Can Low Testosterone Cause Anxiety?
Posted: March 23, 2023
Everyone feels anxious from time to time, whether because of a big deadline coming up at work or they’re stressed about issues affecting their life. However, anxiety is a mental health condition that can interfere with your life, often causing intrusive thoughts and other symptoms. Anxiety is one of the most common psychiatric issues that people face, and it affects as many as 18% of American adults. What many don’t realize is that low testosterone may actually be a risk factor for anxiety. In some cases, low testosterone levels can cause symptoms of anxiety and depression and increase the effects of these disorders. However, treating low testosterone may improve your symptoms if you’re struggling with low T. Read on to learn more about the connection between testosterone and anxiety to see if treatment may help improve your daily life.
Make an appointment with our team today to discuss your symptoms and determine if you can benefit from testosterone replacement therapy.
Low Testosterone Can Lead to Anxiety
There’s been a lot of research linking low testosterone to anxiety in men. While it’s not exactly clear why testosterone can affect mood and anxiety levels, there’s pretty strong evidence that there is a relationship between the two.
For one, women are more than twice as likely as men to suffer from depression and anxiety. This has been reported all over the world. Many believe this difference is because men have about ten times more testosterone on average compared to women. Studies have found that testosterone may have a protective effect on mood and anxiety levels, which is why fewer men suffer from anxiety and depression. However, for men with hypogonadism (low testosterone), anxiety rates are higher.
Additionally, your risk for anxiety increases as you age. Your testosterone levels also decline as you age, beginning around age 30 or so. The older you are, the higher your risk for low T and all the symptoms that come with it. This is another reason that many believe testosterone may play an important role in anxiety.
Hormones Have a Huge Impact on Mood
Every hormone in your body can affect many different functions. If you’re too low or too high in one hormone, it can affect you physically, mentally, and emotionally. The same is true with testosterone. If you have low testosterone, it can impact many different elements of your health and well-being. Sex hormones are among the most common categories of hormones that can affect anxiety, along with stress hormones and thyroid hormones. Therefore, it makes sense that low T can lead to depression and anxiety symptoms.
Men with Low Testosterone are More Likely to Suffer from Anxiety and Depression
Several studies have shown that men with low testosterone levels are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety compared to men with healthy testosterone levels. In fact, depression and anxiety are often listed as symptoms of low T. Therefore, if you do have deficient testosterone levels, you might be more at risk for developing anxiety later. Adding to the problem is that low T can also make anxiety symptoms worse if you already have an anxiety disorder.
How Low Testosterone May Affect Anxiety
The exact reason hypogonadism and anxiety are so interconnected isn’t clear. Researchers are still researching this relationship. However, there may be many different ways that testosterone levels can influence anxiety.
For one, low testosterone can cause a lot of symptoms that may increase anxiety levels. Fatigue, mood changes, sleep problems, and low sex drive are all common symptoms in men with low T. All of these can also affect your everyday life in ways that may increase anxiety levels. They also can mimic many symptoms of anxiety disorders.
Testosterone can also affect other hormones in your body that may contribute to anxiety. One example is cortisol. Cortisol and testosterone seem to have a back and forth relationship. As cortisol increases, your body typically reduces testosterone production. However, low testosterone levels can also cause increased cortisol levels, furthering the problem and creating a dangerous cycle for men with low testosterone and anxiety.
Additionally, low testosterone may affect the levels of dopamine and serotonin in your brain. These important brain chemicals may play a role in depression and anxiety. As testosterone decreases, you may have less serotonin and dopamine, or your brain may not be able to use them as effectively. This can lead to anxiety symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Anxiety
As we mentioned, everyone feels stressed from time to time, but how do you know if you have anxiety? Getting a diagnosis requires you to talk to a doctor, but you can look out for some common symptoms. If you notice these symptoms in your own life, it may be time to talk to someone about whether you have an anxiety disorder:
- Racing thoughts
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Racing heart
- Shortness of breath
- Gastrointestinal problems
The exact symptoms may be different depending on the type of anxiety you experience. Additionally, low testosterone shares several of these symptoms, often making it difficult to distinguish between the two, which is why many men are actually misdiagnosed with anxiety or depression before treating their low T.
Common Symptoms of Low Testosterone
It’s also important to know the signs of low testosterone so you can get treatment to start feeling better and potentially reduce your risks for anxiety and other health conditions related to low T. Here are some common symptoms of hypogonadism:
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Unexplained weight gain
- Decreased muscle mass/strength
- Low mood
- Difficulty concentrating
If you notice these symptoms, with or without symptoms of anxiety, get in touch with our providers to learn if you have low testosterone. We can test your hormone levels, discuss your health, and provide treatment if necessary. The most common treatment for low T is testosterone replacement therapy.
Testosterone Replacement Can Improve Anxiety Symptoms
If you have low T, testosterone replacement therapy may improve your anxiety symptoms. Testosterone has been shown to work well for both depression and anxiety for people who have hypogonadism.
One study has even found that testosterone can boost serotonin if you have hypogonadism. This is important, as serotonin may play a key role in mental health problems like anxiety. Serotonin is a brain chemical that does many different things. Low serotonin levels are commonly associated with depression and anxiety. In fact, many anxiety medications are designed specifically to increase serotonin levels. A recent study found that people who took testosterone replacement therapy had better serotonin levels in the brain, which may relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Men’s Healthcare Solutions from Low T Center
Our team at Low T Center is here to help you feel your best with convenient, affordable treatment solutions for low testosterone and other common health issues. We can diagnose and treat low T so you can enjoy boosted energy, higher sex drive, and increased muscle mass. Providers at our clinics work with you to find a customized treatment plan that works best for your lifestyle. Whether this means getting in office testosterone injections or joining our at home treatment programs, we’re here to provide you with simple treatment solutions that work best for you so you can improve your health. Schedule an appointment now to get started!
Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.