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Feeling Low Lately? Decreased Testosterone Levels May be to Blame

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‍Depression is a widespread health concern that affects over 16 million adults a year in the United States alone[1]. New research[2] suggests low testosterone in adult men can lead to anxiety and other changes in mood. As the hormone level continues to decrease, this fluctuation can progress into clinical depression.

Hormone levels may decline as we age, but reversing it can bring a host of benefits, not the least among them being reducing and/or eliminating depression.

In early development, testosterone plays a critical role in modulating male reproductive health, muscle mass, fat metabolism, and bone health. It is regulated in the HPG (Hypothalamic Pituitary Gonadal axis) by the production of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) in the testicles.  

The American Urology Association defines low testosterone as less than 300 nanograms per deciliter (dl) of blood. Low testosterone affects almost forty percent of men past the age of forty-five, but it is difficult to define a normal baseline due to numerous factors that affect hormonal levels. These include:

  • body mass index (BMI)
  • diet
  • alcohol consumption
  • medication
  • age
  • medical history

Low testosterone symptoms in men may present as:

  • erectile dysfunction
  • decreased libido
  • reduced bone mass

There are several causes which may be attributed to decreased output of testosterone, including

  • the natural aging process
  • chemotherapy
  • alcohol abuse
  • metabolic disorders

Low Testosterone and Depression

There are now several ongoing studies[3] examining the potential role of testosterone therapy in treating the symptoms of depression. Several emerging studies associate low testosterone levels with the presence of the symptoms of depressive disorders.

Psychiatric Illnesses such as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) can have devastating physical and psychological effects due to persistent melancholy, negative thoughts, and increased levels of fatigue. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that condition is the leading cause of disability worldwide. 

Lower testosterone levels are associated with earlier onset and more symptoms of depression. These symptoms could result from a combination of irritability, decreased sex drive, and the fatigue already associated with low testosterone. Men with decreased hormone production and high medical morbidity, or those aged fifty to sixty-five years had an increased risk of depression.

Check your testosterone levels

It is important to check your testosterone levels, as they can help rule out any underlying causes and allow you and your health team to apply more targeted treatment if warranted.

Because Health provides accurate tests to check HPG and LH levels. We offer white glove phlebotomy service for specimen collection at home, or you can visit one of our welcoming longevity centers for an on-site test.

Your holistic healthcare team will work with you to restore your body to optimal health along your longevity journey. They are trained to take a whole-body approach and will guide you through the testosterone before and after process.

Depending on the results, your healthcare team will recommend an appropriate course of action that will keep you moving.  

Current research into testosterone replacement therapy suggests that hormone therapy may help relieve depressive symptoms and boost mood in men with decreased output of testosterone, although it does vary from person to person.  

The studies produced evidence that the therapy had a moderate antidepressant effect compared to a placebo. Patients experienced a clinically significant reduction in symptoms of depression. Forms of testosterone supplements include:

  • a transdermal patch worn on the skin
  • topical gels
  • an oral patch
  • injections and implants.

Primary Medical/Scientific Sources:

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