Do Low Natural T Levels Effect Quality of Life?
Testosterone has a major impact on health for both men and women.
Hypogonadism is when the body is producing much less testosterone than what is considered normal and healthy.
This raises the question whether testosterone can affect the quality of life for those suffering from hypogonadism and even andropause.
LAST UPDATED: March 2019 by Ben.
A full list of cited references are at the bottom of the page.
What’s the details regarding testosterone deficiency syndrome?
Hypogonadism, or, when a man is suffering from an abnormally low level of natural testosterone is now being recognized as a severe health problem that many men are having to deal with in their daily lives. 
There are many statistics thrown around, however, in the USA at least, it seems that 5.6% of men aged from 30-79 years old is suffering from hypogonadism.
It increases significantly when men hit 40, with many more demonstrating hypogonadism. 
That’s the figure we know about, this doesn’t include the men who may be blissfully unaware that they have hypogonadism, or unsure that what they are suffering from is an actual disorder.
Yet, a further statistic from Malaysia puts the figure at 6% for men over 40 being subject to hypogonadism or testosterone deficiency syndrome.
How does hypogonadism affect lives?
Living with testosterone deficiency syndrome has many implications on quality of life.
These can be but not limited to the following:
- Mobility impairment
- Reduction in physical strength
- Muscle mass loss
- Increased abdominal fat
- Increased cardiovascular and metabolic syndrome risk
- Premature death
- Loss of libido
- Well being/mood changes
- Bone density
As you can understand, this number of factors can bring upon difficulties to everyday living. 
Hence why treatment for men with hypogonadism is recommended, this can be in the form of numerous products available to men.
Products that can help range from the following options:
- Oral pills/tablets
Injections are a popular choice because they offer a long lasting and stable amount of testosterone that only requires four injections per year. 
However, it isn’t without its risks, those wishing to father a child may wish to choose an alternative option as injections and implants are the worst therapy for men who are struggling with fertility.
You can read more about testosterone therapy and infertility, here.
However, studies regarding testosterone, hypogonadism and quality of life have barely been broached, mainly focusing upon the physical factors.
We take a look how quality of life can be affected when men suffer from abnormally low levels of testosterone. 
Quality of life study – Parameters
The study was conducted in Malaysia and the participants were all subject to a rigorous medical examination in order to establish their physical and physiological profiles.
There were a total of 120 participants.
This included taking readings and establishing their level of health.
- Blood pressure
- Prostate status
- Liver function
- Any medications and illnesses
The participants themselves were a number of randomly selected men who were aged 40 or over and they were confirmed to have low levels of testosterone by a double morning test for testosterone levels.
Any participants that had a history of liver tumors or other significant physical or psychological medical problems or were taking medications that may interfere with testosterone metabolism were excluded from the study.
A total of 120 men from 504 who were initially contacted fit within the remit and participated within the study.
Study – Quality of life changes
The participants were administered testosterone which increased their total level of testosterone to a significant level.
This was over the course of 48 weeks.
The results from the increased levels of total testosterone saw an improvement from just week 30 in all aspects of quality of life scoring apart from one area: physical function.
However, further down the line at the 48th week saw the additional improvement among physical function.
Mental health levels saw a major improvement during the 30th week, whereas physical health took off post week 30.
Muscle and joint pain also saw a reduction with obesity parameters also seeing a significant improvement. 
Further scoring saw a substantial improvement of vitality, social function and mental wellness. 
What significance do the results have?
An administration of injected testosterone has recorded a number of improvements across the whole quality of life spectrum for men with hypogonadism.
Areas of note were regarding mental health and well bring plus physical functionality.
This is not to overshadow the improvements made in areas such as vitality, general health, social health and interaction including emotional function.
Much of the improvements are seen within week 30 of treatment with physical function improvements being experienced within week 48. 
Further notable results
Alternative studies have unearthed data that shows if a man is suffering from hypogonadism, his energy, emotional, social, mental, physical and sexual parameters are all negatively affected.
Further study has found that cognitive function and physical stamina is also to be included.
This particular study in Malaysia saw that these areas all significantly improved, albeit at different timescales but up to 48 weeks.
However, other studies have demonstrated that improvements of physical strength have not improved until up to 90 weeks from the beginning of the course of testosterone administration. 
Other studies have also found, as per this Malaysian study, that mental health improvements were all at around week 30 from the initial therapy start date.
As a result, the results of these studies suggest that those men who suffer from hypogonadism also suffer from a lower quality of life.
The positive outcome is that after 48 weeks of controlled administration of testosterone, their quality of life improved, and quite considerably is some areas.
Yet, with all of these improvements, it seems there were no unwanted side effects experienced by the participants.
In particular, there were no cases of additional or increased cardiovascular ill health between to the treatment group and the placebo group. 
Numerous studies, including this one strongly suggest that increasing the levels of total testosterone in men who suffer from hypogonadism improves aspects of quality of life.
Ranging from physical strength and functionality to areas of emotional, obesity factors, mental, sexual and social health. 
It has been demonstrated that the rate of improvement has been recorded from around 7 months to a year.
Therefore, the treatment is not a particularly quick fix, yet it has proven to be sustainable and stable. With durable and replicable improvements being made according to studies. 
Importantly, no unwanted side effects have been experienced within the test group that would be out of a normal range.
Therefore, it can be strongly suggested that those men who suffer from low levels of testosterone and resulting low quality of life, can make significant improvements by increasing their T levels. 
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