What does testosterone have to do with midlife Crisis?

Well it doesn’t take too much of a stretch of imagination to understand. We men have always known that “feeling good” and testosterone boosts go hand-in-hand. But now that science has caught up to our grade 9 science class they finally have something to say.

A consistent finding in the scientific literature is that testosterone increase even by replacement therapy produces an increased feeling of well-being. Published studies show that low levels of free testosterone correlates with symptoms of depression and other psychological disorders.

According to www.lef.org the most frequent common side effect of prescription antidepressant drugs is the suppression of libido. This is NOT what we want. Those with depression either accept this drug-induced reduction in quality of life, or get off the antidepressant drugs so they can at least have a somewhat normal sex life.

If more psychiatrists had their clients blood tested for free testosterone and prescribed natural testosterone therapies to those with low free testosterone, the need for libido-suppressing antidepressant drugs could be reduced or eliminated.

Testosterone replacement often enhances libido, the opposite effect of most prescription antidepressants. One study showed that patients with major depression experienced improvement that was equal to that achieved with standard antidepressant drugs.

A 12-month clinical trial using Androderm resulted in a statistically significant reduction in the depression score (6.9 before versus 3.9 after). Also noted were highly significant decreases in fatigue: from 79% before the patch to only 10% after 12 months.

According to Jonathan Wright, M.D., co-author of Maximize Your Vitality & Potency, the following effects have been reported in response to low free testosterone levels:

  • Loss of ability to concentrate
  • Moodiness and emotionality
  • Touchiness and irritability
  • Great timidity
  • Feeling weak
  • Inner unrest
  • Memory failure
  • Reduced intellectual agility
  • Passive attitudes
  • General tiredness
  • Reduced interest in surroundings

The above feelings can also be clinical symptoms of depression, and testosterone replacement therapy has been shown to alleviate these conditions. Testosterone thus has exciting therapeutic potential in the treatment of depression in men.

So why don’t doctors treat our hormones then instead? The answer is profound. Medical doctors in training for 7 years receive only 4 days teaching that covers “hormones”.
Yet when you go to see him; he is supposed to be in-the-know and likely won’t tell you that he doesn’t know. To him it is simpler to prescribe a drug to treat the symptom than to earnestly seek a cure in a region he knows very little about.

Even if you were to ask for a Testosterone Blood Test – they will test your total testosterone levels and report a scale of low / normal / high. These results mean absolutely nothing. “Normal” is interpreted as average for a midlife male between forty and sixty years old. Never mind that what is typically “average” for a midlife male is the results in the list above. My response to my doctor was “I have about all of the normal that I care to take!

The only blood test that will indicate true results is a bio-available testosterone test that measures how much free testosterone is not bound by SGBG or converted (aromatased) into Estrogen. A high level of total testosterone with a high level of Estrogen (E2) will yield the same results in the above list.

Doctors don’t / won’t treat our hormones because they do not know enough and are often resistant to their patients teaching them.

Two major cycles of a man in midlife crisis (depression & anxiety) are directly related to his current levels of bio-available free testosterone. We can deal effectively with much at the root of midlife male depression by inhibiting the conversion of your testosterone into estrogen. Furthermore we may release more bio-available testosterone to your receptors by reducing SHBG’s binding of free testosterone.

Two Natural Supplements that aid this process are Chrysin-pepperine and Nettle Root Extract. Flavonoids such as chrysin are of considerable interest because they suppress excess estrogen via their aromatase-inhibiting properties. Although this cancer preventing effect is most important for women, inhibiting aromatase in midlife men has tremendous potential for naturally suppressing excess estrogen while boosting low levels of testosterone. Pilot studies indicate that chrysin increases total and free testosterone levels in the majority of men who take it with piperine – pepper extract.

Nettle Root Extract

About 90% of testosterone is produced by the testes; the remainder is produced by the adrenal glands. Testosterone functions as an aphrodisiac hormone in brain cells and as an anabolic hormone in the development of bone and skeletal muscle. But testosterone that becomes bound to serum globulin (SHBG) is not available to cell receptor sites. The hormone that controls levels of free testosterone is called SHBG. When testosterone binds to SHBG, it loses its biological activity and becomes known as “bound testosterone,” as opposed to the desirable “free testosterone.”

To get the desired antidepressant results of free testosterone we need to free it up from SHBG. Enter Nettle. A highly concentrated extract from the nettle root provides a unique mechanism for increasing levels of free testosterone. European research has identified constituents of nettle root that bind to SHBG in place of testosterone, thus reducing SHBG’s binding of free testosterone. As the authors of one study stated, these constituents of nettle root “may influence the blood level of free, i.e., active, steroid hormones by displacing them from the SHBG binding site.”

As wonderful as these natural substances are they pale in comparison with prescription BIOIDENTICAL Testosterone Replacement unless he is in early stages of testosterone decline (age 34- 40ish). As Emerald said “ a cream made by a compounding Pharmacy” is best and bioidentical to our bodies natural production. Within days to weeks he will feel like a new man and be more empowered to lay the crisis of midlife to rest.

Testosterone replacement does not end MLC but it DOES give us the power and clarity of mind to deal with many of the issues we confront while in it. Finding the right doctor is most men’s challenge.

Posted on the Midlife Crisisk Forum by forum member Newman. Visit Newman’s site FortySixty.org which primarily provides support for men dealing with male midlife crisis.