Synthetic Testosterone Therapy Made Me Gain Weight
We all worry about gaining weight. From diets to exercise and medical treatments, everybody is trying different ways to get rid of excess weight to look and feel good.
But some people may be actively trying to lose weight with a solid physical regimen, a good caloric deficit, and the whole nine yards but still do not see results. This can be incredibly frustrating and even defeating.
If this sounds like you, maybe the answers you’re looking for aren’t found in a more intense workout or a stricter diet. The problem may be your hormone levels.
Testosterone is a hormone that is found in everyone’s body, and there may be connections between it and your weight.
So let’s take a look at testosterone and what it can do inside your body. Here, you’ll find the answers to your questions about testosterone and how it can affect you and your health.
So What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone in the body that is primarily responsible for the growth of the male sex organs. It plays a major role in puberty and the development of the male child. Testosterone also contributes to muscle, bone growth and maintains sperm production.
However, testosterone is found in women as well, although at much lower levels. In women, testosterone helps maintain bone strength, helps with ovarian function, and maintains libido.
Not only that but testosterone is also thought to regulate and maintain a balanced mood.
One primary focus of testosterone in the fitness community is the hormone’s ability to increase muscle mass. Testosterone promotes protein synthesis in the muscle cells and triggers the release of human growth hormone (HGH), which contributes to higher levels of muscle growth.
So in this way, yes, testosterone does make you gain weight. Let’s see what effects testosterone has specifically on fat.
T Levels and Weight
As it turns out, there is a connection between testosterone and gaining weight. But it’s probably not in the way you think.
Weight gain does not simply happen because of higher levels of testosterone. Rather, you may gain weight if you have an improper balance of testosterone in your body.
The correct level of testosterone you need is dependent on different factors like age and gender. But a general rule is that men may gain weight when their testosterone levels are too low, and women may gain weight when their testosterone levels are way too high.
So the answer to the question “does testosterone make you gain weight?” is yes...but also no. The key with testosterone is, simply, balance.
Side Effects for Women
Females with sky-high testosterone levels can be the victim of a whole host of different symptoms that you want to avoid.
Many women with abnormally high T levels may experience the following:
- Increased acne
- Deepening of the voice
- Increased muscle growth
- Reduced breast size
- Weight gain
- Issues with fertility
If you are experiencing these symptoms, you might have an imbalance in your estrogen and testosterone levels.
You probably want to do your absolute best to avoid some of these symptoms. Well, stick around, and we’ll show you how. But first, onto the guys.
Side Effects for Men
Low levels of testosterone can have a very dramatic impact on the life of a man. To understand T levels and when they’re out of whack, let’s take a look at the symptoms of low testosterone.
As we’ve discussed, weight gain can be a big manifestation of low T levels. This is because testosterone consumes fat to provide energy to the muscles, which is why T is so effective at building muscle.
If you don’t have enough of this hormone, not as much fat is consumed, and weight gain can occur. You may also experience the loss of muscle mass. Without testosterone to continue building and maintaining your muscles, your muscle mass may suffer.
Hair loss can also occur on the face and body, hot flashes, and brittle bones. You may experience worsening mood regulation and increased irritability due to the lack of testosterone's valuable mood regulation.
Not to mention, low T can also cause decreased libido, reduced sperm count, and even fertility issues.
Take stock of your body and your experiences. If you recognize these symptoms in your body, you may have lower levels of testosterone.
Now let’s take a look at what to do if you want to promote healthy testosterone levels in your body.
What Causes Improper T Levels?
The most common imbalance of testosterone is when men see decreased T levels. This mostly happens due to aging. T levels decrease in men on an average of 1% to 2% every year after age 30. This is partly why nearly 40% of men over the age of 45 have low T levels.
Other causes of a testosterone imbalance include:
- Alcohol abuse
- Head trauma
- Various medical conditions
These things can happen to just about anybody. Disproportional T levels are prevalent issues that many people face.
How To Balance Your Levels
There are some general rules to maintaining testosterone levels that resemble typical healthy human behavior. As a general rule, regular hormone levels will follow if you work to keep your body healthy.
If you’re struggling with imbalanced testosterone, these lifestyle changes can promote a healthy balance for you.
Take A Test
If you suspect that you have improper testosterone levels, the first thing to do is talk to your doctor and take a testosterone test. The test is simple and can be done by simply drawing blood.
Doctors can measure two types of T levels: total testosterone levels and free testosterone levels.
Total T levels are exactly what it sounds like. This test measures the total amount of testosterone in the body. Free T levels are a measurement of how much active and absorbable testosterone there is in your body.
Free T levels are typically more telling when it comes to actual testosterone levels.
Taking this simple test can give you an answer. And if you find your testosterone is too high or too low, then you can take the next step.
This may seem a bit obvious, but it’s true! If you get healthy, you promote a good environment for your hormones to find balance.
First, you need to focus on any ailments you already have. The fact is that there are many different causes of improper T levels, and some conditions you already have may be contributing. So begin by focusing on treating any illnesses you may have and get them to a manageable level.
Second, eating healthy is of critical importance. Giving your body the right foods and fuel makes it easier to find normal levels again. Specifically, make sure to cut out as much sugar as you can.
Sugar, a major cause of obesity, can hinder proper testosterone levels. In addition, a lower-calorie diet can have significant effects on your testosterone levels.
