Medical Barriers: Testosterone Deficiency

Today’s post is another excerpt from “Best Weight: A Practical Guide to Office-Based Weight Management“, recently published by the Canadian Obesity Network.

This guide is meant for health professionals dealing with obese clients and is NOT a self-management tool or weight-loss program. However, I assume that even general readers may find some of this material of interest.

Testosterone Deficiency

Low levels of total and free testosterone in men may result in increased body fat and decreased lean tissue. Testosterone treatment in hypogonadic men restores lean tissue distribution. Total serum testosterone is inversely correlated with weight. Testosterone and blood concentrations of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) progressively decrease in obese men, but free testosterone levels usually remain normal. Massively obese men may have decreased total and free testosterone levels due to an increased adipose-tissue-mediated peripheral conversion of androgens to estrogens.

Aging is accompanied by a gradual decrease in free testosterone levels and increase in body fat. The term andropause has been used to describe symptoms thought to be related to low levels of bioavailable testosterone, including decreased strength and endurance, fatigue, low libido, irritability, and erectile dysfunction.

Testosterone replacement is not currently an accepted or proven adjunct in weight management and its use should be restricted to the symptomatic relief of andropause.

© Copyright 2010 by Dr. Arya M. Sharma and Dr. Yoni Freedhoff. All rights reserved.

The opinions in this book are those of the authors and do not represent those of the Canadian Obesity Network.

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