When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you have symptoms such as reduced sex drive or erection problems, you should see your healthcare provider. They can do a blood test to help determine whether you have low testosterone. Low T is also a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease so its important to get checked to not only help your symptoms but protect your heart.
Signs Of Low Testosterone
Low levels of testosterone in the body cause a number of symptoms including low sex drive, hair loss, fatigue, weakness, poor erection, loss of muscle mass, decreased bone mass, and infertility. However, low T can also cause emotional symptoms including depression, irritability, anxiety, mood changes, and sleep difficulty. Studies have shown, however, that depression does not affect only men. One study found that low T in women can also lead to depression. However, this is more common in post-menopausal women or women who are approaching the age of menopause.
Which Moods Does Low T Affect
Low T affects a wide variety of emotions, including the obvious ones like happiness and anger. But rather than having an impact on just one or two moods specifically, a decrease in testosterone can alter your behavior overall. This what creates mood swings. Youre happy one moment, sad the next, and you bounce around without any rhyme or reason.
These are the moods that a lack of testosterone can affect the most:
Testosterone Replacement Therapy May Help Reduce Symptoms Of Depression
While research is ongoing on the link between depression and testosterone, some studies suggest that TRT may help relieve depressive symptoms and boost mood if you have low testosterone levels.
One large study published in JAMA Psychiatry journal looked at 27 different randomized clinical trials looking at testosterones effects on depression. The study found that TRT may have a positive effect for those with low testosterone and depression.
The researchers found that testosterone replacement therapy had a moderate antidepressant effect compared to placebo and offered clinically significant reductions in depressive symptoms. Many people in the study noticed benefits. However, testosterone was most effective for middle-aged men with low testosterone in the study. Researchers also noted that TRT may be more effective for those experiencing less severe depression.
As research continues, this may open up a positive step for those with depression and low T. This may be especially helpful for men with already low testosterone levels, as many antidepressants can lower testosterone, sometimes as much as 30-80%. Many people experience sexual dysfunction as a side effect of traditional depression treatments, which is why the potential for testosterone to help with depression is so exciting in the healthcare community.
Causes Of Primary Hypogonadism
During fetal development, the testicles develop inside the abdomen, and it moves down to the scrotum. In the case of primary hypogonadism, only one testicle moves down to its permanent place the scrotum and on some rare occasions, both testicles dont descend at all.
Usually, this condition corrects itself without any medical treatment during the first few years of life. However, if it does happen during early childhood, it may result in a decrease in testosterone production and malfunctioning of the testicles.
Mumps infection can be quite harmful to the testicles. A mump infection associated with the testicles cam damage the testicles permanently, thereby affecting the lowering the production rate of testosterone and decreasing the functionality of the testicles in the body.\
This is a prevalent cause of primary hypogonadism chemotherapy affects sperm and testosterone production. The effects are temporary if necessary treatments are carried out, but permanent infertility cannot be avoided in some cases. While some men may regain their fertility a few months after treatments, the preservation of sperm is an option to consider before commencing cancer treatment.
Is It Low T Or Is It Depression
When a man develops symptoms of depression, they may not be sure if it is a depression or rather low testosterone. It is important not to opt for self-treatment simply. The cause behind the depressive symptoms needs to be identified. This is why the patient should see a doctor.
Testosterone levels can be tested. A doctor can draw blood from the patient. The blood is sent to a laboratory. Tests can then be performed. These tests determine levels of testosterone in the patients blood. The test results would be returned to the doctor. They will assess the effects and see if the man has low testosterone levels.
If a man has low testosterone, addressing this concern may help ease symptoms of depression. If testosterone levels are normal, then treatment for the depression needs to be considered. This may include finding possible factors that could contribute to this mental condition.
Serum Testosterone Levels And Symptom
- 1Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Zurich University Hospital of Psychiatry, Zurich, Switzerland
- 2Department of Psychology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
- 3Department of Psychology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
- 4Department of Applied Psychology, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Zurich, Switzerland
- 5Collegium Helveticum, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
- 6Laboratory of Neuroscience , Institute of Psychiatry, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
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Other Benefits Of Testosterone Replacement Therapy For Men
Aside from relieving symptoms of depression, testosterone replacement therapy also helps with a wide variety of other symptoms, many of which play an important part in overall functionality and wellness. Indeed, the benefits of TRT are impressive, well-documented, and highly impactful in the daily lives of men.
Some of these benefits may include:
- Decreased anxiety/irritability and overall improved mood
Of course, every man is different. You may not experience all of these outcomes, and your depression may be influenced by more complex factors than low testosterone alone. However, for many men, TRT is essential for mental health, whether used alone or in combination with other treatments.