Exercise and Sleep
Regular exercise over a long time has been shown to help increase testosterone levels in men with low T. Exercise can also help you alleviate high T levels.
Exercise gives the testosterone in your body something to do: work on your muscles.
Sleep is also vital to balanced hormone levels. During sleep, our bodies and brains detox and reset the body’s systems. Your body is on a cycle with all of its systems, and many of those cycles are tied directly to sleep.
If you mess up your sleep cycle, you may also interfere with hormones’ release cycle and, thus, cause an imbalance in T levels.
To Increase Testosterone
If you have low T levels and are trying to boost them, here are some potential options for you to get your testosterone back and get yourself feeling great again.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
TRT is a medical procedure that simply replaces your body’s lost testosterone with synthetic T. There are several ways to do this: injections, pills, patches. This can be a great solution for men with extremely low T levels who feel the symptoms of a lack of testosterone.
But this treatment comes with certain risks. TRT can potentially increase the risk for cardiovascular problems. So, before going with this treatment, talk to your healthcare provider to assess the risks and see if it’s right for you.
Testosterone supplements are another great solution to remedy low T levels, especially natural supplements with ingredients that boost your body's production of testosterone.
For men, this is a great way to promote weight loss. Testosterone will fuel your muscles while burning fat, so taking a supplement that supports T levels can help support you in burning off that extra fat while also building muscle.
Testosterone supplements are a way to maintain T levels naturally without the risks of medical treatments.
To Lower Your T Levels
Lowering your T levels when they’re too high can be a bit tricky. But there are a few things to keep in mind.
Some female athletes, especially bodybuilders, often take steroids to increase muscle growth and help them bulk up. And while it is true that higher levels of testosterone can build muscle efficiently, if your testosterone gets to extremely high levels, it can lead to the side effects mentioned earlier.
If you take steroids and are wrestling with the symptoms of high T, the first thing to do is stop with your anabolic treatment.
Hormone Balance Treatment
The best thing to do for women with high testosterone regulates the balance of the various sex hormones in their body. The most common method for this is contraceptives and birth control.
This is a reliable way to regulate your hormones and bring out the estrogen that can work to counteract the effects of testosterone.
The Benefits of Higher T
While the balance of the hormones is important, you should know that healthy testosterone levels come in a range, not an exact level. Even women can experience the benefits of high testosterone, so long as their T levels don’t reach extraordinarily high.
For men, higher testosterone levels can have several perks on your health and your quality of life.
Back To Muscles
The first benefit is muscle growth. As mentioned before, testosterone is used in the body to build muscles by increasing protein synthesis and releasing HGH. In fact, men can see results in their strength and muscle growth in as little as ten weeks of heightened testosterone.
Getting your T levels up can also support weight loss in men. The way testosterone builds muscles is by providing more energy to your muscles so they can synthesize proteins more efficiently.
Well, this energy comes from fats in the body. Testosterone breaks down fats and converts them into energy for muscles, making it a great way to promote weight loss and get you feeling great.
Higher testosterone levels have also been linked to boosted energy in men. Having high T levels can also get your performance back to where it used to be.
If you have low T levels, you can expect to see your energy maintained by getting your testosterone levels right. Not to mention, increase your sex drive.
Why am I gaining weight while on synthetic testosterone therapy?
Experiencing weight gain while on synthetic testosterone therapy isn't unusual. In fact, **weight increase is indicated as a potential side effect of testosterone therapy** in the usage guidelines. Early into the therapy, you might see a surge in weight, which is primarily due to water retention. However, it's crucial to comprehend that this is a transitional phase. Anecdotes abound of individuals who've initially experienced this sudden weight gain, and with time, found that it moderated itself.
Can being on synthetic testosterone therapy make you gain weight?
In some cases, testosterone therapy could result in weight gain, but it's not as simple as it seems. One of the significant impacts of prescription testosterone therapy is on the body’s metabolism. **Testosterone therapy increases metabolism**, thus enabling the body to burn calories swiftly. This means that rather than facilitating weight gain, it could actually prevent it, and in some situations maybe even encourage weight loss. Imagine a vehicle with higher fuel efficiency, burning fuel faster and more effectively – that's your body on testosterone.
How long does synthetic testosterone therapy weight gain last?
Body's reaction to testosterone varies over time. Typically, changes in your body such as fluctuations in fat mass and lean body mass, and muscle strength manifest in about 12–16 weeks. These alterations stabilise around 6–12 months but could continue, albeit marginally, over years. Moreover, its impact on inflammation can be noted in 3–12 weeks. The affects on bone usually emerge after 6 months and continue for at least 3 years. Thus, **the period of weight gain can last from a few weeks to several months**, depending on other factors including individual physiological responses and dietary habits.
Does testosterone cause belly fat?
Believe it or not, your body fat is more closely linked to your testosterone levels than you might think. The relationship between the two is almost paradoxical. On one hand, body fat has an enzyme called aromatase, which transforms testosterone into estrogens. Higher estrogen levels inform the body to reduce its testosterone production. On the other hand, lower testosterone typically leads to a gain in belly fat. Hence, it's a cycle where **high body fat can lead to lower testosterone, which in turn may increase body fat**. It's like watching your own body engaging in a tango dance with hormones, where the moves and the flow constantly change according to the rhythm of the music - in this case, hormonal levels.
So testosterone and weight gain are linked, but increased amounts do not necessarily contribute to weight gain. What does contribute to weight gain is a significant imbalance in your T levels.