Continuous Testosterone Therapy May Lead to Type 2 Diabetes Remission in Men

Written by Ways2Well

August 26, 2020

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Testosterone Therapy May Lead to Type 2 Diabetes Remission in Men

Testosterone is commonly known to play an important role in men’s health, especially when it comes to muscle growth and reproduction, but it also contributes to the body’s metabolic functions like fat storage and insulin sensitivity. If you have read our earlier entries, you will know that insulin is the hormone that tells the cells to absorb blood glucose so that they can convert it into energy, and that when the cells don’t respond to insulin properly, it’s called insulin resistance, which results in high blood sugar and can lead to diabetes if it is left unchecked.

Studies of Testosterone Therapy on Diabetics

Low testosterone was definitively linked to type 2 diabetes in 2004 by researchers at the University of Buffalo, who found that 33% of their subjects had both low t, and Type 2 Diabetes, regardless of their weight. Obesity, which is the biggest risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes, was also linked to low testosterone. 25% of participants that were obese had Low-T as well, even if they weren’t diabetic. This led to a longer study on the effects of testosterone treatment on diabetic patients. In this 11 year study, 356 men with both low testosterone and type 2 diabetes were given typical Diabetes treatment and education. Half of these men underwent therapy for testosterone replacement.

The results were quite impressive. 34.3% of testosterone therapy patients experienced normalized HbA1c levels, which is a measure of how what your average blood glucose levels are like, and no longer needed any Diabetes medication, which qualifies them as in remission. Almost all of the participants in the testosterone group experienced either normalization or significant reduction of their HbA1c levels. The control group experienced none of these positive results and instead experienced more complications like heart attack and stroke than the therapy group. The control group also had more patients die than the test group as well. [1]

A study of 400 men with low testosterone, with 133 of them also having type 2 diabetes, showed similar results. 16 of these men achieved remission from diabetes. 1 man in the study achieved remission, came off testosterone, developed diabetes for a second time, and then restarted testosterone therapy and achieved remission again. The control group in this study had 3 times as many deaths. [2]

How can Testosterone Help with Diabetes

A healthy weight and an active lifestyle are the best way to prevent diabetes, but this can be difficult, especially for someone with low testosterone. They may have difficulty with their energy levels, have a harder time losing weight, or even experience a lack of motivation. While testosterone replacement therapy can’t make someone exercise and eat right, it can help them get the results that they need to achieve when they do. In each study, patients on testosterone were noted to have lost weight and even gained muscle. The first study even observed insulin resistance falling by 35%, which is almost as effective as direct insulin sensitizers.[2]

How Blood Testing Can Help

These studies provide a hopeful outlook on how diabetes can be combated, but you don’t have to be a part of a large study to get results. Whether you are looking to just shed weight, or if you are looking to prevent or reverse the effects of chronic diseases like diabetes, comprehensive blood testing can open up many avenues for treatment. Testosterone treatment is one of these options, and since 43% of men that have Type 2 Diabetes also have Low-T [3], it’s benefits can be life saving. Even if you know the symptoms of low testosterone, it can be difficult to truly know if you are suffering from it, especially if you have chronic conditions. When that is the case, a blood test is your best option to find out for sure, and then move forward with treatment.

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Resources

 

  1. Schaffer, R. (2020). Testosterone therapy associated with type 2 diabetes remission in men with hypogonadism. https://www.healio.com/news/endocrinology/20200623/testosterone-therapy-associated-with-type-2-diabetes-remission-in-men-with-hypogonadism
  2. Long-term testosterone therapy may prompt type 2 diabetes remission in men. (2018, June 28). https://www.healio.com/news/endocrinology/20180628/longterm-testosterone-therapy-may-prompt-type-2-diabetes-remission-in-men
  3. Mathis Grossmann, Merlin C. Thomas, Sianna Panagiotopoulos, Ken Sharpe, Richard J. MacIsaac, Sophie Clarke, Jeffrey D. Zajac, George Jerums, Low Testosterone Levels Are Common and Associated with Insulin Resistance in Men with Diabetes, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 93, Issue 5, 1 May 2008, Pages 1834–1840, https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2007-2177