Your Thyroid and Low Testosterone
Is there a connection between your thyroid and low testosterone levels? It’s more likely than you think and here’s the best solution to the problem.
Unexplained weight gain? “I probably just need to hit the gym another day or two a week.”
Low energy? “I’ll pick up a Red Bull on the way to work.”
Erectile dysfunction? “Okay… something might be wrong.”
It’s easy to explain away seemingly innocuous symptoms as something simple. In reality, they might be a sign of something bigger: Thyroid and low testosterone issues. They’re closely linked, and affect each other strongly.
If this sounds like you, getting your testosterone levels might be the first step to finding the solution you need. In the meantime, keep reading to learn more about the link between them, and what you can do to bring your levels up.
Testosterone and Thyroid Explained
Testosterone is an essential hormone produced in men’s testes and women’s ovaries. Although it is present in women’s hormonal systems, it plays a much bigger role in men’s.
Testosterone is the male sex hormone, and is responsible for a slew of everyday bodily processes. It forms male genitalia before birth, changes the body around puberty, and plays pivotal roles in metabolism, bone and muscle health, blood circulation, and more in adulthood.
The thyroid is an adrenal gland that produces two essential hormones: Triiodothyronine and thyroxine. These hormones are responsible for regulating many bodily processes but are most important in hormone balance, metabolism, and protein synthesis. The thyroid is located at the base of your neck inside your throat.
Common Thyroid Issues
Thyroid issues are commonly caused by nutritional deficiencies, genetics, and iodine deficiency. When one of these starts to affect your thyroid negatively, the illness is usually categorized into two diseases: Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism happens when the thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroid hormones, resulting in the autoimmune disorder Graves’ disease.
More common is hypothyroidism. This is when the gland doesn’t produce enough of the thyroid hormones, making you prone to:
- Lessened energy levels
- Decreased sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Weakened strength and inability to build muscle
- Unexplained weight fluctuation
- Mood swings
Interestingly enough, these are some of the most telling symptoms of low testosterone levels, too. Is there a connection between issues with the thyroid and low testosterone levels? The answer is a resounding yes.
Studies have shown that there is a definite relationship between proper function of the thyroid and low testosterone levels. Testosterone and the thyroid hormones are responsible for a few of the same basic bodily functions, so when one’s not working, the other is affected.
The Link Between Muscles
Take protein synthesis, for example. Testosterone is responsible for increasing growth hormone levels in your body. That’s the hormone that turns fat into muscle or protein synthesis.
Triiodothyronine and thyroxine are also responsible for protein synthesis, and they require help from the growth hormone to do their job. When testosterone levels are low, so are growth hormone levels. Now, the thyroid hormones don’t have what they need to do their jobs.
Thyroid hormones rely on testosterone to supply the basic materials they need to do their work.
The Link Between Metabolism
Another example: Metabolism. Testosterone reacts with DNA receptors in your body to tell your muscles where to grow. When a muscle grows, it’s essentially taking body fat and transferring it into a different form.
Without that interaction, body fat remains body fat, regardless of how much you exercise. That’s why unexplained weight gain or lack of weight loss despite spent energy is a huge symptom of low testosterone levels.
The thyroid hormones are responsible for regulating the metabolism that testosterone makes work in the first place. Without decent levels of testosterone to kick start the metabolism into working, thyroid hormones aren’t sure what work to do. Cue an off-beat metabolism, resulting in even more unexplained weight issues.
The Link Between Hormonal Balance
We all know that most of our emotions and bodily processes are dependent upon hormones to function properly. The regulation of those hormones is just as important- it keeps our endocrine system flowing with the right amount of the right hormones at the right time.
A malfunctioning thyroid and low testosterone levels will halt proper endocrine function. There’s a reason low levels for both results in symptoms of depression and fatigue. The hormones serotonin and dopamine are responsible for emotional reactions to stimuli, and if they’re not regulated properly, can result in depressive tendencies.
Dopamine is another hormone that plays a role in mood, and its regulation is more important than ever. One study showed that short-term surges of the hormone result in feelings of happiness, but long-term overabundances can result in depression and schizophrenia.
The case for the importance of hormone regulation is strong, and the thyroid hormones and testosterone are mainly responsible for that regulation.
What Can You Do?
First, ask yourself if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Decreased muscle mass, or inability to grow muscle
- Frequent bone breaks or fractures
- Unexplained weight gain, or inability to lose weight
- Decreased sex drive
- Unexplained mood changes
- Hair loss
- Hormonal imbalance
If you answered “yes” to any of the symptoms above, you might be experiencing low testosterone levels or thyroid dysfunction. All of the symptoms above apply to both issues, showing just how linked they are in how they affect your overall health.
Next, take a minute to conduct a thyroid self test to identify any swollenness you might be experiencing in the thyroid. Check with your medical practitioner if you feel anything that doesn’t seem normal.
In terms of low testosterone levels, there’s a solution: Testosterone replacement therapy. It can help get you back to living your life happily and free of all the symptoms you might struggle with now.
Thyroid and Low Testosterone Solutions
Now that you’ve learned how linked your thyroid and testosterone levels are, you’ll see that upping your testosterone levels will have a positive effect on the function of your thyroid gland.
With increased testosterone, your thyroid will be back to managing hormones and metabolism effectively. All it needs is a little help from one of the only hormones it relies on to function.
Get in touch with us today to discuss your symptoms, and if you could be a candidate for testosterone replacement therapy.