The more someone uses alcohol, the more likely they are to experience changes in their testosterone levels, also referred to as T levels. Low T levels can cause a variety of undesirable symptoms. A person with alcohol use disorder may find that their T levels are lower than average.
How Alcohol Use Affects Testosterone
It’s not fully clear how alcohol consumption affects testosterone levels. However, it’s thought that drinking excessively can interfere with the way the body produces and uses testosterone. Heavy drinking can lead to a decrease in testicular function, which is responsible for producing testosterone. This can result in lower than average levels of the hormone. Alcohol may also interfere with the way the body uses testosterone. Testosterone plays a role in a number of different bodily functions, including:
- Sex drive
- Bone and muscle mass
- Red blood cell production
- Fat distribution
- Facial and body hair growth
When testosterone levels are low, a person may experience a variety of symptoms, including:
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of muscle mass
- Decreased bone density
- Increased body fat
- Breast enlargement
- Hot flashes
- Memory problems
- Trouble concentrating
Factors That Affect Alcohol and Testosterone Levels
Many different factors can influence how alcohol use will affect someone’s testosterone levels. These factors may include:
- An individual’s gender. Men are more likely to experience changes in their testosterone levels due to drinking than women.
- How much alcohol is consumed. The more alcohol that is consumed, the greater the effect on testosterone levels is likely to be.
- How often alcohol is consumed. The more frequently alcohol is consumed, the greater the effect on testosterone levels is likely to be.
- How long alcohol has been consumed for. The longer someone has been drinking, the greater the effect on testosterone levels is likely to be.
- A person’s age. The older a person is, the greater the effect of alcohol on their testosterone levels is likely to be.
- A person’s overall health. A person who is in poor health is more likely to experience changes in their testosterone levels as a result of drinking than someone who is in good health.
Dangers of Irregular Testosterone Levels Caused by Alcohol Use
When testosterone levels are thrown off by alcohol use, it can cause a range of side effects to occur. Alcohol can promote the conversion of testosterone into estrogen, and higher than normal estrogen levels can increase the risk of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.
Lowered testosterone levels in men who use alcohol may cause decreased energy levels and sex drive, loss of body hair and muscle mass, and cause them to develop swollen breasts and shrunken testicles. Increased testosterone levels in women who use alcohol may cause them to experience irregular menstrual cycles, excess hair growth, and frequent mood swings.
Article source: vertavahealth.com