Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) risk is influenced by low testosterone levels in men. Low testosterone levels are seen in both men and women with rheumatoid arthritis, revealing that sex hormones may play a role in the disease. Unfortunately, it is unclear if low testosterone levels are to blame for the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, or it is rheumatoid arthritis that drops the levels of testosterone.
The researchers studied participants in the Swedish Malmo Preventive Medicine Program (MPMP), which included over 33,000 people born between 1921 and 1949. The participants underwent a number of tests, filled out questionnaires, and provided blood samples.
The researchers focused on the subjects diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Blood samples were available for 104 men with RA and 174 matched male controls without RA.
After taking into account other rheumatoid arthritis risk factors, the researchers found that men with low testosterone were more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
The findings suggest that changes in hormones could be an early warning sign of an impending rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.
Low testosterone levels symptoms and effects
Unless you proceed with blood work, you may not know for sure if your testosterone levels are low. But you can get a fair idea about your declining testosterone levels if you notice the following symptoms:
- Low sex drive
- Weak erection or erectile difficulties
- Low semen volume
- Hair loss
- Low or lack of energy
- Increase in body fat – especially around the abdomen
- Bone loss
- Mood changes
- Loss of muscle mass and strength
These symptoms are linked to many aspects of what makes up a man. Not only will men feel weak, but they may not even feel “manly.” Essentially, when testosterone levels are low, men feel stripped of their manhood.
In addition to the symptoms listed above, low testosterone can also affect men in other ways.
For starters, low testosterone may lead to erectile dysfunction and a decrease in sperm volume. And the more a man goes without sex, the more his desire for sex will diminish. The effects of low testosterone may get so severe that a person may lose their desire for sex entirely.
Testosterone also plays a large role in mood and behavior. High levels of testosterone may lead to angry outbursts and aggression, whereas low testosterone may result in low energy, low motivation, sadness, and sleep issues, which can lead to further health problems.
Testosterone levels, low or high, greatly impact a man’s life, so maintaining healthy, normal levels is essential for good health.