testosterone levels. Once a person become trapped in this cycle, it is hard to emerge without the proper help.

How can low testosterone levels cause weight gain in the first place?

This question often causes a “which came first – the chicken or the egg” debate. You see, research provides us with responses for both sides of the conversation. Both metabolic syndrome and obesity have links to low testosterone levels. When obesity is the beginning point, it increases abdominal fat – the production point for an enzyme called aromatase. The role of aromatase is to convert excess testosterone in the bloodstream into estradiol, the main type of estrogen in the body. The more belly fat you have, the more aromatase you will make. This decreases testosterone levels and increases estradiol to the point where a condition called estrogen dominance is present.

Why can low levels of testosterone cause weight gain in people who were not heavy before their testosterone declined? In the early years of adulthood, the body still produces testosterone in the amount necessary to fuel all of the correlating functions. It is only in the early thirties for most men, and during menopause for women, that testosterone levels naturally begin to decrease. That is why weight gain is often associated with these changing times.

How Low T Contributes to Weight Gain

We have looked at how Low T contributes to weight gain due to a start with obesity. As we answer why does low testosterone cause weight gain, we see that the cycle often begins with aromatase conversion, but that is not where the process ends. Estradiol does something more in the body than just increase estrogen levels; it also changes how the process of metabolism works, stimulating the body to turn food into stored abdominal fat. As we all know, belly fat is the most dangerous type of fat you can have on your body. What does that belly fat do besides crowding the internal organs? It also increases aromatase production and speeds up the progression from obesity to metabolic syndrome to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Low levels of testosterone may also lead to a rise in C-reactive protein inflammation markers in the body. Inflammation is influential in the onset of obesity, as well as cancer, atherosclerosis, and other health concerns.

Does having low testosterone cause weight gain for everyone?

While it might seem that the answer here would be a resounding yes, it is actually no – low levels of testosterone do not always lead to weight gain. If it did, then every person would be overweight by the time they reached their sixties. Some people are lucky enough to have their bodies adjust to the decline in testosterone levels. They do not gain weight or experience any of the other symptoms associated with this change in hormone production.

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Testosterone Therapy for Weight Loss

If you find that no matter how you change your diet or increase your physical activity that you just cannot seem to lose that extra weight, you just might be dealing with Low T. Take a look at some of the other symptoms you have. If you are frequently tired, having trouble sleeping, uninterested in sex, losing lean muscle mass, stiff or achy, worried about osteoporosis, or dealing with mental fog or forgetfulness, you may have low testosterone levels.

Can low testosterone cause you to gain weight permanently or are there options that can reverse this cycle?

The good news for anyone diagnosed with Low T is that testosterone replacement therapy will help balance out your hormone levels. This will lead to loss of unwanted stored fat. The hormone replacement therapy doctor will run blood tests that measure a variety of hormone levels in the bloodstream. This will not only show if low testosterone is an issue, but it will also tell if estrogen dominance is a problem. If so, testosterone therapy prescribed along with an estrogen blocker will put an end to the conversion process.

To learn more about Low T testing and testosterone therapy to help with weight loss, contact the hormone specialists at Kingsberg Medical for a no-cost, confidential consultation.