Despite COVID-19 being a fairly recent illness, there’s already a wealth of research surrounding its effects on the human body.
This viral infection—which has ravaged the health of millions worldwide—is one with a seemingly wide range of possible symptoms.
Many of the complaints are mild symptoms: cough, colds, and a low-grade fever. A majority of cases also pass by without severely affecting the patient in the long haul.
However, in a few cases, COVID-19 could have more serious, long-term effects. This is where the effects could vary dramatically.
One of the symptoms that may arise after a COVID-19 bout is hypogonadism—a condition wherein men produce testosterone far below the normal count.
Additionally, there seems to be a reciprocal link—those with low testosterone may have a higher risk of experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms compared to individuals with regular testosterone levels.
With all that said, the link between COVID-19 and low testosterone is evident. But why exactly are male patients susceptible to this disease? And more importantly, how to increase testosterone after COVID?
We’ll give you the answers. Here’s a more comprehensive look at the relationship between COVID-19 and low testosterone as well as ways you can restore your sex hormones following this severe disease.
Understanding Hypogonadism and Symptoms
When you have normal testosterone levels, you feel happy, energetic, and strong. This is because testosterone is responsible for regulating several bodily functions, including muscle mass development, sexual desire, mood, and other primary and secondary male characteristics.
When the circulating testosterone levels in your body fall below 300 ng/dL, however, then you have a problem. You are medically classified as hypogonadal at that point, or a person with low testosterone.
Hypogonadism (low testosterone) is a medical condition wherein your body is unable to produce enough testosterone naturally. This can lead to a slew of symptoms, including:
- Diminished sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of facial and body hair
- Mood disorders like depression
In such events, it’s best to consult with a medical professional as they can address low testosterone and SARS-COV-2 in the body and come up with solutions to improve your health.
The Long-Term Impacts of COVID
Both male and female patients, regardless of disease severity, can develop long COVID-19.
In one Nature Reviews Microbiology study published in 2023, up to 30% of non-hospitalized cases and up to 70% of hospitalized cases developed long COVID symptoms after their battle with the initial bout of the disease.
Further, long COVID is also more prevalent among people who don’t vaccinate compared to those who have been vaccinated against the disease.
The effects of long-term COVID-19 are vast and varied, with over 200 symptoms being identified and affecting critical organ systems like the reproductive system. These symptoms can last from weeks to years.
Here’s a list of some of the effects of long COVID:
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Brain fog
- Changes in smell and taste
- Joint and muscle pain
- Heart palpitations
Furthermore, a man’s sexual health is not exempted from the path of COVID-19, with one 2022 study claiming that sexual dysfunction and reduced sexual activity is typically the norm following a battle with the disease.
And unfortunately, low libido isn’t the only problem men can face after a COVID-19 infection.
The Connection Between Low Testosterone and COVID-19
There’s an intimate connection between hypogonadism and Covid-19. Here’s the connection from both ends of the spectrum.
How Covid-19 Leads to Low Testosterone
ACE2, an enzyme that serves as a gateway for the virus, is found in large numbers in the testes. Viral penetration can lead to cellular damage in this male sex organ, causing a rapid decline in testosterone levels. This can cause long-term testosterone imbalance.
Another association noted is the fact that COVID-19 tends to lead to inflammation throughout the body.
Chronic inflammation can lead to low testosterone. Inflammation is also associated with other high-risk conditions like obesity, chronic lung disease, and metabolic disease, which can lead to low testosterone.
Lastly, Covid-19 can cause men to develop fevers. A fever caused by a viral illness can cause testosterone levels to temporarily drop.
How Low Testosterone Worsens Covid-19
According to one study, people with low testosterone tend to have a risk factor (or several) that can contribute to a more severe COVID-19 case.
These risk factors include type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases—and all of them can increase the risk of a patient having both low testosterone and Covid-19.
In another study involving 723 participants, men with low testosterone were twice more likely to become hospitalized due to COVID.
Various dysfunctions could be at play here that causes this increased risk, including worsened immune system response, endothelial dysfunction, and cellular vulnerability caused by a testosterone imbalance.
Boosting Testosterone Post-COVID
People temporarily battling COVID may just need some time before they regain their testosterone levels.
However, if you’re facing long COVID symptoms and reduced testosterone, which is often the case for a typical aging male, you’ll benefit from clinical health screenings to determine the appropriate course of action for your unique medical history and circumstances.
This is especially true for prostate cancer patients, as a battle with COVID-19 may reduce your lifespan if diagnosed at the later stages.
Here are two of the best ways to boost testosterone:
- Testosterone replacement therapy: The premier treatment for boosting testosterone, testosterone therapy increases the amount of circulating testosterone in the body with gels and creams.
- Improved lifestyle changes: Eating healthily, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep can help your body improve its odds of recovering from low T.
Above all else, be sure to talk with a doctor before changing your lifestyle. In some cases, like in people with prostate cancer, other forms of treatment like androgen deprivation therapy may be recommended to treat the cancer.
Take Action and Improve Your Testosterone Levels with Tampa, Florida’s Best Male Doctors
COVID-19 is a debilitating condition that can cause a wide range of symptoms, including low testosterone.
If you’re battling with either of these conditions, remain calm. There are many treatments to help you get better.
Need guidance? The medical professionals at Tampa’s Prestige Men’s Medical Center offer treatments such as erectile dysfunction therapy, hormone therapy, adrenal fatigue treatment, testosterone treatment, and premature ejaculation treatment to help you achieve the life you deserve.
Schedule a consultation with us today, your initial consultation and first treatment are completely free.