Thyroid Function: Restoration of Serum Levels Helps Low-T Men

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It's a common issue - impaired thyroid function is so often involved in hypogonadism. Thyroid hormones play an important role in reproductive and sexual function in both males and females, however, comprehensive information on the ill-effects of hypothyroidism on leydig cell, sertoli cell and germ cell function is lacking in the existing literature. This study investigated the effect of hypothyroidism on testicular function. This recent study sheds light on why correcting thyroid levels can impact treatment for hypogonadism.

  • Forty hypothyroid men were enrolled.
  • Hormones assessed were FT3, FT4, TSH, FSH, Prolactin, Total Testosterone, INHB (Inhibin B), and INSL3 (Insulin Like Factor 3.
  • Semen analysis was performed, sexual function was assessed (Androgen Deficiency in the Aging Male - ADAM - guidelines followed).
  • Patients were treated with an "adequate" dose of thyroxine sodium and, once euthyroid values were obtained, patients were followed for six months.

At baseline, 72.5% of subjects had low serum testosterone (less than 230 ng/dl), nearly 68% had low total sperm motility, nearly 73 had low, total progressive sperm motility, 80% had low ADAM scores. Elevated prolactin was seen in 32.5% of the subjects. When thyroid function was restored, all these parameters improved.

Assessment of thyroid function and restoration of thyroid levels is a critical element in helping hypogonadal men achieve c"linical success. Leydig cell function, the authors write, was more severely affected by hypothyroidism as compared to sertoli cell function.

"Effect of thyroxine replacement on leydig cell and sertoli cell function in men with hypothyroidism," Endocrine Abstracts, 2018,