Low testosterone and type 2 diabetes

I’ve been testing testosterone levels in all of my patients–both male and female–for years.

Believe it or not, until recently, most testosterone prescriptions were written for women, in order to help increase sex drive. The “low T” conversation that dominates wellness circles today was practically nonexistent. And of all the hormones that can influence health, for some reason, testosterone always triggered the least amount of discussion.

Times have certainly changed, haven’t they?

Research continues to show just how big a problem low testosterone is, while the incredible benefits of replacement are touted far and wide. So allow me to share the latest set of findings with you…

A new randomized trial of 81 men showed that testosterone replacement was able to reverse insulin resistance in subjects with low T and type 2 diabetes.

In fact, after six months of testosterone supplementation, insulin sensitivity increased by 25 percent–with no significant change among the placebo group.

This is a major finding. Increased insulin sensitivity can help control blood sugar more efficiently in the short term. And ultimately, it can delay dependence on insulin replacement–and even prevent it altogether.

Researchers also performed body composition assessments on both groups of men participating in this study–those with low testosterone and those with normal levels. And even at baseline, there was a big difference between the two.

The men with low T had significantly higher body fat and significantly lower lean muscle mass. They also had fattier arms, legs, and torsos–along with less lean mass in their legs.

After testosterone replacement, BMI didn’t change–but that doesn’t really mean much. Why? Because subjects traded in five pounds of fat for the same amount of lean muscle.

And as we know, this tips your body’s scales toward greater insulin sensitivity…not to mention better health in general.

So I have to ask: Why didn’t anyone bother to look at this link before? In fact, most doctors don’t even screen for testosterone levels.

It’s a shame, really. These benefits are the very reason I advocate for testosterone replacement therapy among my male and female patients alike. There’s absolutely nothing to fear if your protocol is managed appropriately. And a whole lot to gain.

That brings me to the most interesting takeaway from this study: Testosterone replacement also decreased inflammatory markers. Specifically, C-reactive protein–which we know has direct links to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

This is quite an about face, when you consider that testosterone was once considered to be a leading cause of both conditions. Could a day be coming when this hormone is actually known for reducing heart disease risk?

Only time will tell. Until then, I’m going to continue to test my patients for a deficiency. I can only hope that soon, more doctors start doing the same.

Testosterone benefits hypogonadal men with type 2 diabetes. Medscape. May 08, 2013.