Diabetes Self-Management Blog

A new study has found that a significant number of men who have Type 2 diabetes may have low testosterone levels, a condition that can trigger erectile dysfunction but can be treated with testosterone replacement therapy.

The study, published in the April 2007 issue of the journal Diabetes Care, looked at 355 men over the age of 30 who had Type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that 17% of these men had low testosterone levels, and an additional 25% had borderline low levels of the male sex hormone. Obesity, as measured by body-mass index and waist circumference, was strongly associated with low testosterone levels in men.

Of the men in the study who were found to have low testosterone levels, 70% reported erectile dysfunction and 63% reported low sex drive. The major symptoms of low testosterone levels tend to be low sex drive, reduced erection strength, reduced physical strength, fatigue, and changes in mood.

As we revealed in the previous blog entry “Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction: Two New Studies,” erectile dysfunction is reported by about half of men with diabetes, with increasing age being an important factor. Testosterone levels also decline in men with age. Other factors that may play a role in causing erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes are impaired circulation from blood vessel damage and neuropathy, or nerve damage. A combination of factors is often responsible for erectile dysfunction.

Other studies have shown that men with erectile dysfunction who do not improve with use of sildenafil (brand name Viagra) are often found to have low testosterone levels. What’s more, 60% of these men do see improvement when testosterone replacement therapy is added to the sildenafil treatment. Testosterone replacement therapy in men with low testosterone levels and Type 2 diabetes has also been shown to make them more sensitive to insulin, improve their blood glucose control and cholesterol levels, and help them lose weight.

The study’s authors have called for larger studies to see whether testosterone replacement therapy can improve quality of life and diabetes control in men with Type 2 diabetes. Meanwhile, if you have Type 2 diabetes and symptoms of low testosterone or erectile dysfunction, you may want to talk with your doctor about having your testosterone level tested. If you are a candidate for testosterone replacement therapy, several options exist, including injections, patches, and gels.


  1. Sounds terrific!

    Now, what are the downsides?

    Posted by spongebob |
  2. I am a type 2 & on testosterone replacement injections. I’m 68 & it works. If I’m one week late I can tell the differance. Tried the patches & gels they arn’t as effective as the shots. If your very active perpiration can cause problems with the patches sticking. Viagra works but levitra works best for me with the least amount of side effects.

    Posted by germare |
  3. I am 36 about 285 lbs 6 ft tall i have type 2 diabetes and no med insurance i am fairly active but i think i might have low testosterone levels i live in sacramento ca . is there anything i can do ? please help!!!

    Posted by darren1ca |
  4. Contact the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. At least one of the gel companies offer free or discounted drug (my husband got it!) Good luck!

    Posted by RachelinOH |
  5. This describes what I have been going thru the past year! I live in NYC area…any reccomendations on someone who is up on this…I need to find a doctor really open to my self-management methods using exercise and diet control and herbs and such along with my meds…

    Posted by francis |
  6. Hello,

    I think I might have low testosterone levels. How can I find a clinic that specializes in testosterone replacement therapy in Sacramento CA or close to Sacramento.

    Posted by Armando |

    Posted by Danny Roy |
  8. Try dr barry gordon on

    He discusses the testosterone level and diabetes in depth.

    My mom, dad, and grandmom are all getting testosterone replacement in NYC

    Posted by AL |
  9. I’m diabetic since last 20yrs when Iwas 36.I’m taking medicine containing salt for heart problem treatment.Since last 3yrs i am on 14u insuline along with gglempride and metaformin.My HbA1C is .07 I’m facing low testosterone.Plz help how to improve it

    Posted by syed |
  10. I am 61 year old type 2 diabetic with 8.0 A1C Doctor just put me on 12 U Lantus. Fighting mood changes, weight gain, Low libido, in essence all of the symptoms mentioned in this article. Tested 150 Testesterone level. Doctor wanted me retested fasting next morning and wait 2 weeks for next visit. Can’t wait…I want the shot. Want all the benefits it provides. They far outweigh the risk in my opinion. Hope all here get what they need…

    Posted by RayVal |
  11. EXCELLENT, i have diabetes 2 and begin using testosterone injection. now with 59 years i feel like a man of 40 years. gel and patches in my opinion do not work but using injection (of testosterone of course ) is like reborn again, if you want to feel even better, you will need to used a ” pumping”iron exercises using only few pond but i strongly recommend to see your doctor before you star any kind of exercise.

    Posted by rafael |

    Posted by joelon |
  13. i am 72 years old with type two diabetes.four years ago i had prostate cancer treatemt.now i have been put on a inslin pump to control my diabetes my sugar is always high the inslin is not working.i know that i need to loose weight.i am 240 pounds and 5 5. iam very tired all the time.if you can help me send me a email.i also have a problem helding my uren

    Posted by James E Crosby SR |
  14. for testostrone therapy patients from where can we get gels or patches in delhi india.
    What will be the side-effect of these gels/patches if any.

    Posted by subrata |
  15. I am borderline diabetic, age 54 - it started when I began applying Androgel testosterone gel daily for low testosterone. Because of an increase in PSA levels I have been told to stop the Androgel. Noticed a lack of sex drive. Don’t know what to do and neither do my doctors. Is the Androgel associated with increasing blood sugar in men? Saw a web site where it is in women.

