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Can Stress and Anxiety Cause Low Testosterone?

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With constant exposure to new discoveries regarding the coronavirus and the influx of news surrounding COVID-19, it’s creating an increased level of stress and anxiety in men and women. 

At EveresT Men’s Health, we understand that uncertain times like these can impact your overall health and wellness, and through it all, we want to offer our support and help you to get back to feeling like your best again. By understanding the effects of stress and anxiety on the male reproductive system, recognizing common signs of low T, and learning ways to better cope with stress triggers, you can begin your journey toward feeling stronger, healthier, and more like yourself.

The Effects of Stress and Anxiety in Men

Stress and anxiety can feel all encompassing, and it can certainly be taxing on your entire body, including your physical, mental, and emotional health. According to American Psychological Association (APA), stress causes the adrenal glands to produce cortisol—a hormone that’s essential to the cardiovascular, circulatory, and male reproduction systems—and “excess amounts of cortisol can affect the normal biochemical functioning of the male reproductive system,” affecting areas like the following:

  • Decreased libido or lack of interest in sex

  • Decrease sperm production and maturation

  • Possible male anatomy infection(s) to testes, prostate, and/or urethra, if stress affects immune system

Because excess cortisol can affect the male reproductive system, you may even experience some symptoms that are also common with low testosterone (i.e. low T, hypogonadism, etc.). 

How Do You Know if You Have Low T?

Finding the underlying cause of some specific symptoms can prove difficult, as long-term stress and anxiety can share some of the same symptoms as low T, including decreased energy levels and fatigue, decreased libido, and difficulty sleeping. Without performing a thorough medical exam and consultation, it’s difficult to determine whether anxiety and stress are causing your symptoms, if low T is causing your symptoms, or if stress is heightening or worsening symptoms of your low T. When in doubt, bring up your concerns to you men’s health specialist at your next EveresT appointment!

If you notice one or more of the following common symptoms of low T, you may consider talking with your EveresT Men’s Health team about determining the underlying cause(s):

  • Erectile dysfunction (ED)

  • Low semen production

  • Decrease in size of testicles

  • Loss of muscle mass

  • Decrease in bone mass

  • Hair loss

  • Weight gain & increased body fat

  • Mood changes

  • Lack of interest in sex

  • Low energy and fatigue

  • Difficulty sleeping

Best Practices to Manage Stress Levels

Regardless if you’re experiencing signs of low T or not, it’s important to find ways that help you to better cope with stress and anxiety, so you can take care of every facet of your health and wellbeing. Stress is subjective; it looks different, acts different, and is caused by different triggers for each person. While we all experience stress differently, it still negatively impacts the body. 

Since stress in men can infiltrate into other areas of your physical, mental, and emotional health, take the time you need to care for yourself in whatever way that helps you or with these stress-management tips:

  • Exercise regularly

  • Eat a well-balanced diet

  • Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep

  • Plan some “unplugged” time from COVID-19 news, social media, screens, etc.

  • Carve time into your schedule to do the things you love (i.e. hiking, beach volleyball, card night, etc.)

  • Reach out and ask for help when you feel overwhelmed

Many of these stress-management tips incorporate healthy-living practices for a well-rounded, active lifestyle. When your body gets the fuel, sleep, and activity it needs to stay healthy, it works harder to keep you feeling healthy. 

Visit Your Leading Minnesota Men’s Health Clinic

At EveresT, our team of men’s health specialists knows that you already balance so much on your plate. And especially during times like these unchartered COVID-19 waters, it’s important to learn how to identify stress triggers, live a balanced life, and prioritize your health and wellbeing, so you feel like your best self when facing difficult times like these head on.

If you’re feeling easily fatigued or your loss of interest in sex is affecting your relationship and confidence, you may be experiencing signs of low T and/or anxiety. Our experienced providers offer a proactive approach to medicine, helping patients treat a variety of men’s health concerns, including men’s medical weight loss, testosterone replacement, treatment for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and more!

To learn more about stress-management strategies or low T treatment, contact EveresT at our Plymouth and Woodbury locations today to schedule a consultation with one of our men’s health specialists, where our providers will discuss a personalized treatment plan focused on addressing your symptoms, concerns, and individual health goals, helping you to achieve your optimal health.