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Testosterone Replacement Therapy and Weight Loss

<p>Testosterone Replacement Therapy and Weight Loss</p>
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

Medically reviewed by

Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 8 min read

Having low testosterone can have a negative impact on your life. Men with low testosterone may suffer from a number of issues that may affect their relationships, sex drive, and body weight. Simply put, testosterone is essential to the proper functioning of the male body. But what do you do when low T results in weight gain?

Low testosterone produces a number of symptoms that can interfere with your everyday life. These include sleep disturbances, sexual issues, bone loss, and increased body fat. However, there is good news. When combined with regular exercise, testosterone replacement therapy or TRT can help you lose weight. 

When you increase or restore testosterone levels in your body, you begin to replenish your body with testosterone. As a result, you create the testosterone your body needs to function properly. When you restore testosterone levels, your body gains lean muscle mass, and you consequently lose weight. Of course, it’s important to note that testosterone influences the distribution of fat and how much muscle mass you can sustain.

Low testosterone causes body fat to increase. Carrying around excess weight affects your body’s “ability to” make testosterone and use it effectively. This causes testosterone levels to dip even further. Once this happens, it can be difficult to solve this problem without first restoring testosterone levels to normal. Of course, this takes time.  

It takes a lot of energy to sustain lean muscle mass, so it’s important to focus on building muscle and minimizing fat. When your testosterone levels return to normal, metabolism increases, enabling you to burn more calories. This leads to weight loss, according to Men’s T Clinic. TRT is primarily intended for men with hypogonadism. 

  While TRT can cause weight loss, it can take time to see noticeable results. According to experts, it can take 12 to 16 weeks for you to notice weight loss. Improvements in your body mass tend to stabilize at around six to 12 months of receiving TRT. However, you may see subsequent changes and weight loss as you continue TRT over a long period of time. 

 While you see many positive changes as a result of receiving TRT, this therapy also comes with side effects. These can include a deepened voice, mood changes, nausea, acne, and swelling or pain at the injection site. You may also see an increase in body and facial hair. Male pattern baldness may also occur.

It is also important to be aware of side effects that require immediate medical attention. These can include:

  • Shortness of breath

  • Swelling, redness, or lower leg pain

  • Abdominal pain in the upper right side

  • Trouble urinating or decreased urine output

  • Swelling in the hands or feet

  • Chest pain

  • Erections that last for hours

Healthcare experts are not sure if TRT causes obstructive sleep apnea or cardiovascular disease. However, it is important to tell your doctor if you’ve had a stroke, heart attack, sleep apnea, or high blood pressure. Based on this information, your doctor will decide if TRT is the right treatment for you. 

If you eventually want to start a family or feel that TRT is not the right fit for you, you have the option to stop treatment. In some cases, men may see an improvement in sex drive, which leads them to stop therapy. If you are considering this, don’t stop TRT cold turkey. Instead, your doctor should gradually taper you off the treatment. This makes side effects less severe.

Your doctor will be able to put together a plan for weaning you off TRT. If you decide to stop TRT, bear in mind that your body will return to the same state it was before you started therapy. Studies conducted over an 11-year period found that men who received TRT lost an average of 20 percent of their overall body weight, when compared to men who did not utilize TRT. Men who did not receive TRT gained an average of four percent of their body weight. 

Because just over 40 percent of Americans have obesity, losing weight can improve your health. Losing weight also reduces the risk of developing conditions, such as type 2 diabetes. Because one in four men over the age of 30 has low T, this can pose a problem in relationships and family planning. 

But what about weight loss? How exactly does TRT cause weight loss? 

Testosterone is essential to a man’s body development. It helps men grow facial hair and build muscle. Testosterone is also essential to metabolism. Men with low T typically have minimal energy and may find it hard to take part in daily activities. When this happens, sex drive is often compromised. Testosterone increases when men lose fat, leading to many positive changes.

Many obese men get TRT to raise testosterone and shed inches from their waist. Many men turn to TRT to increase muscle mass as well. Of course, there are a number of tactics used to raise testosterone and facilitate weight loss as a result. Doing strength training while receiving TRT can help you raise testosterone levels. It may also help to get more sleep. 

A lack of sleep can decrease your production of testosterone, which may lead to low energy, diminished libido, and in some cases, infertility. Low testosterone can also lead to a decreased sperm count—a problem affecting many men today. According to experts, there are some pitfalls to TRT. 

According to PubMed, TRT is typically safe and improves erectile dysfunction, while improving sexual function in men with hypogonadism. However, experts assert that TRT’s effect on cognition is uncertain. 

Testosterone levels improve as a man loses fat, so losing weight has a positive impact on testosterone. This improves energy, while enhancing overall quality of life. You can achieve successful weight loss on TRT by changing your diet and consuming foods that are rich in zinc. Zinc helps stabilize testosterone levels. Stress management can also help you lose weight while receiving TRT. 

Experts recommend reducing stress levels. Your body produces a hormone called cortisol when you are stressed. Cortisol increases your appetite, making you more likely to overeat and snack often. This leads to fat growth, which in many cases, is hard to get rid of. 

Other conditions can be improved from weight loss on TRT. Doctors often recommend TRT as a viable treatment option for men with erectile dysfunction or ED. Restoring your testosterone levels to normal through TRT is a good option, if ED is the result of physical problems. If ED is caused by psychological issues, however, TRT may not be the right fit. 

Do not get TRT if your testosterone levels are normal, as this could cause problems. However, some people may have questions about the safety of testosterone replacement therapy. TRT may be a  better option for weight loss than some other methods. While TRT may seem like a novel concept, it is not new to the market. 

In many cases, testosterone replacement therapy is recommended as a treatment for weight loss, especially when one has hypogonadism or other testosterone-induced conditions that require injections. There may be cases where these injections are necessary to treat ED. While advancing age causes testosterone levels to drop, age alone may not be to blame for weight gain. 

Consuming alcohol can often cause weight gain. If you are receiving TRT, it may help to cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink. Alcohol can contribute to low testosterone. If you have type 2 diabetes, you can be successful with TRT. Keeping your condition in control can help restore testosterone levels. If you don’t, testosterone levels can drop significantly. 

Supplementing your testosterone through TRT can cause the hormone ghrelin to reduce its circulation. This suppresses appetite, which consequently may lead to weight loss. Scientists and research studies have found that testosterone gel is effective in reducing tiredness and appetite in men. One study found that two thirds of participants with cancer had low testosterone or hypogonadism.

While TRT facilitates weight loss, you may need to make lifestyle changes to see signs of weight loss. Experts recommend implementing a low-calorie diet to shed pounds with this therapy. While testosterone can cause weight loss in men, it can benefit women as well. Testosterone helps both men and women grow healthy muscles. 

According to the Low T Center, TRT can help you keep weight off after you have lost it. TRT has also been found to reduce one’s waist circumference. Plus, it gives you energy. Weight loss in men receiving TRT is often the result of increased energy levels. This makes it easier to be physically active. 

Many doctors recommend that you get exercise to help you lose weight. It’s important to remember that the effects of low testosterone can make it hard to get the exercise you need. Increased testosterone equals more energy. You may have some stamina to exercise, but you may not have enough energy to get the amount of exercise you need to lose weight. 

TRT has many benefits and can potentially cause weight loss.

  

 

14 Sources

Nu Image Medical has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

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https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obesity/symptoms-causes/syc-20375742

https://lomalindafertility.com/infertility/men/low-testosterone/

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https://www.britannica.com/science/energy-state


This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.