Carrying around a few extra pounds may not seem like a big deal, but it takes a toll on all your body’s systems. Extra body fat raises your bad cholesterol and lowers the good, messes with your insulin responsiveness, and puts you at risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, diabetes, cancer, gallstones, and osteoarthritis.
Those are just a few of the conditions that go hand in hand with obesity, but you may be surprised to hear that excess body fat is also linked to low testosterone, which means it can affect your sexual health.
At Balanced Medical Solutions in Hayward, California, our team of experts specialize in hormonal health, medical weight loss, and physical fitness — the three key aspects of resolving your obesity-related low T issues. Here’s what you need to know about the connection.
How your weight affects your testosterone
Testosterone, the primary male hormone, is responsible for all your masculine characteristics, such as your deep voice, facial hair, strong bones and muscles, and your Adam’s apple. It’s also the key behind the smooth functioning of your sexual organs, sperm production, and libido.
In general, men’s testosterone levels begin to decline by about 1% a year starting around age 30. Multiple factors can accelerate this loss, including injury, medications, substance abuse, and illness, but one cause many men overlook is their weight.
Studies show that for every point your body mass index (BMI) exceeds the healthy range, you’re likely to see a corresponding drop in your testosterone by 2% each year. In addition,, a four-inch jump in your waist circumference increases your risk of low testosterone by 75% — that’s a 39% higher chance than men whose only risk factor is age.
How to tell if you’re overweight
Achieving a healthy weight is more than arriving at a specific number on a scale, but the scale is still a good measuring tool, especially when used in conjunction with BMI. Your BMI is the best way to tell if you’re within a healthy weight range for your height. We use your BMI to determine your health risks for certain conditions.
It’s easy to calculate your BMI: simply multiply your weight in pounds by 703 and divide the sum by your height in inches. It’s even easier to plug your numbers into a BMI calculator online.
In general, a healthy range is a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9. Up to 29.9 is considered overweight, and over 30 is obese.
As we mentioned, your waist size matters, too. If your midsection measures more than 37 inches, you’re at a greater risk for several health issues, including low testosterone (also known as low T).
How to lose weight the right way
Every individual responds differently to weight loss efforts because there are so many variables unique to each person. Age, genetics, body type, chronic illness, metabolism, hormones, and lifestyles all affect how your body processes food and stores fat.
Our medical weight loss program takes these variables into account. We dive into your health history and your unique body type and health factors to develop a plan that works just for you. Depending on your needs, we may suggest:
- B12 lipotropic treatments
- Testosterone-boosting treatments
- Hormone replacement
If your weight has been causing your testosterone to decline or your low T is causing you to gain and retain weight, you can be proactive and stop this cycle. Our team supports you on every step of your journey and ensures every aspect of your treatment keeps your health and safety at the center.
How to get fit
Health and wellness are about more than just losing fat, it’s also about building lean muscle and improving range of motion and flexibility. To help you reach your fitness goals, we’ve partnered with two local fitness organizations that offer the same personalized approach we value here at Balanced Medical Solutions.
Thrive Fitness Plus and Bombyfitt both offer free 7-day trials so you can explore their services, talk to their personal trainers, and discuss your unique goals.
And our team here continues to monitor your progress and overall health along the way, supporting you with medical and nutritional supplements when appropriate.
Losing weight is the right thing to do for so many reasons, including maintaining a healthy testosterone level and a vibrant seuxual life. To learn more about your weight and your testosterone, schedule an appointment today by calling us at 510-679-3300.