Some people think that hormone replacement therapy for men can make matters worse when a person suffers from depression. Is there any truth to this? How is TRT therapy related to our emotional health and well being?
Many of us are aware that testosterone has a critical role to play to our overall well being. But a growing body of studies is suggesting that this multifarious hormone has a significant role to play in the mental health of a man. For instance, a study on older men was made in 2016 and the results are indicating that “low testosterone level is linked to depression, increasing a man’s hazard to it by at least 86%. This particular study simply echoed several earlier research, all of which suggested that there is a strong link between testosterone and mental health.
Testosterone is a powerful hormone, and for that reason, there is more to it than just having a crucial role to play in a man’s reproductive system. In addition to maintaining and regulating body fat distribution and sex drive, testosterone also helps your body in maintaining its muscle and bone mass. It also helps in the production of red blood cells. Much like other hormones, testosterone can have an impact on the brain, that is in terms of psychological wellness and cognition.
More specifically, low levels of testosterone may disrupt the normal functioning of the brain. Hence, there is a potential that it can induce or aggravate depression in men. On the other hand, normal levels of testosterone in a man’s body can help promote the healthy functioning of his brain.
Even though there is a manifold of studies conducted on testosterone in the past, it is obvious to see that the majority of them focused more on its antidepressant attributes. However, what these studies failed at is they were not able to shed light on the mechanism of this reaction. Testosterone itself likely creates an impact on the prefrontal cortex, amygdala or hippocampus. They are the brain areas where there is an observable change when someone experiences severe depression.
In addition to that, it is also possible that testosterone hormone also has an impact on our body’s natural chemical productions like cortisol and serotonin. These chemicals significantly help in regulating our mood.
Irrespective of the involved mechanism, reinstating normal T-levels via TRT treatment could help in mitigating depression and bring the brain to its erstwhile healthy state. These researches are also suggesting that a TRT replacement program can be used even as monotherapy in men afflicted with hypogonadal and minor depression. In parallel to this, is also possible for it to act as a powerful augmentation treatment for people who are down with major depression.
In 2014, Saint Louis University conducted a review of 16 clinical trials. This particular study focused if there is a connection between depression and low levels of testosterone. The participants in these trials were administered with placebo controls.
Below are some of the striking highlights of these clinical trials:
- TRT treatment program can effectively deliver depression in men. Results of the study show that testosterone can help improve a person’s mood.
- The positive effect of TRT therapy is greatest in men who are below 60 years old.
- Men, who are having normal T-levels prior to taking a TRT replacement program, have lesser chances of experiencing improved mood.
- TRT therapy is likely to produce the best results in men who only have minor depression. This type of depression is highlighted by less severe symptoms which lasts longer as opposed to other typical depressive illnesses.
A competent TRT doctor will not jump into conclusion right away that you need TRT therapy without having you go through the proper diagnostic procedures first. What your physician will do instead is to check out your complete medical background and administer comprehensive blood screenings for testosterone level.
The medical professional attending to you will recommend you take appropriate treatment. This may include TRT therapy or thyroid medications. Either of these will help in removing symptoms of depression or anxiety.