You’re out on the golf course every weekend getting a few rounds in; it’s been a favorite pastime of yours for many years, and you enjoy this activity for a little bit of R&R time.

However, lately, you’ve noticed your swing is missing a shot or two. Your back, elbows and knees are stiff, and they just don’t work like they used to. You find you are hitting way too many bogies. When you kneel down to check your line, your knees make a crackling noise that can be heard on the 18th hole… your body is changing.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Risks

When these types of symptoms arise along with low levels of the hormone testosterone, you may experience a touch of arthritis, or if symptoms are more severe and you suffer from extreme joint pain, you may deal with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Regardless, these are not the type of symptoms to ignore—or put off until your next round of golf.

Studies have shown that men with Low T may be at a higher risk for rheumatoid arthritis because of high levels of follicle stimulating hormones. If you are a smoker, overweight, or have a family history of rheumatoid arthritis, the risks are even higher.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic disorder causing inflammation in the body. It attacks many areas, with most of the damage occurring in the joint lining and cartilage of two opposing bones; such as knees, wrists and elbows – all important appendages used when playing golf.  It can also cause fatigue and eventually impede daily activity.

There are varying types of arthritis, with an onset of common symptoms of pain, stiffness, swelling and an almost continuous ache around the joints.

One of the first signs of arthritis may be linked to your Low T. Your arthritis may not be caused by Low T; however, the odds are higher if you do have low testosterone, according to studies, and would be worth a trip to a medical professional to have it checked.

Detection and Treatment

With early detection, treatment can be administered before the disease becomes more severe. Various treatments have helped many individuals to function better, and improved Low T levels lessen the risks of RA.

If you have been diagnosed with Low T and you are starting to experience joint pain, treatment can be applied for both diagnoses. Undetected and untreated, rheumatoid arthritis can become more serious and last throughout your lifetime.

“Low testosterone increases risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), because testosterone, as an anabolic steroid, helps tissue repair, and RA is a degenerative tissue condition,” says, Michael Wald, MD, director of nutritional services at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco in Mount Kisco, NY. 

In short, normal levels of testosterone equate to fewer chances of a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis. Low T and RA are both treatable, but you first have to take the initiative when arthritis symptoms arise should you also have Low T. 

Visit a knowledgeable medical professional, get the tests you need and receive peace of mind, so you can continue to enjoy life and allow your body to experience life along with you.