Low Testosterone Levels and Type 2 Diabetes

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.

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  • spongebob

    Sounds terrific!

    Now, what are the downsides?

  • germare

    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.

  • darren1ca

    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!!!

  • RachelinOH

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

  • francis

    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…

  • Armando


    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.

  • Danny Roy


  • AL

    Try dr barry gordon on http://www.thehiddendisease.com

    He discusses the testosterone level and diabetes in depth.

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

  • syed

    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

  • RayVal

    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…

  • rafael

    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.

  • joelon


  • James E Crosby SR

    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

  • subrata

    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.

  • Jim

    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.

  • ALEX. V

    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

  • I.D. Neiser

    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;

  • Isabela

    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!

  • cagazote

    Which drug company employs you?

  • Steve P

    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.

  • Chris

    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!

  • Sid

    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.

    • jameskmoore

      Not if You take daily doses of anastrozole.

  • Danny

    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!

  • Alan

    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?


    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.

    • jaymcgoo

      Remove ALL carbs from your diet now, today. No potatoes, no pasta, no whole wheat bread, no any bread, no beans, no carrots, no squash, no turnip, no fruit or fruit juice. As few carbs as possible. Maximum of 30-50 grams a day only. Carbs are TOXIC to diabetics. Good luck!

  • Linda

    my male friend of 9 years has type 2 diabetes.has been on metformin 500mg.since july 1st.2014..We haven’t had sex in almost a yr.and he seems not interested..Now on jan.1st of.this yr.I watched him go thru hot sweats,which lasted 3 days.On the 5th he was very moody,the 6th.I see he has 35 round light blue pills in a bottle on the counter with number 5 on one side and an N on the other..1/2 pill was taken.He took the label off so I couldn’t see it.Hmm !! Wonder why?He also has epydidimitis and uses catheters to urinate plus bowel issues along with High cholesterol and blood pressure..Never did have sex often in the 9 yrs.sometimes 2x a week then it would be a month or more..Please Help???

    • jaymcgoo

      Get him on a ketogenic diet. My blood sugar has completely come under control by following it. Also, I demanded my primary take my testosterone level and learned I was below normal for an 80-year-old. My primary said I was not low enough for treatment but I knew he was wrong and asked for a referral to a urologist. The urologist agreed with my diagnosis and now I am on hormone therapy, specifically Androgel. It has only been 8 days but I expect good things in the next 2 or so months.

      Get your boyfriend on a ketogenic diet and test his testosterone levels ASAP!

  • jameskmoore

    I wonder when Men will realize it’s in the medical establishments best interest to keep You in poor health. The majority of problems that occur as a man gets old can be linked to low testosterone. A low testosterone level leads to diabetes which leads to cancer and heart disease. I decided to take My health into My own hands and with TRT and exercise I am turning back the hands of time. A mans erection is an indicator of His health and if You are not being greeted with morning wood then You need to make serious changes to Your life style.

    • Mike Sisco

      Yeah I’m on trt but every time I need a refill my insurance declines it cause they have it classified as just ed treatment when it’s for my overall health

  • John Peter

    It’s one of the good article for Normal Testosterone Levels In Men By Age

  • Venkat

    I had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2014 accidentally. But even before that I had ED and PE; the size of my penis is also small even when in erection. I’m on Metformin 500 mg since 2015 and also Rosubest F for my jacked up cholesterol levels, which are under control now . I feel exhausted by evening. I have had migraine since 1992. I get to experience these bouts almost once a week even now. I have sleep apnea and reduced sleep duration. I’ve cut down on carbs and sugars, but still the condition did not improve. When I consulted my doctor he discouraged me to go for testosterone level check. He said that it’s common in diabetics of such conditions. Please advise.