Testosterone plays a vital function in the body. Part of a family of hormones called androgens, this hormone is essential for developing key male characteristics, such as deepening of the voice and growth of body hair. It also helps to maintain muscle mass and bone density.
That said, if you’re experiencing low testosterone levels or hypogonadism, it could lead to a slew of health problems. For one, your muscles and bones may deteriorate, and you might experience hot flashes, sleep problems, and reduced sex drive.
Testosterone deficiency can be caused by problems in one of three parts of the body: the testes, the hypothalamus, and the pituitary gland. Any problems in these areas can disrupt the production or release of testosterone.
And, in some cases, there can indeed be an overlap between problems in low blood pressure and testosterone levels.
While hypogonadism can occur at any age, it’s more common in older men. In fact, according to the Boston University School of Medicine, around 4 to 5 million American men experience symptoms of low testosterone.
Testosterone levels have an undeniable impact on your overall health. But how exactly does testosterone raise blood pressure, if it actually does?
Let’s learn more about the fascinating relationship between testosterone levels and blood pressure.
What is Low Testosterone?
Low testosterone is categorized as a medical condition in which the hormone testosterone is deficient. It’s often asymptomatic which makes it hard to diagnose, but there are some prevalent symptoms of low T like a low sex drive that may occur.
Normal levels of testosterone in a healthy adult male are between 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). Low testosterone levels are defined as anything below 300 ng/dL.
A blood test is the only way to accurately diagnose men with low testosterone levels. It’s usually performed in the morning when levels of the hormone are at their peak.
Your doctor may also ask you about your medical history and symptoms before scheduling an exam. Doctors may also test you more than once in case your levels are lower than average on a particular day.
How Are Low Testosterone and Blood Pressure Connected?
Three potential avenues link testosterone levels and blood pressure. These include:
- Neuropathic problems
- General aging
- Insulin resistance
According to one study, abnormal testosterone readings (high or low) can be an indicator of future hypertension. The study’s authors looked at over 5786 men with a mean age of around 57 years old.
The connection between these two factors is multifaceted. One such connection can be traced to the pituitary gland, a small gland below your brain. This gland releases a hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH), which was prior signaled by the hypothalamus through the gonadotropin-releasing hormone. In turn, LH signals the testes to produce more testosterone.
However, if the pituitary gland is not functioning optimally, it might not send the correct message to the testes. Consequently, this can lead to low testosterone levels.
Another connection that can be made is how low testosterone can signal poor general health. Low testosterone production and sexual stamina are often age-related issues. And as many older men are also more likely to suffer from worsening health, including high blood pressure, this connection is not too surprising.
Lastly, there’s also a connection between low testosterone and insulin resistance. The body’s muscle mass declines as total testosterone levels fall, increasing the body’s fat reserves and raising insulin levels as a result. In one longitudinal study, low testosterone levels were found to be especially predictive of insulin resistance in older men.
This increased insulin resistance can lead to high blood pressure as the body has a tougher time processing blood sugar due to the dysregulation of peripheral vascular resistance.
Other Causes of Low Testosterone
While high blood pressure can be an indicator of low testosterone levels, there are other possible reasons why someone is facing low levels of testosterone.
Here are some of the possible causes of low testosterone:
- Testicular injury or infection
- Alcohol abuse
- Certain medication
- Hormone disorders
If you think you may have low testosterone levels, it’s important to talk to your doctor. They can help you get to the root of the problem and find the best treatment option for you.
Best Treatment Plan Options for Low Testosterone
The goal of treating low testosterone is to bring your levels back up to normal. This can be done through a variety of methods, but one of the most clinically-proven and effective methods is testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
TRT is a clinical treatment procedure that’s designed to help men with low testosterone levels. It involves taking synthetic testosterone in the form of injections, gels, patches, or implants to boost testosterone levels in the body. The goal of TRT is to bring your testosterone levels back up to where they should be.
TRT has been shown to be an effective treatment for low testosterone levels. In one study, TRT was found to be effective in improving sexual function, mood, and quality of life in men with low testosterone levels.
It also improved other significant improvements in other health markers, such as:
- Body mass
- Quality of life
- Reduction in total cholesterol
Aside from testosterone therapy, hormone therapy is another way to improve free testosterone levels in the body byfacilitating hormone growth in the body.
Besides clinical methods, some lifestyle changes can help improve your testosterone levels naturally.
For instance, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress can all help boost your body’s testosterone production. Eating a healthy diet that’s rich in protein and vitamins can also help.
If you think you may have low testosterone levels, talk to your doctor about it. A medical professional may also prescribe a treatment plan that decreases blood pressure to improve blood flow to your blood vessels.
Low Testosterone and Blood Pressure: The Bottom Line
There is a complex relationship between a decrease in testosterone levels and an increase in blood pressure. Due to the various interconnected factors, the connection between these two is generally supported.
Besides that, low testosterone can be caused by several factors, including obesity, testicular injury or infection, alcohol abuse, diabetes, and certain medications. It can also be a side effect of chemotherapy or hormone disorders.
If you think you may have low testosterone, it’s important to talk to a low testosterone doctor or specialist. They can help you get to the root of the problem and find the best treatment option for your testosterone and cardiovascular disease problems.
The medical professionals at Orlando’s Premier Men’s Medical Center specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health, including low testosterone. Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill for ED and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as ED, PE, Low Testosterone, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.