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Countless people across the globe suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease. What is more to point out is that CKD can inflict decreased levels of testosterone in men, thus, making the factors worse. All factors that might contribute to the patient’s well-being are addressed through a multidisciplinary way of care recommended by Dr. Bismah during patients’ treatment plans. In this blog post, we focus on answering the following: how can the testosterone level affect kidney disease and function, and what therapy options are available?

This article aims to highlight the role of testosterone in chronic kidney disease and kidney function!

Significance of Testosterone in the Human Body and its Link to CKD

Testosterone, the primary male sex hormone, plays a significant role in the life processes of almost all body systems, such as muscle growth and strength, bone mineral density maintenance, and mood regulation. People undergo physiologic regression and also reduce testosterone as they age. Chronic kidney disease might contribute to the faster decline of testosterone and may induce symptoms of fatigue, loss of strength, and erectile dysfunction.

Deleterious Effects of Chronic Kidney Disease on Testosterone Levels

Multiple factors play into CKD patients’ decreased testosterone levels. One is diminished production from their testes due to damage done to blood vessels supplying it from CKD-related damage; further, inflammation-triggered damage often slows testosterone synthesis.

One contributing factor may be compromised kidneys’ abilities to flush away substances that bind testosterone out of circulation quickly enough, decreasing bioavailability for use by the body even though total testosterone levels remain within acceptable norms. Even so, even this decrease can have significant ramifications on overall levels of the hormone.

How Lower Testosterone Levels Affect Chronic Kidney Disease

Low testosterone levels may trigger an undesirable cycle in people living with chronic kidney disease:

  • Muscle Wasting: One of testosterone’s most crucial roles is helping maintain muscle mass. On the other hand, low levels of muscle maintenance can be manifested by signs such as muscle loss, often leading to chronic fatigue and limitation of physical activity that would improve kidney function.
  • Anemia: Low levels of testosterone may aggravate anemia which is characterized by an insufficient number of red blood cells that are responsible for flowing oxygen throughout the body. This affects performance to the point of fatigue and breathlessness, which lowers quality of life.
  • Cardiovascular Complications: Low testosterone raises your risk of cardiac dysfunction (or failure), the major CKD-related problem.

Read more: CKD Risk Factors

Testosterone Replacement Therapy in Chronic Kidney Disease

Consideration should be given to testosterone replacement therapy for men living with chronic kidney disease and low testosterone levels; however, making an informed decision requires consideration of various factors; the decision can often depend on which hormone replacement option will provide maximum benefits and results in fewer side effects than its competitor products.

  • Limited Studies: Although early evidence points towards the benefits of TRT for increasing muscle mass and treating anemia among CKD patients, its long-term effect remains uncertain. There remains some skepticism that TRT might worsen certain aspects of CKD, underscoring its necessity for further study.
  • Individualized Approach: Every patient’s situation is unique. With her holistic approach to patient care, Dr. Bismah carefully considers the severity of chronic kidney disease (CKD), overall health status and potential risks before providing TRT recommendations.

Check out our blog post on “Low Potassium Meat” here!

Optimizing Overall Health in Chronic Kidney Disease and Testosterone Insufficiencies with Holistic Strategies

Though TRT may not always be the solution to kidney dysfunction and low testosterone levels in men with chronic kidney disease, other avenues exist for improving overall health while possibly alleviating both kidney function and testosterone levels. Here are two:

The role of testosterone in chronic kidney disease and kidney function

  • Diet and Exercise: Integrating healthy nutrition and physical activity into daily life can improve overall health, alleviate inflammation, and potentially slow CKD progression. A registered dietitian and certified exercise physiologist may assist in creating an individual plan designed for maximum safety and efficiency.
  • Weight Management: Shedding excess pounds can significantly impact kidney health in early-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD), particularly at its initial stages. Dr. Bismah offers holistic approaches incorporating dietary adjustments and lifestyle modifications for weight control to assist his clients.
  • Management of Concurrent Health Conditions: Concomitant illnesses like diabetes and hypertension can worsen CKD. By effectively managing them, Dr. Bismah’s kidney holistic approach encompasses every facet of patient wellness while including treatment regimens for coexisting diseases like diabetes.
  • Stress Management: Exceeding physical limits can negatively affect renal function and anabolic activity. For instance, yoga, meditation, and deep breathing are intended to relax the body and reduce tensions, as well as promote general well-being.

Final Thoughts

The connection between testosterone and chronic kidney disease is substantial. Although when the patient has a low testosterone level it may aggravate some issues of CKD, the treatment with TRT requires very careful judgment and thinking before going further with this therapy. Dr. Bismah ensures a comprehensive care plan that primarily involves making new lifestyle choices leading to better overall health and, by implication, maintaining good kidney function, stable T levels, and good health in general for men with CKD.

If you have concerns regarding chronic kidney disease, testosterone levels, or any other health matters, scheduling an appointment with Dr. Bismah would be wise for discussing your case and concerns in greater depth!