Testosterone The Male Hormone
In this blog we talk a lot about testosterone and its influence on quality of man’s life. There is a strong evidence that low T and depression are actually related and in this article we will take a closer look how can low testosterone cause depression and what you can do to improve your testosterone levels.
T is the most important hormone for male sexual development responsible for bodily functions such as muscle strength, sex drive, bone density, body fat distribution, sperm production (fertility). In addition, testosterone has a strong connection to overall male health and well-being.
Low T in men and women can cause different physical and emotional reactions, among others may lead to a depression.
Why Is My Testosterone Low?
Testosterone reaches the highest levels in men in their twenties. Once men reach 30 their T slowly declines as part of normal aging by approx. 1% – 3% per year. About one third of men over 50 years suffer from low T, known as hypogonadism.
There are two types of hypogonadism: primary – caused by an injury of testicles (organs producing testosterone) as a result of cancer treatments, mumps, too high levels of iron in the blood.
Diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity contribute to secondary hypogonadism in men.
The reverse is also true: men with low testosterone are more likely to have or develop diabetes or obesity.
What are the symptoms of low testosterone?
Low T can lead to several changes in man’s physical and emotional life. The biggest difference might be visible in sexual drive and function. Men with low T often experience a significant drop in sex desire and ability in achieving and maintaining erection as well as may experience infertility.
Testosterone also plays a role in bone and muscle strength. When your T levels drop, you are likely to gain weight as well as lose bone and muscle mass. These changes can also increase your risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
Is There A Link Between Low Testosterone And Depression?
Depression is the most common mental illness, affecting millions of people. There are many factors that may contribute to a depression such as genetics, difficult life events, death or loss.
However, studies have suggested that there is a link between low testosterone and depression. Low T is a major risk factor for depression, particularly in men.
Like conditions such as diabetes and obesity, men with low testosterone have been found to be more likely to have or develop depression, and men with depression are more likely to have low testosterone levels.
A proper amount of testosterone in the body promotes not only a good mood and confidence but also a strong libido in a man.
Did Low Testosterone Cause My Depression?
It Is tricky to diagnose in all cases if low T caused depression as there are symptoms common for both low testosterone and depression such as irritability, anxiety, sadness, low sex drive, fatigue, memory problems, trouble concentrating, and 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.
If you or a loved one feels blue, irritable, or simply not yourself, make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor will order a T test if they suspect that your depressive symptoms may be a result of testosterone deficiency.
This test is usually done in the morning when the testosterone level in our body is at its highest.
Treatment for Low Testosterone and Depression
If your depression has been diagnosed to be caused by low testosterone level, doctor will place you on a hormone replacement therapy. This involves treatment with synthetic testosterone at regular dosages and treatment schedules.
There are several ways that testosterone therapy can be administered:
- skin patches – usually applied once a day. Tends to be clean and easy to apply. Come also in oral forms – applied to the gum or cheek from where T is absorbed into the bloodstream
- gels – absorbed by the skin. Dosing is more difficult although gels are available in single applications packages or premeasured pumps. After applying the topical gel over the body, it is important to wash your hands thoroughly to avoid exposing others to testosterone
- injections – testosterone can be delivered directly with injection. Usually administered every seven to 14 days.
- pellets – implanted into the soft tissue and release the testosterone.
Common complications of replacement testosterone include formation of blood clots and stroke. Rare side effects include acne, sleep apnea, breast enlargement, limiting sperm production, and shrinkage of testicles.
Are There Natural Ways To Improve Low Testosterone?
So if testosterone therapy is potentially so dangerous, are there safer and natural alternatives?
There are quite many natural ways to increase testosterone levels in men. Dietary modifications, increased physical activity (especially weight lifting), proper rest, and use of natural supplements have a proven impact on improving testosterone levels without the risky complications of testosterone replacement therapy.
To boost your testosterone levels, reduce intake of foods that create belly fat. Increase in fat promotes conversion of testosterone into the female sex hormone, estrogen.
The greater the amount of belly fat you have, the lower your testosterone.
Nutrients that are especially important to a testosterone rich diet are vitamin D and zinc can be found in high quantities in
- tuna – believed to increase life expectancy and testosterone production
- beef – naturally increases testosterone in men. Beef liver is an exceptional source of vitamin D, while ground beef and chuck roast contain zinc
- beans – probably the most beneficial vegetable supporting testosterone creation in men thanks to vitamin D and zinc
One of the most effective ways to stay healthy but also to naturally increase your testosterone. Resistance training, such as weight lifting is the most impactful exercise for boosting your testosterone.
Especially recommended are full body compound movements such as squats, dead lifts, bench presses, and overhead presses.
Less Stress & Enough Sleep
Long-term stress elevates the stress hormone called cortisol which in return reduces testosterone levels. For both optimal health and hormone levels reduce repetitive stressful situations in your life.
Good night sleep is probably the most powerful testosterone booster. It reduces stress and is just as important for your health as diet and exercise.
The ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person, but one study found that sleeping only 5 hours per night was linked to a 15% reduction in testosterone levels. One study calculated that for every additional hour of sleep you get, testosterone levels rise 15% higher.
Testosterone boosters are natural supplements that can increase your testosterone levels by increasing
testosterone or related hormones. Some work by preventing testosterone from being converted into estrogen.
- D-Aspartic acid – a natural amino acid that boosts low testosterone
- Vitamin D – important vitamin that boosts testosterone levels, especially if your vitamin D level is low
- Tribulus – helps with sex drive and improves sperm health
- Fenugreek – boosts testosterone levels and sexual function in both deficient and healthy men
- Ginger – increases testosterone levels and sperm count in infertile men
- DHEA – one of the most popular testosterone boosters on the market
- Zinc – effective in those with low zinc or testosterone levels
- Ashwagandha – helps increase testosterone levels, while also improving sexual function and body composition.
Here you can find more information on the best low T natural supplements.
Improve Your Well-being Today!
Low testosterone and depression are clearly linked. Even if you are not suffering from depression, increase in your testosterone levels will give you more energy, strength, and masculine appearance. You will radiate with more self-confidence.
If you have been diagnosed with depression, make sure your physician checks if it is not testosterone related. A quick decision to undergo testosterone treatment will bring you faster up to full speed.
If you are concerned about the side effects of traditional testosterone treatment you should look into natural ways of increasing testosterone.
That can happen by making small changes in your diet, adding physical activity, changing sleeping patterns or taking natural supplements. You will feel better in no time. Not to mention you will feel better once people around you will start noticing a positive change in you.
Share your stories and let me know how these tips have been working out for you.