Testosterone and iron serve two different purposes within your body. Iron is a mineral and testosterone is a hormone, but they are linked in helping your body function. Iron deficiency can be linked to low testosterone levels, and understanding how they are related may help you overcome certain diseases and symptoms.
Description of Testosterone
Testosterone is a sex hormone that plays a vital role during puberty. This hormone is found in both males and females. Hormones are chemicals that keep your body running normally. Men produce a more abundant amount of testosterone and women produce a small amount. The testes produce testosterone in men, and the amount produced is regulated by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. In women, the ovaries and adrenal glands produce small amounts of testosterone.
Description of Iron
A major component of hemoglobin, a substance found in red blood cells, is iron and its function is to carry oxygen throughout your body. Iron plays a critical role within cells by distributing oxygen and assisting in enzymatic systems; it is essential to neural development and assisting in cellular function throughout your body. Anemia appears once your body has been deficient of iron for some time, but iron deficiency affects all of your body functions.
Low Iron and Low Testosterone
The University at Buffalo in New York had endocrinologists perform a study that showed that one-third of men with Type 2 diabetes who have low testosterone levels also have low iron levels. The study showed that the combination of low testosterone concentration and high inflammatory mechanisms may lead to low-grade anemia found in some Type 2 diabetes patients. The study concluded that physicians treating anemia in these diabetic men should consider testosterone therapy.
Hemochromatosis is when the body experiences a build up of too much iron. There are two ways that you can acquire this condition, which includes primary hemochromatosis and secondary hemochromatosis. Primary is caused by a genetic problem that causes too much iron absorption in the body. When people with this condition consume too much iron, the gastrointestinal tract absorbs the extra iron and iron builds up in the body tissues, especially the liver and results in swelling of the liver. This form of hemochromatosis is the most common genetic disorder in the United States and it affects 1 out of every 200 to 300 people, according to Medline Plus.
Secondary hemachromatosis is acquired and can be caused by disease such as thalassemia. Hemolytic anemia, chronic alcoholism and other conditions can also be responsible for this condition. Testosterone hormone therapy can be used to counter-act any sexual libido changes and any changes in secondary sexual characteristics.
Testosterone therapy is scientifically unproven for preventing or relieving changes that men experience as they age. Except for a select few men with extreme deficiencies, this treatment is not appropriate therapy, the National Institute on Aging has determined. All men, and women who have gone through menopause, need 8mg of iron per day and women who have not experienced menopause need 18mg of iron per day.