(Written By David Jaynes)
Testosterone is known as the “man” hormone.
It’s what puts hair on your chest, muscles on your frame, and passion in your sex life.
But with age, environmental factors, lifestyle changes or simple bad genetic luck, testosterone can decrease – sometimes to the point of health problems.
We’re obviously talking about weak erection / testosterone problems, but we’re also talking about how-long-you-live health problems.
Stuff like heart disease and obesity.
If you have weak erections, this can happen because of a variety of factors. Some of them are caused by isolated issues like high blood pressure, stress or other health conditions.
In other words…
The link between a weak erection and low testosterone exists, but the cause of the problem is not always direct, as Low-t leads to other health conditions….
Conditions that can eventually lead to blatant erectile dysfunction if you don’t get a grip on them.
Diabetes and high blood pressure are directly linked with low testosterone. Both of these are items on the top ten causes of death in adult males.
Low testosterone has been shown to actually thicken your blood by affecting a hormone called hepcidin, which is heavily involved in regulating iron absorption.
Without proper iron absorption, the body creates more red blood cells but they are incomplete, which leads to thicker blood and an increased chance of the blood clots that can cause heart attacks and strokes.
It’s less well known that low testosterone and diabetes quite often go hand in hand. Testosterone helps the body absorb blood sugar when given insulin. This is why exercise — especially weight lifting and sprints — helps curb insulin resistance.
Without the testosterone present to give an assist to the insulin, it’s harder for your body to absorb that blood sugar. The sugar turns into blood glucose, which is linked with increased risk for type two diabetes (source).
Bottom line: low testosterone won’t just kill your sex drive
Estrogen is the female hormone. The yin to testosterone’s yang, the Lucy Liu to T’s Jason Statham. Though men’s bodies produce and need estrogen, it has to be in proportion to testosterone production.
As estrogen rises, men tend to lose muscle and gain body fat, see a drop in their sex drive, and see an even further drop in their testosterone levels.
Low testosterone is usually accompanied by high levels of estrogen. This happens because when a man has low testosterone, the body converts its remaining testosterone into estrogen to fight off mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, a task for which testosterone is usually responsible.
According to research performed at Florida State University, most of the remaining testosterone in the male’s brain must be converted to estrogen in order to achieve this (source).
Men with low testosterone also often have high aromatase: an enzyme that converts testosterone to estradiol. Estradiol is to estrogen what whiskey is to beer: it has the same effects, only more intensely and with less of it.
Low testosterone increases that conversion rate, too. In a study in the Journal of American Medicine, men with the highest levels of estradiol were found to be 133% more likely to die within the next three years.
Bottom Line: Low testosterone can lead, perhaps unfairly, to even lower testosterone
Low testosterone impacts your ability to get an erection. Even if that doesn’t happen, it can make it so you don’t want to use your erections anyway.
Some men have a low sex drive their entire lives. But for others, it happens gradually as their level of testosterone starts to fall. Researchers say that as many as 10 percent of men in their forties experience this with that rate rising to 80% for men over 70 years old.
Men with low testosterone for reasons other than age start losing their libido as if they were decades older. A study in Massachusetts tested men with low testosterone, with 28% of the subjects reporting lower libido than would be expected of men their age.
This is because of the drop in testosterone as they get older. But what if you have low testosterone already?
Bottom Line: Weak erection isn’t the only way testosterone impacts your sex life
You know how most women have a little more flesh on their bones than men? It’s one of the reasons sex with them is so fun. Their higher estrogen in comparison to testosterone is responsible for that extra layer of fat, called adipose.
A study on older men with prostate cancer who had their testosterone levels lowered (as part of the treatment for that form of cancer) found that the reduced testosterone directly correlated with:
• Higher body fat percentage
• Increased Body Mass Index
• Greater occurrence of metabolic syndrome
You have access to the internet and are capable of reading, so I’m going to assume I don’t have to tell you why obesity is bad for you, other than mentioning how it’s a risk factor for 4 of the 5 leading causes of death in adult males.
Less dangerous, but more urgent for some men, is the fact that low testosterone can also lead to growing “man boobs” (gynecomastia). This happens because your body responds to the higher relative estrogen levels just like it would if you were taking hormone treatments as part of gender reassignment.
Bottom Line: Low Testosterone makes you fatter
Weak erection and testosterone issues are only the beginning of your problems if you’re deficient.
Which is why so many people are looking to testosterone therapy to get their levels back on track. They turn to drugs and hormone injections in hopes to raise their testosterone levels; not realizing these methods lead to some of the same side effects and many others.
That’s too bad, since natural methods work just as well for increasing testosterone.
They eliminate the symptoms without the dangerous side effects. Better yet, many of them — exercising more and sleeping better are two examples — improve your health in other ways as well.