Low Testosterone And Depression: Breaking The Cycle
If youre experiencing any of these symptoms, consulting with a medical provider is the first step to taking control of your mental and physical health.
At EveresT Mens Health, our dedicated team has more than 20 years combined experience in the diagnosis and treatment of low testosterone. Our services are designed to help you achieve optimal health through testosterone therapy replacement, medical weight loss plans, and other medical treatment services.
Our mission is to help every man realize his best energy and long-term health through proactive healthcare for men. If you’re ready to break the cycle of Low T and start feeling your best, we encourage you to contact one of our mens health clinics today!
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How Does Testosterone Influence Anxiety
Similar to depression, there is also evidence that your level of testosterone can and does influence feelings of fear and anxiety.
Studies have shown that low testosterone can increase feelings of anxiety and anxiety symptoms. What is even more interesting is that researchers have found that men who have been diagnosed with low testosterone and have complained of feelings of anxiety saw significant decreases in anxiety after being prescribed testosterone replacement therapy.
The researchers qualified their results by indicating that decreased anxiety could be influenced by other positive impacts of testosterone replacement, such as alleviating depression and improving sexual function. However, they also concluded that testosterone is believed to impact anxiety levels independent of other factors.
These kinds of results are not found only in men.
A 2016 study found an important connection between testosterone levels and anxiety in women. In this study, the researchers found that women with social anxiety disorder experienced less gaze avoidance and aversion to images of angry faces core indicators of the kind of social anxiety typical of SAD when treated with testosterone. According to the researchers, these findings suggest that for patients with SAD, testosterone replacement therapy might help to alleviate social anxiety disorder symptoms and submissive behaviors.
Men and women with low testosterone are at a greater risk of developing depression and anxiety.
How Can You Tell If You Have Low Testosterone
After the age of thirty, it is normal for testosterone levels in men to start dropping by an average of 1-2% each year according to a study carried out by Dove Medical Press.
Symptoms of low testosterone include fatigue, erectile dysfunction, low sex drive or libido, issues with fertility, brain fog and mood changes.
The study by LetsGetChecked found that the majority of men testing their testosterone levels reported having a low sex drive or libido as the top ranking symptom that drove their motivation in taking the test.
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Can Low Testosterone Cause Anxiety
In the past decade, the world has become more aware of the persistence of mental health problems that are deeply embedded in our society. In the 1980s, the public didnt give mental health the attention and seriousness it demands. In 2020, however, you can spot mental health issues and anxiety disorders in every direction you look.
Almost every behavior that deviates outside the norm can be interpreted as a behavioral problem. Different folks exaggerate and downplay health issues that its difficult to determine which problems require the attention of a trusted friend, or qualified health professional.
Anxiety, for example, has been interpreted in a number of ways. Anxiety could either be a persistent reaction to stress, or the general feeling of unease. According to the American Psychological Association, Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure.
Mental health issues that are caused by emotions of fear and anxiety are classified as anxiety disorders, which include phobias, panic attacks, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, separation anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and selective mutism.
What Does The Medical Research Have To Say About Testosterone And Depression
Numerous clinical trials have shown a definite link between testosterone, mood, depression, and anxiety.
A 2004 study on the incidence of depression in men with low testosterone found that men with low testosterone who were studied over a two-year period were four times more likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression. The head researcher on the projects, Molly M. Shores, MD, director of the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System and the University of Washington in Seattle, said, “Older men would be particularly vulnerable to because serotonin receptors are already decreased from normal aging
Because depression is a major risk factor for suicide, and older men have the highest suicide rate of any age group in the United States, identifying conditions that increase the risk of depressive illness could be an important opportunity for early intervention and treatment.”
But the most definitive study on testosterone and depression was published in 2019 in the journal JAMA Psychology.
The study was a meta-analysis or a “study of studies” that looked at testosterone and depression. According to the authors, their analysis was the largest examination to date of the association of testosterone treatment with depressive symptoms in men.
Testosterone replacement therapy has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety and depression in patients with low testosterone.
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Low Testosterone Depression: Is It A Diagnosis
The short answer is yes. If a doctor finds that your testosterone levels are low after testing, you will be diagnosed as having low testosterone. If you have depressive symptoms as a result of the low testosterone, you may be diagnosed with low testosterone depression.
Clinical depression can be diagnosed by a variety of people, so talk with your doctor about what your options are. If you are feeling depressive symptoms, you should try to get help sooner rather than later.
Early intervention and treatment are important if you are facing depression affecting work or family life, as well as any other aspect of your life.
What Is Low Testosterone
Testosterone is the male sex hormone which is mainly responsible for the masculine appearance, deep voice, aggressive behavior, self-confidence, and sex drive. Testosterone is predominantly found in male and occurs in only small amounts in females.
