Check Your Medicine Cabinet If Experiencing Low T

Narcotics or opioid-based painkillers are often overlooked as a cause of low testosterone levels in men. Drugs like Norco, Oxycontin and Vicodin are now among the most commonly prescribed medications in the U.S. You should consider talking to your doctor about checking the levels of testosterone in your blood if you are taking anything in this class of painkillers. There are several things to be aware of:

  • The pituitary glands and hypothalamus, located inside the brain, stimulate the ovaries to secrete estrogen and testicles to secrete testosterone.
  • Opiates reduce testosterone levels by interfering with the hypothalamus.
  • Research has proven that the larger the dosages of opiates used, the lower the testosterone levels will sink.
  • Longer lasting painkillers can lower levels of testosterone more than shorter lasting ones.
  • According to studies, most men who tested positive for opiates have low testosterone levels, and the rate for those over 50 is as much as 87%.
  • The exception seems to be patients on buprenorphine; testosterone levels on these men did not differ from healthy control subjects.
  • Early studies on animals seem to suggest that low testosterone levels increase pain sensitivity.

What are the health hazards of low testosterone?

  • Lack of sexual desire
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Infertility
  • Fatigue
  • Impotence

    According to a recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, low testosterone might be responsible for decreases in muscle size, strength and lean mass, while decreased estrogen levels account for increases in body fat. Low estrogen and testosterone both contribute to sexual dysfunction.

    Using it just might mean losing it when it comes to pain medications and sexual function.

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