Can Hemochromatosis Cause Testosterone Problems For Men?
by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert
Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.
Can hemochromatosis cause testosterone problems for men? Chad Palmer (theroretical) recently sought clarification from his physician on the matter. Among other things, he suffers from chronic fatigue, memory loss, and low testosterone.
He has also undergone phlebotomy to reduce iron levels in his blood. In addition to weekly blood draws, treatment usually involves removing a pint of blood. Fortunately, there are now catheter ports that make the procedure a bit easier.
Hypogonadism caused by hemochromatosis
In patients with idiopathic hemachromatosis, hypogonadism is a rare condition in which the body's sex glands produce little or no male hormone. Testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone (HGH) levels are measured in the blood.
Testosterone and estrogen levels are also measured in both men and women. Blood is drawn in the early morning, when hormone levels are highest.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often used in treating joint pain. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, which block the actions of the enzymes, can treat heart failure and arrhythmias. In severe cases, a heart transplant may be necessary.
Various medications may also cause hypogonadism. Inflammation may interfere with the signaling of the pituitary gland, producing irregular lumps of cells and causing underproduction of sex hormones. Other medications, including narcotics and steroids, may also result in hypogonadism. Chronic hemochromatosis is also a cause.
Low testosterone levels in men with hemochromatosis
While there is no one specific test for testosterone deficiency, the symptoms of low testosterone are non-specific. They can be a symptom of other medical conditions as well.
It is important to consult a physician if you suspect low testosterone levels. Treatment may improve your quality of life and energy levels. Here are some tips to help you determine if low testosterone may be the cause of your symptoms.
The majority of male ejaculate is made up of semen, which helps the sperm move toward the egg. Reduced levels of testosterone can cause the body to respond negatively to insulin.
This can lead to type 2 diabetes and obesity. Your primary care physician may refer you to a specialist who can help you find out if you have low testosterone. The doctor may suggest other treatments to help with the symptoms of low testosterone.
Treatment with phlebotomy
While the evidence is encouraging, there are some limitations to this treatment. First, it is not indicated for other conditions, such as hepatitis C, fatty liver disease, or porphyria cutanea tarda.
Second, phlebotomy is not a cure for any medical condition. Ultimately, there is no definitive treatment for hemochromatosis and testosterone problems, so this treatment is only an adjunct to other therapies.
A comprehensive treatment for hemochromatosis and testosterone problems involves removing blood. It involves removing 500mL of blood through a vein, much like giving blood.
The procedure is painless and involves lying in a chair while a needle is inserted. A doctor will check the blood for other problems and prescribe a treatment. For some patients, a course of phlebotomy will be sufficient for long-term relief.
This treatment is highly effective for patients suffering from hypogonadism and decreased libido. Some men may even recover from sexual function following iron depletion therapy.
In the majority of men, testosterone levels will eventually return to normal. However, it can also cause men to lose their libido. The risk of sexual dysfunction is greater for men with hemochromatosis than for women.
Symptoms of hemochromatosis
If you're having trouble conceiving, you might be experiencing the symptoms of hemochromatosis. The disease affects the body's ability to absorb iron. When the body can't use all the iron it takes in, it builds up in various organs, including the bone marrow. Hemochromatosis often affects men, and symptoms may appear in young women as well. A simple blood test can determine whether you have hemochromatosis. Fortunately, treatment for this condition is straightforward and aims to restore a normal level of iron in your body.
Hemochromatosis is an autosomal recessive condition that affects men five to 10 times more often than women. It usually develops at an early age, but it is rare to have symptoms before age 30. If you have been diagnosed with the disease, you may also notice skin discoloration or tiredness. In time, however, these symptoms may be caused by the damage that hemochromatosis has done to your organs. Eventually, the condition can lead to liver cancer, and in some cases, even liver failure. That's why your doctor may want to screen you regularly for symptoms of haemochromatosis.