Did you know that there is a link between testosterone and mental health?
When we think about the powers of testosterone, one normally thinks about good sexual function, healthy bones and strong muscles. However, very little thought is given to how testosterone levels can play a role in your brain health.
Research has shown that testosterone plays a part in behaviours such as aggression, dominance, and self-esteem. Low testosterone may result in a lack of confidence, a lack of motivation, and can cause feelings of sadness. Further studies have indicated that low T can lower the ability to concentrate, cause sleep problems, and a lack of energy. Brain functions which include reasoning, memory, attention and understanding, may also be impaired by low testosterone.
Studies have also suggested that older men with good testosterone levels are more alert, have better memories and libido is not impeded like those suffering from low testosterone.
What are symptoms related to brain health and low testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone which helps to regulate emotions. Here are some signs that you may have low testosterone levels:
- Unexplained depression and sadness.
- Sudden lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem.
- Decreased sex drive.
- Unusual irritability.
- Concentration difficulties.
- Disturbed sleep patterns, and lack of energy.
What kind of treatment is available?
Treatment is usually in the form of hormones to raise testosterone levels. Pharmaceutical companies have ongoing aggressive marketing campaigns with promises that treating low T with their products will restore testosterone to normal or better, make men feel more alert, energetic, and sexually functional again.
Millions of men have low T problems, and many opt for the hormonal treatments offered by these companies, in an effort to once again be normal and manly. Studies have shown that in addition to physical issues, higher levels of testosterone can also have a positive effect on your emotions, but there may risks taking chemical hormones.
What are the possible risks?
- Older men may have increased risks for heart problems.
- You could also be at risk for cardiovascular problems if you have been diagnosed with heart disease, had a previous heart attack, or have high blood pressure.
- Do not use testosterone therapy if you are a high risk for prostate cancer, or if you have had prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is known to feed on testosterone.
- Fluid retention and potential breast enlargement.
You may be over-treated so it is advisable to have tests to check levels, to prevent treatment which may in increase the risks of side effects.
Some mental and brain health benefits you can expect from good testosterone levels:
- Feelings of well-being and reduced depression.
- Confidence to assert yourself when needed, and improved self-esteem.
- Major energy boost and less tiredness and fatigue.
- Improved concentration and the ability to complete complex tasks.
- A calmer disposition, and less irritability.
- Improved sex drive, resulting in less anxiety about what could be wrong.
The qualities of confidence, ambition to excel in life, and physical strength are associated with good testosterone levels. Although women also need testosterone, but in much lower levels. The characteristics expressed here are predominantly male.
Low T not only affects the body, but also the mind. If you have any of the low T symptoms, make a plan to visit the doctor for some tests.
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