Testosterone is a sexual hormone produced by the testicles, and it is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics. Other functions of this hormone include the provision of the sense of well-being and bone growth. Low levels of testosterone can result from various factors such as genetic abnormalities, chronic kidney failure, and stress among others. Low levels of the sex hormone in the body present with different symptoms such as depression, decreased sense of well-being, and loss of concentration.
Depression and low testosterone
Studies show that male individuals with low levels of testosterone typically show signs of depression or depressive symptoms whenever they visit an endocrinologist office. Same studies have found out that men diagnosed with low levels of testosterone were always taking antidepressant medications. The exact relationship between depression and low levels of the sex hormone have not been proven scientifically. Men with low levels of testosterone will always present with fatigue, increased irritability, and decreased interest in sex. Such symptoms are also associated with depression.
A study conducted in 2004 by Dr. Molly Sholes found out that low levels of testosterone is indeed a risk factor for depression. Men with low levels of the hormone were four times more likely to be diagnosed with depression than men with normal levels of testosterone. As already mentioned, one of the possible explanation between depression and low levels of testosterone is the shared symptoms. Besides this, testosterone stimulates the production of serotonin hormone in the body. Serotonin hormone is important in regulating our moods in the body. Lack of the sex hormone in the body prevents the normal production of serotonin leading to depression symptoms.
Older men have high risks have developing depression due to reduced levels of testosterone compared to the younger generation. Studies have shown that older adults have reduced the ability to absorb serotonin. The reason behind this occurrence is that the serotonin receptors in the body of an aging adult male are decreasing. Experts recommend that treatment of both depression and the low testosterone levels in such patients may help in saving their lives.
Treatment options for depression associated with low testosterone levels
The best treatment option for this condition involves hormone replacement therapy. The hormone replacement therapy will help in restoring the testosterone levels to normal. The dosage forms available for this treatment include patches, injection, and gels.
Another treatment option is the management of depression with antidepressant medications as prescribed by the doctor or pharmacist.
Patients can be helped through supportive management through reassurance. Support will assist in boosting their confidence and return the sense of well-being.