Testosterone deficiency is a common cause of depression and Men it can often go unrecognized as a psychiatrist what I see is either a depressed man who doesn't get much improvement with antidepressants or the man who's not particularly sad but instead he's more angry irritable anxious or even just negative here are some of the other signs and symptoms of testosterone deficiency I'll just list a few here but the full list is in the description so you can have decreased stress tolerance diminished beard growth thinning or drying of the skin impaired sexual function like low desire or erection problems reduced general vigor or hardiness mild anemia weight gain.
If you suspect you may have this problem you would see your primary care doctor for evaluation and treatment to determine if your testosterone deficient your doctor would get your blood levels in a useful screen is getting total serum testosterone concentrations before 9 o'clock in the morning the reason for the early morning level is because your testosterone rises and falls over the course of the day and the highest levels are usually between 7 & 8 a.m. and the lowest levels are between 7 & 8 p.m.
So you want to get the level at the time when it should be at its peak and see if it falls within the normal range what causes this problem you may ask well testosterone starts to drop after the age of 30 and but it's usually a slow drop such that by age 60 about 30% of men have low testosterone there are some things that have been linked to having low testosterone they don't necessarily cause it but we've seen a link and these things are having diabetes that's been treated obesity having chronic headaches being over age 60 having asthma that's been treated and sleeping less than five hours a night consistently there's also some medications that can cause low testosterone cholesterol-lowering agents such as lipitor saw palmetto which is an over-the-counter agent used to treat an enlarged prostate also called benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH another agent that can cause low testosterone is flaxseed oil lots of it and then also a zinc deficiency if you take an antipsychotic drug like risperidone this drug can cause elevated prolactin levels.
Prolactin is a hormone that's produced in your pituitary which is in your brain and elevated prolactin levels can lower testosterone as well as cause breast development and this is not just extra fat on your chest you could actually get you could actually feel breast tissue and even get a small amount of milk production not always but sometimes so as far as treatments go if the problem is due to a drug you could potentially discontinue the medication if you can you would need to check with your doctor if it's a prescription medication and he or she may actually have a substitute for you to take instead if it's due to a zinc deficiency you could supplement with zinc if the problem though is due to your testicles not producing enough testosterone and this problem is called hypogonadism then the treatment is testosterone supplementation and the supplementation can come in the form of a match pills a gel or even an injection.
If you get treated with testosterone supplementation and it raises your levels to the mid normal range you can see an improvement in your in your depression and your anxiety within four weeks so that's a pretty pretty quick response I mean it's not overnight but in terms of how long it takes things to things to improve in general that's a pretty quick response however it could take a little time though for your levels to rise depending on how low they were to begin with in what form of the medication you take an injection is going to work faster but it's not as convenient so once you get your levels corrected you can see a big improvement in how you feel including improving your self-esteem some men with low testosterone can become very self-loathing and hard on themselves well I hope this helps take a look in the description for more detailed signs and symptoms of testosterone deficiency.