    Posted by Jim |
  16. I am 31 and type 2 diabetes and i found out that i have very low testosterone i did not know what was wrong with me i lack in ever thing i did.i got my first shot to day i hope for the best for me

    Posted by ALEX. V |
  17. My husband refuses to go to the Dr to discuss his low testosterone problems. He is a brittle diabetic. He has had Diabetes for around 25 years. His testosterone levels were very low. He has had glucose levels as low as 41 @ night and . during the day his levels can go as high as 495. He has lost weight, which is good,but he refuses to go to an endocrinologist due to several past negative experiences. He is a 71 year old insuline dependent diabetic who sleeps most of the day,always tired,mostly sedentary, has erectile dysfuntion, was given Rx of Viagra tx but no testosterone replacement. He stopped taking the visgra because he says he sees no difference. Now he has a serious problem= forskin is sticking on his organ and he is having difficulty passing urine. Can you give me some advise? I want to help him be happy and live a better quality of life, rather than see him depressed, tired, sleepy. going through dangerous life threatning glucose levels. Thanks;

    Posted by I.D. Neiser |
  18. My husband is in his late 50’s and has experienced much difficulty controlling his Type 2 Diabetes in spite of Lantus and other meds. His PCP wasn’t responsive to our questions about the possibility of Low T. We were persistent and found a MD who not only listened, but suggested the testing before we even asked for it. Still waiting for the results but we’ll be very surprised if this is not what’s happening as he has all the symptoms. Thank you all for sharing your experiences. Just knowing there are effective therapies is making things easier already!

    Posted by Isabela |
  19. Which drug company employs you?

    Posted by cagazote |
  20. Hello, I started to have a raised blood sugar count, at the same time that I saw the TV commercials about Low T. After doing injections, and just coming off vacation, where I did not eat properly, this AM my blood level was 63. Did not trust that, so I took it again, 59. I then went on the web, found this site, and voila, just what I suspected. I’m 56. The “vitamin T” is good stuff. I now have the energy to get my body back in shape so that the fat band around my midsection will stop stealing my life away.
    Thanks for the info.

    Posted by Steve P |
  21. I am 40 years old and I have low testosterone (260ng/dl) . Recently I had bloddwork done and I might have Type 2 diabetes. I have to go back for further testing. I don’t understand, I eat healthy, exercise 5 days a week and I never had any issues. I take Testim for the low T and it really does not work. In the past I had the injections which works but then I developed the “female side effects”. This is so frustrating!

    Posted by Chris |
  22. Chris, find somebody to treat you that knows what he is doing. Increasing your T can cause your Estrogen levels to rise also. Can also cause your testicles to shrink because your bringing it in from an outside source. Both of these problems are easily treated when you get your T replacement.

    Posted by Sid |
  23. I am 52 yrs old and type II diabetic brittle diabetic Blood sugar levels swing high and low. I am alergic to the glyburide and had dramatic weight gain with the diebetes drugs. I started a low to no carb diet in efforts to control the diabetes and lose weight. The result was the diabetes and BP issues are under control. however I have lost Muscle mass and cannot seem to gain any. my weight has platau and I also have issues with short term memory and I fall asleep uncontrollably aftr a meal rgardles on blood sugar levels. like everyone I have ED and low sex drive as well as a decrease in penis size. mood swings and struggle with depression. I suffered an injury to my testeswhile in the Navy, The year following started mystruggle with my wieght as well as not being able to build muscle mass. the ED started in my late 30s Sleep apnea started in my 40s. now I am experienceing nuropothy on my right side.I am now trying to get disability because I can hardly do my work to make a living anymore. My healthcare is through the VA. I have been battling with them to test T levels and Estrogen levels. This recent information I hope will give me what I need to get the test and start getting some help. As the health issues have compiled I find that I battle depression on a daily basis.I hope this leads to some positive changes.I need a little luck……or maybe better doctors!

    Posted by Danny |
  24. I am having problems trying to find ANY studies where low levels of testosterone were diagnosed first, with testosterone was prescribed, yet, the levels didn’t go above 300-350 and type 2 diabetes followed (at least with me) about 5 years later. So, can anyone provide studies with my situation? If so, I am wondering if properly prescribed levels of testosterone would possibly rid my diabetes situation. Also, besides the diabetes following about 5 years later, I developed cholesterol issues, high blood pressure, mild sleep apnea etc. From what I can find is low level testosterone can cause all of these problems. So why do doctors only prescribe doses of testosterone which raises the levels to 300-350 versus 800+ where a normal healthy male is at ages 20-30 years old? It seems to me that keeping the testosterone levels low, keeps my other medical issues too. I guess I am going back to my original question here, are there any studies being done with people like me?

    Posted by Alan |
  25. Dear sir,
    we have diabetes problem within 3 years ,we are having glime-m tablets every day but not level sugar control now sugar level 250- 280 ,we are not haveing testosterone is low level no sex feeling come.please gudience what treatment i taken.

    Posted by JAGADEESAN.V.P |

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