Benefits of Testosterone for Your Bones
Maintaining strong, healthy bones is crucial in life, and there is a critical connect between testosterone and bone density in adults. A decline in bone density can lead to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can lead to broken bones. This is one of the top causes for older individuals to lose their independence, mobility, and is associated with premature mortality –early death. In fact, one out of every five patients experiencing a hip fracture will die within 12 months of this injury.
The benefits of testosterone for your bones can best be explained by clarifying the process of how hormones play a role in bone growth throughout adulthood.
There are four hormones that we will discuss that are essential in promoting strong bones:
- Growth Hormone
- Insulin Growth Factor 1
Estrogen preserves bone density in both females and males. There is a natural process that occurs in the body that causes some of the excess testosterone to be converted into a usable form of estrogen. If testosterone levels are low, this conversion will not take place, reducing the ability of estrogen to ensure that bone density is preserved.
That is often one of the primary reasons that gynecologists suggest estrogen replacement for menopausal and postmenopausal women. The problem with this treatment, other than the inherent risks of estrogen replacement therapy, is that it is not addressing the Low T issue.
Testosterone also aids in the signal to the pituitary gland to secrete growth hormone. GH, in turn, signals the liver to release an abundant supply of Insulin Growth Factor 1 into the bloodstream. Together, GH and IGF-1 stimulate cellular regeneration – a process crucial for the development of new bone cells to replace those that have been reabsorbed.
Andropause and menopause are often cited as times when concerns over decreasing bone density become prominent since this is when the hormonal decline is most frequently noted. The connection between low testosterone levels and osteoporosis in older adults is now well-known, and treatment has been shown to provide superior results.
Positive Influence of Testosterone for Your Bones
It is clear by the processes listed above that testosterone has a positive influence on bone health and the structural integrity of the human body. Men with hypogonadism have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. Although women are at a four times higher risk of this condition, it does not negate the fact that nearly 2 million men in the US may be dealing with osteoporosis at this time, and another 12 million men may already have osteopenia – the precursor to osteoporosis.
The connection between decreased testosterone and low bone density has become apparent over the past two decades as increasing studies are being released.
A 2011 study published in the Journal of Osteoporosis stated that men who are hypogonadal experience accelerated bone turnover – their old bone cells are being reabsorbed faster than new bone mass is being produced. Once again, estrogen – estradiol – deficiency was cited as being a significant problem in the maintenance of bone mass in elderly men. Blood testing for low testosterone showed that a decrease in testosterone production is frequently the cause of low estrogen levels.
Testosterone and Bone Density Treatment
It has been stated that the most common cause today of male osteoporosis is testosterone deficiency. If there is any concern at all that a man is dealing with a decline in bone density, blood testing for Low T is often the first diagnostic tool to employ.
A 2006 study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reported that intramuscular testosterone brought a moderate increase in lumbar bone density in men. This follows a similar report from 1999 that showed that the serum testosterone increase in men over age 65 with hypogonadism did increase overall lumbar spine bone density. It is important to note that both studies showed that men who had normal serum testosterone concentration that received treatment did not show an increase in lumbar bone density. Only those dealing with Low T experience these benefits.
At the 2015 annual meeting of the American Urological Association in New Orleans, it was reported by Dr. Joseph Ellen, MD, from Albany Medical Center in New York that “low testosterone is one of the more established risk factors for osteoporosis in men.” He went on to state that they were surprised by the high incidence of osteopenia and osteoporosis that they were seeing, especially since the average age of the men they were treating was about 50 years.
It is crucial that any person – male or female – who is worried about the risks associated with decreased bone density contact a hormone replacement therapy specialist to arrange for blood analysis of testosterone levels.
The doctors at National HRT® can arrange for the required testing and subsequent treatment to improve bone density through hormone replacement.