How To Cure Hormonal Anxiety
It’s also important to remember that hormonal imbalances may not be the cause of anxiety. While poorly functioning hormones can be a contributing factor, many of those with hormonal imbalances showed signs of anxiety previously. In some cases anxiety may be caused almost exclusively by hormones, but in many cases it is a combination of hormones and previous mental health problems, or may have nothing to do with hormones at all.
Yet no matter what the cause of your anxiety – even if it’s something physical – you can treat it using psychological techniques. Your mind is incredibly powerful, and it can learn to control anxiety even when that anxiety is related to a hormonal imbalance.
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Causes Of Low Testosterone In Men
Low testosterone may be a result of the following:
- Diseases like hypothalamus or pituitary glands that affect organs which produce testosterone, therefore, can lead to low testosterone.
- Damaging the testes which may be from radiation, accident, surgery, or chemotherapy.
- Medical conditions that include down syndrome, obesity, Klinefelter syndrome, drug abuse and alcoholism, sickle cell, opiate pain medication use or abuse, type II diabetes, and hemochromatosis.
- Environmental factors include exposure to pesticides and herbicides, parabens, as well as stress and depression.
Testosterone And Depression: What Is The Connection
There is a definite connection between testosterone levels, anxiety, and depression.
According to the Mayo Clinic, depression is defined as “a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called “major depressive disorder” or “clinical depression,” it affects how you feel, think, and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.
Current statistics from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America say that major depressive disorder affects an estimated 16.1 million adults annually in the United States alone.
The World Health Organization describes depression as “the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide.”
There is a growing body of evidence that suggests a link between low testosterone and depression.
Testosterone is critical in many ways for physical wellbeing. Testosterone is necessary to build muscle, to burn fat, to keep your bones healthy, and to regulate and stimulate many other physical processes. Testosterone also plays a vital role in maintaining emotional health in men and women.
Specifically, current research has shown a definitive link between low levels of testosterone and increased depression and anxiety. A 2016 study published in the journal, Psychoneuroendocrinology found that in older men, “low serum testosterone was associated with an 86% increased hazard of depression.”
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Is It Low T Or Is It Depression
The shared symptoms of low T and depression can make diagnosis tricky. To complicate matters, depression, difficulty thinking, and anxiety are also normal signs of aging.
Symptoms that are common to both low T and depression include:
- trouble concentrating
- sleep problems
The physical symptoms of low testosterone and depression, however, tend to be different. People who have depression but have normal hormone levels generally do not experience breast swelling and decreased muscle mass and strength that are associated with low T.
The physical manifestations of depression are often centered around headaches and back pain.
If you or a loved one feels blue, irritable, or simply not yourself, make an appointment with your doctor. A physical exam and blood work can help determine if your testosterone levels are normal, or if youre experiencing androgen deficiency.
Does Testosterone Therapy Always Help Depression
Depression is a complicated condition with many causes. And no two people suffering from a depressive disorder are exactly alike. Because depression is so complex, that is precisely why we cannot draw direct a “cause and effect” between depression and low testosterone but have to understand that they two are related. It would be great if we could say that testosterone improves feelings of depression and anxiety 100% of the time. But the truth us no drug or medical therapy can make that kind of a claim.
However, in our practice, if a person has low testosterone and depression, we have found that there is an excellent chance that their symptoms will improve over the course of a program of testosterone replacement therapy.
Many of our patients have reported a complete reversal or at least a significant improvement in their mood after treatment with testosterone therapy.
Also, testosterone tends to benefit many of the symptoms that can lead to mood changes. Supplemental testosterone helps improve sleep, energy, body composition, health, appearance, and more. These positive changes can benefit a persons emotional state and his or her total outlook on life.
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Is It Low Testosterone Or Is It Depression
Just as there can be many causes for low testosterone itself, there are many causes of depression. However, we now know that low testosterone can certainly contribute to depressive symptoms, as well as anxiety, increased irritability, and other negative emotional states.
Because of this link, and perhaps in spite of it, the symptoms of depression and low testosterone can often overlap, prompting you to wonder, do I have low testosterone, or am I just depressed?
Symptoms that are common to both low T and depression include:
- trouble concentrating
- sleep problems
While the symptoms of low testosterone and depression often go hand in hand, one way to tell one from the other is to look at any physical symptoms you may be going through in addition to your emotional symptoms.
If you, in addition to feeling the blues you also are experiencing weight gain, erectile dysfunction, or other sexual issues and loss of muscle, chances are your depressive symptoms are related to a testosterone imbalance.
If, on the other hand, you are feeling sad, anxious, or depressed without the physical symptoms of muscle loss and weight gain, chances are your depressive symptoms are not related to low testosterone.
Men and women with low testosterone are at a greater risk of developing depression and anxiety.
Symptoms Of Low Testosterone
The symptoms of low testosterone are directly related to the roles it has in the body. If you suffer from low testosterone, some bodily processes will be hindered, leading to the following:
- Fatigue especially during the day
- Weak muscles and bone structure
- Weight issues
- Better muscle mass and bone strength
- Loss of fat
This treatment, on the other hand, may have some side effects, and thus, regular checkups are required during the process.
