The More You Know

Have you heard the word gonads? Contrary to popular assumption, gonads aren’t only related to male genitalia. Medically speaking, gonads are male testicles and female ovaries. The word gonads is similar to the word testosterone. It, too, is relevant to both male and female bodies. When we talk about testosterone, we usually think about the characteristics of masculinity. Testosterone is more complex than that, though, and functions in a variety of ways in all bodies.

Back to Basics

To start at the beginning, testosterone is an androgen. Androgens are chemical messengers known as hormones, and, specifically, they’re sex hormones. Androgens, including testosterone, are made in the testicles, ovaries, and the adrenal glands, which are located on top of the kidneys.

Testosterone is important in:

  • Development of muscles
  • Strong, dense bones
  • Creation of red blood cells
  • Libido
  • Sexual functioning

In male bodies, testosterone initiates puberty and is responsible for sexual functioning, including strong erections. In women, testosterone is responsible for ovarian function and the complete development of female genitalia.

Did You Know?

Hormones are so complex. They initiate or maintain hundreds of bodily functions. When our hormones are imbalanced, it creates a myriad of other health considerations or even concerns that affect our wellness. Decreased testosterone, for example, can cause depression. Our testosterone levels decrease naturally as we age, which makes us susceptible to physiological and psychological changes simply because we’ve lived for a certain length of time.

Testosterone and Depression

As our testosterone level decreases, we may experience physical symptoms like low energy, decreased libido, weight gain, or obesity. Too little testosterone can also manifest as depression, even if you haven’t experienced depression before.

Symptoms of depression are:

  • Becoming easily angered or annoyed
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Having difficulty getting out of bed
  • Irregularities in sleeping patterns (too much or too little)
  • Changes in appetite (eating more or less than usual)
  • Having little interest in social activities
  • Experiencing decreased interest in hobbies or activities

It’s important to note that even if you eat well, exercise, manage your stress levels, and are otherwise reasonably healthy, an imbalance in testosterone can impact your mental health.

Can Low Testosterone Really Cause Depression?

The short answer is, yes. Men experience depression as they age, especially if they have hypogonadism or low testosterone (low T). There are a variety of physical symptoms exhibited as part of experiencing low testosterone, but depression isn’t talked about as frequently as other symptoms are. Numerous studies show the correlation between low T and depressive symptoms in men.

Women, who are more likely to experience depression more frequently than men anyway, can also experience depression related to testosterone imbalance.  In women, testosterone-related depression can occur with testosterone levels that are too high or too low.

How Vallee Health Repair Can Help

If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression and it’s not typical for you, or, if you’ve experienced depression previously but this time seems different, you may benefit from a complete physical and lab testing to check your testosterone level. Vallee Health Repair in Quincy, IL specializes in hormones and hormone replacement therapy. Call (217) 577-2992 or email vhrillinois@gmail.com to schedule a consultation that will allow you to achieve the best hormonal balance possible. 

Disclaimer: The information contained here was not written by a medical doctor and is intended for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for medical advice.