Kidney Stones and Testosterone
by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert
Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.
This article addresses the question of the association between kidney stones and testosterone levels. It shows that patients with high levels of testosterone are at higher risk of developing urolithiasis, as well as albuminuria. The findings are particularly relevant for men with conditions similar to Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) also known as Stein-Leventhal syndrome. In this article, we review the relationship between testosterone levels and risk for urolithiasis in males. You will also learn about the possible causes and treatment options for this condition.
High-testosterone patients have higher rates of urolithiasis
Multiple studies have linked elevated serum testosterone with a higher risk of urolithiasis in males. One such study compared serum testosterone levels among patients with renal stones with controls. It found that patients with high levels of testosterone had twice the risk of urolithiasis as those with lower testosterone levels. These findings suggest that elevated levels of male sex hormones may play an important role in the development of kidney stones.
A recent study conducted in Punjab, India, found that high-testosterone patients have an increased risk of urolithiasis. The study included 78 patients with urolithiasis and 30 age-matched controls without the condition. Serum testosterone levels were significantly higher in the cases, while serum dihydrotestosterone levels were similar. Free testosterone and estrogen levels were similar between cases and controls.
Low-testosterone patients have higher rates of albuminuria
One of the important cardiovascular risk factors is a low level of testosterone, and low-testosterone patients have higher rates than those with high testosterone levels. This condition also affects several other risk factors, including hyperglycemia, inflammation, and hypertension. This study investigated the role of testosterone deficiency in albuminuria. The findings point to the importance of high-quality baseline data in the detection of low-testosterone patients.
The role of testosterone in albuminuria has long been understood. Researchers have shown that low-testosterone levels are associated with increased all-cause mortality. However, testosterone replacement in hypogonadal men may improve their survival. While the exact mechanism of testosterone action remains unclear, it is known that the glomerular filtration barrier excludes circulating albumin from entering the urine.
Men with PCOS have higher rates of urolithiasis
Men with PCOS-type manifestations have higher rates of urination stones than other men. While some diseases are gender-biased, others are not. These diseases are more common in men, but some are more prevalent in women. These include prostate cancer and polycystic ovary syndrome.
The association between PCOS and urination was not confirmed in this study. But it did show significant differences in the sodium and citrate excretion rates of PCOS patients, and the prevalence of stone formation was higher in the PCOS-testosterone cohort. The high testosterone group had higher levels of sodium and urine volume, which may be related to increased intraglomerular pressure or a rightward shift in the pressure-natriuresis relationship.
Females with PCOS may have higher levels of testosterone
The causes of PCOS are not yet understood, but the underlying mechanisms may include hormonal imbalances, and some of the symptoms include early-onset androgenetic alopecia, characterized by hair recession, pronounced hypertrichosis, insulin resistance, biochemical and hormonal abnormalities. High levels of testosterone may lead to a female offspring with symptoms such as ovarian cysts. The condition may also lead to excessive amounts of hair growth and a loss of ovulation. Although the causes of PCOS are still unknown, researchers are studying interventions to prevent the condition before it starts.
Several lab tests are available to diagnose PCOS. These tests will measure total and free testosterone. Total testosterone is the total amount of testosterone in the bloodstream and should be between 6.0 and 86 nanograms per deciliter. Free testosterone is the unattached portion of total testosterone, and should be between 0.7 to 3.6 picograms per milligrams. Testosterone levels in women with PCOS may be normal or moderately elevated.