We cannot overstate the effects of alcohol on your bodily maintenance and functions. In the short-term, alcohol can impair judgment and motor abilities, such as coordination. This immediate impact extends to the next day through a hangover; the feelings of headaches, nausea, and fatigue are your body’s way of telling you not to poison yourself.
However, worse than these short-term consequences are the health risks that come later. In this post, we focus on the impact of long-term, heavy alcohol use on your body and its ability to produce adequate levels of testosterone. Keep reading to learn about men’s sexual health.
Most Important Facts to Know About Testosterone
Before we go into how alcohol interacts with your body’s testosterone, let’s first take a quick look at the function of testosterone.
Testosterone is a hormone present in both men and women but occurs in a much higher concentration in men. This hormone contributes primarily to bone and muscle growth and contributes to sex drive. As with most hormones, elevated and dampened levels will have physical and emotional impacts.
Low levels of testosterone in men may cause:
- Decreased sex drive
- A loss of lean muscle
- Low energy
- Weight gain
- Erectile dysfunction
- Body hair loss
There are therapeutic options for men with low levels of testosterone.
Does Alcohol Reduce Testosterone in Men?
The short answer is yes, alcohol use decreases the amount of testosterone in men. The more detailed explanation is that it is complicated. With heavier drinking over a more extended period, the effects of alcohol use on male testosterone increases.
- While you drink alcohol, your body metabolizes ethanol a compound found in alcohol. Ethanol metabolism lowers the amount of NAD+, a coenzyme responsible for testosterone production in the liver and testes.
- Continued, heavy consumption of alcohol can lead to elevated levels of the female sex hormone estrogen, testosterone converted to estrogen, and increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can destroy testosterone.
- Chronic, excessive drinking can disrupt your sleep schedule, which decreases your body’s ability to produce testosterone.
Take Away for Drinking and Testosterone
Heavy, chronic drinking will decrease testosterone levels, impacting men’s sexual health. One or two drinks per day should be acceptable, but if your consumption increases, you could experience adverse hormonal effects.
If you believe alcohol may be impacting your sex drive or testosterone levels, call the team at Paramount Men’s Medical Center now to schedule an appointment to have a consultation with their experienced and specially trained medical staff. We are an industry leader for erectile dysfunction, providing ED therapy, hormone therapy, and much more.