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Low Testosterone & Osteoporosis

Low testosterone can cause osteoporosis in men.

Osteoporosis is a disease that decreases bone density, weakening bones and increasing the risk of fractures, especially in the spine, hip, or wrist.
 
You might think that osteoporosis is more of a women’s issue.  It’s true that osteoporosis is more common in women, especially after menopause.  But over 2 million American men are at risk of developing osteoporosis and 25% of men over age 50 will have a osteoporosis-related fracture at some point in their life, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
 
To understand the link between low testosterone and osteoporosis in men, let’s look at it from a women’s angle first.  Estrogen, the female sex hormone, is important for bone health.  It protects bones from losing density.  When women go through menopause, their ovaries stop producing estrogen.  Lower estrogen levels lead to lower bone density and a dramatic increase in osteoporosis risk.
 
How does a female hormone affect men?  A small amount of testosterone, the male sex hormone, is converted to estrogen.  Lower levels of testosterone mean lower levels of estrogen conversion, which in turn puts a man’s bones in jeopardy.
 
So what can men do?  Testosterone replacement is one option.  Your doctor might also advise you to get more exercise and increase your calcium intake.  Talking to your doctor can help you develop the best plan for you.