Low testosterone or Low T can cause a number of symptoms in men , and it may result from primary problems of the testicles or diseases affecting the parts of the brain that regulate the production of testosterone in the testicles. The normal range of testosterone in an adult male is between 300 and 1,100 nanograms per deciliter , with women having a much lower concentration. Levels of testosterone below 300 ng/dL are considered low in men. Testosterone in men usually peaks at the age of 30 after which it begins to fall gradually by 1% every year.
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How Does Testosterone Influence Mood And Depression
Medical professionals do not like to say that imbalances in testosterone are a definitive cause of depression, but there is little doubt that testosterone is one of many hormones that influence mood and feelings of depression and anxiety.
Low testosterone also leads to erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, and a lack of physical energy. These physical symptoms can lead to less enjoyment in life. That could lead to depression. But there could be something more to the link between low-T and depression.
Testosterone is necessary to produce serotonin and other important neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters like serotonin are the brains “feel-good” chemicals that help to regulate mood and stave off depression. In fact, most antidepressants work by keeping levels of serotonin high.
Testosterone levels decline in both men and women as they age. Low testosterone could be the reason why depression and anxiety are more prevalent in people over 40, that it is in younger people.
How Do I Check My Testosterone Level
Testosterone levels can be measured through a blood test but interpreting results is a bit complicated, as the range for whats normal is wide and varies for each person. Testosterone levels also change during the day and more generally decrease over time as a normal part of aging so there isnt a set number every guy should be at.
Symptoms of low testosterone include:
- Reduced body and facial hair
- Loss of muscle mass
- Low libido, impotence, small testicles, reduced sperm count and infertility
- Increased breast size
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Treatment For Low Testosterone And Depression
If your depression has been found to be caused by low testosterone level, your doctor will place you on a hormone replacement therapy. This involves treatment with synthetic testosterone at regular dosages and treatment schedules.
Testosterone is available in different forms including patches, injections, and a topical gel which the body absorbs through your skin. The skin patch is applied once every 24 hours, usually in the evening, and it releases some amount of the hormone into the skin. The oral forms are usually attached to the gum or inner cheek twice daily from where it is absorbed into the bloodstream. After applying the topical gel over the body, it is important to wash your hands thoroughly to avoid exposing others to testosterone. The injections are usually administered every seven to 14 days depending on the formulation and the degree of deficiency of testosterone.
Your doctor will place you on the treatment for a certain period, after which the treatment will be stopped. Common complications of replacement testosterone include the formation of blood clots and stroke. Rare side effects include acne, sleep apnea, and breast enlargement.
What Do The Studies Say About Low Testosterone And Depression
In addition to the studies already mentioned above, a recent study published in Biological Psychiatry found that testosterone increases the number of proteins that transport serotonin into the brain. The research was done by a team from MedUni in Vienna. The study team believes this apparent link between testosterone and serotonin explains not only why testosterone supplements can boost mood but also why depression affects women more than men and older men more than younger men.
Its all about the link between testosterone levels and serotonin levels. The higher the level of testosterone in your blood, the higher the level of the feel good chemical, serotonin, in your brain. The reverse is also true. The lower your testosterone level, the lower your serotonin level, and therefore your increased risk of depression.
A 2004 study on the incidence of depression in men with low testosterone found that men with low testosterone who were studied over a two-year period were four times more likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression.
The head researcher on the projects, Molly M. Shores, MD, director of the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System and the University of Washington in Seattle, said, “Older men would be particularly vulnerable to because serotonin receptors are already decreased from normal aging
But the most definitive study on testosterone and depression was published in 2019 in the journal JAMA Psychology.
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Depression Is Different In Men
You may dismiss the thought that youre depressed because you dont feel sad or blue at all. In fact, your mood seems to be just the opposite of depression: Youre angry, or you strike out at others. Nothing seems fair or right in the way that the world works anymore.
A negative mood even crankiness or anger is a sign of depression. If you or your loved ones have noticed that youre excessively irritable or enraged, you may have depression. Signs that youre depressed include:
- Irritable mood
- Lack of joy in life
- Erectile dysfunction
Most Recent Study On Low Testosterone And Depression Supports Findings
Another clinical trial looking at testosterones effects on depressive symptoms was wrapping up around the same time the St. Louis researchers completed their study. The results of this six-month trial, published in the medical journal Aging Male, were consistent with previous studies in showing that testosterone replacement therapy effectively treats depression in men with low testosterone.
This study looked at 50 men with an average age of 57 who had low testosterone and were treated by urologists at the Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan. Thirty of the men were diagnosed with depression at the beginning of the study. For those men, depression symptoms significantly decreased by month 6, and only 11 of the 30 were still suffering from some depression after testosterone therapy.
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