You should also make sure the necessary authority approves the medication, for example, FDA in the US. The side effects may include skin irritation, oily skin, or breast enlargement.
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How Can High Testosterone Cause Depression
Depression is almost always associated with low testosterone levels. However, there have been incidences where too much testosterone has led to aggressive behavior in men and women so-called roid rage, and as a consequence may cause depression.
But this is rather uncommon and usually occurs when people abuse testosterone and is rarely if ever, a side effect of normally prescribe testosterone replacement therapy.
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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How Does Testosterone Reduce Social Anxiety
In contrast, the same way low testosterone increases social anxiety, increasing the level of testosterone can aid in reducing this condition.
When testosterone is administered, social anxiety behaviors such as being fearful, submissive, and avoidant are reduced. How is this so?
Testosterone and Eye Contact in relation to Social Anxiety Disorder
According to research, hormone therapy can help in the treatment of social anxiety. People with social anxiety feel awkward when making eye contact.
Radboud Universitys scientists established that testosterone reduces the tendency of individuals with social anxiety disease to avoid the stare of others. The 2016 study showed that when a person suffering from social anxiety took testosterone, they found it easier to handle eye contact.
As we all know, eye contact a vital part of social interaction since it is an essential nonverbal tool and indicates social comfort.
Testosterone and Cognition
Other than aiding in primary and sexual characteristics development during puberty, testosterone drives aggression as earlier mentioned, as well as sexual arousal in maturity. It also controls mood and sexuality in females.
Notably, this hormone is essential in areas of the brain, which react to perceived social threats as well as emotional stimuli in some people.
Also, it is the main reason why men and women behave differently.
Furthermore, testosterone also regulates the activity of the amygdala, the brain structure related to fear.
Could Anxiety Just Be A Result Of Ageing Not Low T
Thats definitely a reasonable argument, and some researchers have even suggested that that could be the case.
But even in younger men, low testosterone has been seen to result in feelings of anxiety.
One study measured T levels in young boys in order to see any relationship between sex hormone levels and anxiety .
The team found that for boys as young as 13 years old, lower levels of testosterone and testosterone levels that decreased more slowly across the day were related to higher levels of anxiety-depression and attention problems.
This often resulted in mood swings and behaviour problems too.
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Hormones That Cause Anxiety
Anxiety hormone imbalance has the potential to cause anxiety, because anxiety is often caused by those whose bodies are under stress trying to operate efficiently. It’s the reason that those who don’t exercise and those who eat an unhealthy diet often have anxiety as well – without exercise or nutrition, your body struggles to function. In addition, hormones are the messengers to the brain. Without hormones, your body may not produce the right amount of neurotransmitters, and anxiety may be the result.
That said, some examples of hormones that may contribute to anxiety include:
Again, nearly any type of hormonal dysfunction can contribute to anxiety, because the body often responds to poorly functioning hormones with stress. But the three examples above tend to be the most common hormones that cause anxiety.
Why Is My Testosterone Low
There are several potential causes as to why an individual may experience low testosterone.
This includes the following:
Obesity or extreme levels of weight loss
Obstructive sleep apnea
It’s important to note that testosterone levels naturally start declining after 30 and will continue to drop at about one percent per year.
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How Can Low Testosterone Cause Depression
We know that testosterone is a neuroactive steroid, meaning that it can influence mood, making it reasonable to assume that low testosterone can cause depression, moodiness, and anxiety. But, researchers hesitate to use the word “cause” and would rather say that low testosterone and depression are linked.
There are several reasons that low testosterone can influence depression. There are the known chemical effects of testosterone and how it interacts with other mood-causing hormones such as cortisol and neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
Beyond the biochemical influences of low testosterone on mood, the other known physical issues caused by low testosterone weight gain, loss of energy, loss of libido, and sexual dysfunction all can cause a man to feel low and depressed.
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What Is The Connection Between Low Testosterone Anxiety & Depression
At the turn of the 20th century, most diseases were caused by a single organism and then cured by a single treatment. In contrast, for the past many decades, many health concerns developed due to a complex interplay between nature and nurture .
Conditions now have multiple risk factors that are best addressed with multiple approaches to care, such as in the case of anxiety and depression, and hormone imbalances.
Low testosterone can contribute to anxiety and depression, and vice versa, yet its imperative to explore various treatment options as more than one concern tend to be present.
Testosterone, synthesized from cholesterol, is the main sex hormone in men that peaks around age 20 and slowly declines around age 35, though present to a lesser extent in women especially after a drop off period around menopause.
In males, it is responsible for secondary sex characteristics like body hair, deepening voice, and growth of testicles and penis, while both genders benefit from its boost libido, memory, mood, energy, bone and muscle mass, and fat distribution.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
The adrenal glands, two glands that sit on top of each kidney and the Leydig cells in the testes of men and the ovaries in women produce testosterone when signaled by the brain.
The image shown Low testosterone.Shutterstock Images.
The latter two help keep our hormones in balance, though problems can arise when even these mechanisms arent functioning properly.
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