Irritability, anxiety, and lack of energy are some of the symptoms that depression causes. But you can also experience them if you have low testosterone levels in your body. In fact, the low levels of male hormones can lead to mood swings.
There are many ways to increase your T levels such as taking testosterone boosters. But can these supplements cause mood swings or depression? Let’s find it out.
Testosterone Levels and Mood Swings
Low T levels are associated with poor quality of life and if you’re suffering from this condition, you might experience mood swings and depression. However, it’s important to note that these problems only occur in people with hypogonadism. It means that people with low T levels caused by age don’t show any signs of increased depression or mood swings, according to the NLM (National Library of Medicine).
There are different methods of increasing low T levels such as testosterone boosters, anabolic steroids, and TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy). An NCBI study shows that using these methods to increase T levels can reduce irritability and fatigue and improve the mood and overall well-being of people suffering from hypogonadism.
Studies also show that high levels of male hormones can also cause hypomania and depression. A study conducted on over 9,000 men, published by JCEM (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism), states that the normal range of T levels in men aged 19 to 39 years is 264 to 916 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter). People with higher T levels than this range can experience the following:
- Mood swings
- Aggressive behavior
- Weight gain
- Excessive body hair
How Can Testosterone Increase in Men?
According to Harvard Medical School, testosterone levels in men rarely go beyond high baseline naturally. It usually happens because of testosterone boosters and anabolic steroids. Bodybuilders and athletes use these methods to increase the T levels in their bodies in order to build muscle mass and improve athletic performance.
Tumors in testicles and adrenal glands can also lead to increased levels of the male hormone but this condition is also very rare. According to Columbia Adrenal Center, only two out of one million people suffer from this medical condition.
So, Can Testosterone Boosters Cause Mood Swings?
Yes, according to studies discussed above, testosterone boosters, especially anabolic steroids, can cause mood swings but it’s not very common. The best way to make sure that you don’t fall victim to this condition is to take test-enhancing boosters only if you’re experiencing low T levels.
In addition, you must not undergo any type of testosterone boosting treatment without consulting with your doctor. It’ll allow you to minimize the risk of experiencing side effects that are associated with testosterone boosters.
Low Testosterone Levels and Mood Swings
Multiple studies show that low T levels can cause multiple types of mental illnesses. For example, an NCBI study shows that low T levels can lead to depression and anger and depression is one of the main reasons why you experience mood swings.
The symptoms of low T levels can also affect your emotional health and cause depression, low energy, and fatigue.
How Low T Causes Depression and Mood Swings?
Other than regulating your sex drive and muscle mass, the male hormone also impacts your mood. If your hormones are not properly balanced, your personal and work life will be affected. You won’t be able to maintain your relationships and you’ll feel less productive as well.
It happens because low T levels increase the levels of cortisol in your body. It’s a stress hormone that keeps your body in a high alert state. It can suppress your normal behavior and feelings and lead to excess emotions that you do not experience normally.
The low levels of testosterone in your body impact a vast array of emotions including anger and happiness. Instead of affecting your mood, low T levels can also negatively impact your overall behavior. You’ll feel happy for a moment and sad the next. The following are the moods that low T levels can impact the most.
Many people think that reduced levels of testosterone will also decrease their anger. However, people with low T levels usually experience high anger as it’s difficult for them to manage their feelings. Sometimes, low T levels cause this problem directly but it can also take place indirectly.
For example, the professional or personal life can be greatly affected by low T levels that can lead to frustration and depression. In both cases, anger and mood swings can take place if cortisol is high and T levels are low.
According to an NCBI study, men with low T levels are more likely to experience depression as compared to people with normal levels of male hormones. If you’re a happy person but suddenly start feeling hopeless, lack interest in things that you usually love, and change in appetite and weight, you might be suffering from low T levels.
Keep in mind that it can also take place the other way around. It means that high levels of depression can also decrease testosterone production in your body. Depressed people usually have a poor lifestyle like eating bad quality food and having a less active daily routine. So, sometimes it becomes difficult to figure out if you have low T levels because of depression, or if you’re depressed due to low T levels.
Anxiety is often confused with depression but both of these medical conditions are different. Low T can cause symptoms of anxiety such as nausea, trembling, lack of concentration, and excessive worry. It also makes you experience unwanted feelings and thoughts and irrational fear.
Unlike depression, anxiety cannot lead to low T levels in your body. In fact, people suffering from anxiety are often hypervigilant and abnormally active but they can’t have feelings of joy from any of their actions.
Benefits of Balancing Testosterone Levels on Mood
There are many benefits of having balanced hormonal levels in your body including the following.
Minimize Depression and Anxiety
The male hormone has complex convection with several neural networks. The University of Florida conducted a study to examine different factors of male hormones linked with anxiety and depression. The study shows that testosterone present in the human brain is converted to estrogen with the help of an enzyme. If that conversion doesn’t take place, you will fall victim to depression and anxiety.
Improve Cognitive Abilities
Testosterone plays an important role in many cognitive functions including memory. An NCBI study found that using testosterone boosters to increase the lower T levels can have positive effects on verbal memory. Another study suggests that people who fall victim to Alzheimer’s disease have low levels of testosterone in their bodies and the reduction in their male hormones took place before diagnosis.
Enhances Your Self-Esteem
The male hormone affects physical characteristics such as sexual potency, muscle mass, body hair, and strength. While these characteristics might not impact your mental well-being directly, they can make you develop a poor relationship with your body.
Not only does it cause anger and feelings of sadness but it can also lead to low self-esteem and serious body image issues.
Good quality sleep is critically important for several neurological and physical processes such as memory storage and digestion. It also helps you process all the events emotionally that take place during the day. When your sleep is not restful or you don’t get enough sleep, you start holding onto even the smallest irritations and stresses that you normally would just forget about.
Not only does it make you feel lethargic and fatigued but also increasingly frustrated with even small inconveniences and obstacles. Additionally, your body produces testosterone during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and disturbed sleep will decrease your T levels even further. Poor quality sleep can also cause problems in your metabolic function and digestion that can lead to weight gain.
You can change your dietary habits to improve your sleep quality which will also improve your testosterone levels. Drinking a cup of herbal tea and avoiding eating just before going to bed will help your sleep better.
Methods to Improve Your Mood
Making a few changes in your daily routine and habits can improve your mood significantly. The following practices will help you regulate your emotional health and minimize your mood swings.
- Exercise: Exercise not only helps to naturally enhance testosterone levels, but it may also regenerate dopamine levels in your brain, which can help alleviate symptoms of despair or anxiety.
- Make Changes in Diet: Increasing your healthy protein intake and reducing your sugar and fat consumption will help you lose weight and enhance your mood.
- Minimize Stress: Cortisol, or the stress hormone, spikes can have a direct influence on testosterone lowering. Avoid situations that are aggravating and tense whenever possible.
While testosterone boosters can cause mood swings, the occurrence of this phenomenon is not very common. You can minimize the risks of this side effect by making sure that you don’t take testosterone boosters if your T levels are normal. It’s also important to follow your doctor’s advice if you need to improve your T levels using these supplements to avoid potential health problems such as mood swings associated with test-enhancing boosters.