There appears to be a significant correlation between testosterone and depression. Learn more about the role of testosterone in the male body, the conditions that may precipitate too-low levels of testosterone, and the possible effects of testosterone levels on a man’s mental health.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is the chief sexual and reproductive hormone produced and secreted by a man’s body. The chemical’s primary function is to foster the growth of a man’s sexual organs, participate in the reproduction process and build his sex drive (libido). However, testosterone also influences the ability of many other bodily systems to execute key functions such as red blood cell production, the stimulation of the muscles and bones and prevent the accumulation of excess body fat. That said, the hormone is also believed to elicit a significant influence over a man’s emotions and mental health.
Testosterone and Depression
Testosterone executes an important role in precipitating specific behaviors that ultimately impact both mood and cognitive function in men. This chemical, which is primarily produced in a man’s testicles but is also secreted by various other hormone-releasing glands, fosters important feelings such as aggression and confidence.
When men have elevated or even normal systemic concentrations of testosterone, said individuals are more prone to possess greater amounts of self-esteem and confident in their ability to execute certain tasks. When internal levels of this hormone decline, a man might experience emotional manifestations such as a lack confidence, diminished energy and a disturbance in his capabilities of performing cognitive functions like memory and concentration.
Conditions That May Precipitate Low Testosterone
There are numerous health conditions and lifestyle issues that could reduce bodily concentrations of testosterone in men. Common reasons for low testosterone include:
Testosterone naturally decreases as men age, especially as they enter their thirties and forties.
Hormonal Organ and Gland Disorders
Several bodily components might impact bodily production of testosterone. Disorders or damage to any organ or gland that comprises the endocrine system (thyroid, testes, pituitary, adrenal glands) have the potential to cause hormonal imbalances that could directly or indirectly impact testosterone concentrations.
Overindulging in habits such as consuming alcohol or ingesting illicit substances can alter bodily production of testosterone. Additionally, not getting enough sleep can also negatively affect testosterone levels.
Certain drugs prescribed to treat various medical conditions could reduce testosterone concentrations.
Though it is normal for testosterone levels to decrease as a man ages, such an occurrence does not always result in the development of physical symptoms. When symptoms arise and are not medically attributable to any other health issue, the impacted man might be experiencing what is referred to as andropause. Andropause can precipitate mental manifestations like depression, mood swings, anxiety and cognitive issues but also other bothersome, sometimes life-altering problems like sexual performance issues, weight gain, an accumulation of body fat, bone fractures, tiredness, sleep disturbances and hair loss.
Methods of Increasing Testosterone Levels
Fortunately, men dealing with diminished testosterone can employ several natural methods that might alleviate or possibly eliminate accompanying symptoms. Hormone-boosting methods include:
All types of physical activity are crucial to helping a man maintain optimal health. However, scientific studies have demonstrated that moderate to more intense physical exertion such as weightlifting for up to an hour at least three times per week could stimulate natural bodily production and secretion of testosterone.
A person exposed to chronic or severe manifestations of increased tension and anxiety or at risk of experiencing a systemic increase of stress hormones like cortisol. Not only can these substances impact a man’s mood but could both render blood concentrations of testosterone useless and inhibit the body’s inability to produce more of the chemical.
Consume a Healthy Diet
Diets high in potentially damaging products like bad fats and sugar may not only cause numerous health problems but additionally precipitate hormonal imbalances. On the contrary, increased consumption of foods containing nutrients like Vitamin D and healthy fats might ultimately increase testosterone levels.
Augment Diet With Dietary Supplements
Certain nutritional preparations containing natural substances such as the extracts of plants and herbs are also recommended by some members of the health community for maintaining healthy testosterone levels. One example of a high-quality, all-natural formula for men is Macabido® Men’s Formula.
This product contains several natural products believed to promote healthy testosterone levels such as maca, saw palmetto, ginseng, gingko biloba and zinc.
Diagnosing the Problem
It is important to note that mental health issues might be precipitated by many different illnesses or environmental factors other than low testosterone. Medical professionals caution that men experiencing manifestations like depression, mood swings and anxiety could benefit from a thorough physical examination by their doctor. A medical professional can first assess if low testosterone is the specific cause of such symptoms, identify what is precipitating the hormonal decline and ultimately prescribe the correct treatment regiment based on that information.