Brooklyn, NY gastroenterologist explains the importance of testosterone for proper digestive health
Chances are, when you think of testosterone, your digestive system is NOT the first thing that comes to mind! We are all accustomed to thinking about testosterone in terms of masculine characteristics and reproductive health, but did you know that it also plays an important role in the digestive health of both men and women? Dr. Alexander Shapsis, gastroenterologist in Brooklyn, NY explains more about the link and the importance of testosterone for maintaining proper digestive health.
Testosterone: what is it and why does it decline?
Testosterone is a hormone that exists in both the male and female bodies. In men, it is the primary sex hormone and is responsible for the secondary sex characteristics such as a deeper voice, body hair, and increased muscle mass and bone density. In addition, it is responsible for:
- Helping regulate metabolism and energy levels
- Stabilizing mood
- Reducing anxiety
- Promoting cardiovascular health
- Enhancing motility in the digestive system
- …and much more
In men, testosterone is produced in the testicles, and in women, it is produced in the ovaries, but to a much lesser extent. As we get older, our bodies naturally produce less testosterone, but in some cases, this reduction can happen prematurely or testosterone can decline too much, creating an unhealthy level for ideal function in the body.
The link between testosterone and digestion
While the link between testosterone and digestion has not historically been the topic of extensive research, we now understand that it plays an important role in several facets of digestive health:
- It is essential for maintaining motility in your colon, which helps food move through your digestive tract in a healthy time period
- It reduces pain in the digestive tract
- It reduces the effect of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) on the digestive tract, which helps minimize the negative impact of cortisol on our system
- It decreases inflammatory processes within the gut and helps protect men from issues such as leaky gut and brain fog
- It protects the body from developing certain digestive disorders, such as small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
If you think you may be suffering from low testosterone, there are several steps you can take to naturally increase and maintain healthy testosterone levels in your body, including making specific dietary changes. It is also important to talk to a qualified medical professional to get your testosterone levels tested so you can receive treatment if necessary. The effects of testosterone go far beyond your reproductive system!
If you are struggling with digestive issues, call Atlantic Gastroenterology to schedule a consultation today at 718 521-2840.