Dr. Michael Wald - www.intmedny.com / www.blooddetective.com Risk factors for RA primarily involve genetic predisposition. Genetics are always influenced by environment. In those persons who are genetically predisposed to RA poor diet, environment (weather/seasonal conditions), stress, sleep quality, smoking, alcohol and other lifestyle factors can increase RA development and extent.
Low testosterone increases risk for RA because testosterone, as an anabolic (building up) steroid helps tissue repair; and RA is a degenerative tissue condition. Testosterone is also needed to control inflammation in the body and modify immune response; thus low testersone will predispose to RA for these and other reasons.
The link betwen RA and low testostorone is not at all new. Several studies, as well as my clinical observations over the last 23 years, have proven this association out.
Men at risk for RA should only be prescribed testosterone such that the blood levels of the free-testosterone (not the total testosterone) are in the upper end of the normal blood range. This also has a cardiovascular and quality of life benefit.
A good diet and exercise will enhance testosterone levels and production in the body. The lifestyle factors mentioned above also will reduce a man's chance of developing RA and low testosterone.