T Off Men's Health

How Alcohol Effects​ Testosterone

Could your alcohol habits be affecting your hormone production?

Here’s how alcohol effects the systems in your body.

The endocrine system ensures proper communication between various organs of the body to maintain a constant internal environment. The endocrine system also plays an essential role in enabling the body to respond and appropriately cope with changes in the internal or external environments, such as respond to stress and injury. These functions of the endocrine system to maintain body homeostasis are aided by its communication with the nervous system, immune system, and body’s circadian mechanism. Chronic consumption of a large amount of alcohol disrupts the communication between the nervous, endocrine and immune system and causes hormonal disturbances that lead to profound and serious consequences at physiological and behavioral levels. These alcohol-induced hormonal dysregulations affect the entire body and can result in various disorders such as stress abnormalities, reproductive deficits, body growth defect, thyroid problems, immune dysfunction, cancers, bone disease and psychological and behavioral disorders.

Alcohol consumption is one of the most serious substance abuse disorders worldwide. Alcohol-related deaths, diseases and disabilities are much higher in men than women and are highest in developed countries, where they range from 8%-18% for males and 2%-4% for females. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, each year, approximately 80,000 people die from alcohol-related causes, making it the third leading cause of death in the United States. Approximately 14 million Americans (7.4%) have an alcohol use disorder that is classified as either alcoholism (alcohol dependency) or alcohol abuse1. There is considerable evidence, from human genome-wide association studies of individuals with family history of alcoholism and twin studies that several susceptibility genes are linked to the vulnerability and risk of developing alcohol-related disorders. Heritability of alcohol abuse, from twin studies, was estimated to range from 50 to 60%2;3. However, alcoholism is a multifactorial and polygenic disorder in which complex gene-to-gene and gene-to-environment interactions occur resulting in a variety of addiction phenotypes. Environmental factors play an equally important role in the development of alcohol-related disorders, i.e. stressful life events have been shown to influence alcohol drinking and relapse behaviors4.

Excessive alcohol drinking has been recognized as having several adverse health consequences. Heavy alcohol drinking increases the risk of cardiovascular and liver disease, metabolic disturbances, nutritional deficiencies, cancers (i.e. mouth, stomach, colon, liver and breast cancer), neurobiological disorders and fetal abnormalities5. In contrast to heavy alcohol use, light to moderate drinking, especially of alcoholic beverages rich in polyphenols such as red wine, was reported to lower the risk of coronary heart disease6, stroke7 and osteoporosis8. In this article we will discuss some of the literature surrounding studies done in humans and animal models regarding the effects of both acute and chronic alcohol consumption on one of the body’s most important systems, the endocrine system.

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Reference: US Library Of Medicine National Institute Of Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3767933/