Testosterone Deficiency and Depression: What You Need to Know
A person dealing with the symptoms of testosterone deficiency may also feel depressed. Mood swings, anxiety, frustration, lack of motivation all play into the emotions surrounding a change in certain hormone levels – including testosterone. It is essential to find out what you need to know about testosterone deficiency and depression in order to seek out the proper treatment.
In an article published in Current Psychiatry in 2004 by Thomas D. Geracioti, Jr, MD, it was stated that doctors who don’t look for hypogonadism may miss a reversible cause of depression. He goes on to say that this could be important for those patients whose active symptoms do not respond to the use of antidepressants.
Testosterone deficiency is relatively easy to diagnose – for a specialist, that is. Due to the vast range of what is considered to be normal in regards to blood levels of testosterone, a hormone replacement specialist will look at both blood test results and the symptoms that a person is exhibiting to determine if a diagnosis of Low T is warranted. Doctors without advanced knowledge in this field can often overlook low testosterone if the individual’s blood test results do not back up the diagnosis. A specialist knows that someone with blood testosterone levels still normal but in the lower range could have the symptoms that require treatment.
How Does Testosterone Deficiency Lead to Depression
If you are wondering how can testosterone deficiency cause depression, you are not alone. Most individuals dealing with negative mood changes and feelings are not hypogonadal, but that does not negate the connection between testosterone deficiency syndrome and depression. Low T can bring irritability, impaired sexual function, low self-confidence, anemia, loss of lean muscle, weight gain, hair loss, cognitive decline, decreased bone density, and fatigue to individuals affected by this condition. Each of these changes alone could lead to depression, but when you put them all together, it packs a potent mood-altering punch.
Testosterone deficiency and depression both have a lot to do with the brain. Testosterone production requires stimulation that comes from the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, both located in different areas of the brain, and their stimulus relies on the signals of estrogens and androgens (testosterone). Aside from the fact that the physical, physiological, and mental changes that are occurring as a result of Low T, there may also be chemical interactions that add to the depressive state that a person may feel.
How to Increase Testosterone Levels and Improve Mood
The easiest way to remedy testosterone deficiency and depression that is associated with Low T is through testosterone supplementation prescribed by a hormone replacement therapy doctor. A number of viable lifestyle changes can also help, but treatment is typically going to be required especially in cases where individuals are already dealing with the symptoms, including depression, that are linked to testosterone decline.
Here are the two most viable options for reversing Low T and associated depression:
- Testosterone Replacement Therapy
TRT is used by HRT doctors to raise the level of testosterone in the bloodstream back up to its ideal point. Men are most often prescribed testosterone cypionate injections that they can administer once every two weeks in the privacy of their own home. Women receive a compounded testosterone cream made for their specific dosage needs.
- Lifestyle Changes
Changing habits can be difficult, especially when dealing with testosterone deficiency. A person who is depressed, lacking energy, and unmotivated will certainly not want to start going to the gym. That is understandable. Lifestyle changes can be made in baby steps. Here are the best options, and they can be added as TRT begins to help reverse the symptoms of Low T:
- Get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night
- Exercise with both high-intensity and weight bearing workouts – start small – walk a little more every day if that is all you can do at first
- Reduce stress – stress plays havoc with hormone levels
- Eat right – opt for fresh fruits and vegetables (organic when possible), lean protein options (grass fed beef is best when choosing red meat), heart healthy fats (olive and coconut oils, avocado, nuts), and whole grains
- Increase zinc and vitamin D levels
Contact the hormone specialists at Kingsberg Medical for help if you are feeling depressed. It may be linked to changing hormone levels or testosterone deficiency. Confidential, free consultations are provided to men and women throughout the US.