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Men with ADD/ADHD This forum is for men to discuss issues related to being a man with AD/HD.

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  #1  
Old 10-09-08, 02:39 AM
starvingstudent starvingstudent is offline
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impact of Testosterone on ADHD and mental health in general

I know this is somewhat random...and from the brief reading I've done, it seems like testosterone levels has more of an effect on other mental health conditions or more general ones (e.g. low testosterone levels have been correlated with depression), and some studies actually say HIGH testosterone levels correlate with ADHD -- but this is complicated because I have ADHD-PI which in some senses is the opposite of classic ADHD, particularly in regards to the traits that seem logically hand in hand with testosterone effects.

but basically, my question is, do you think/know if LOW testosterone levels has a significant effect on brain functioning, attention, ADHD-PI, depression, etc.?

I ask because I have a varicocele, which is an abnormality in the veins of left testicle (essentially analogous to varicose veins, which are common in legs). I asked my doctor about it last year, and he brushed it off and said it was harmless. But I was reading that it does have a negative impact on testosterone synthesis, and I have had a whole slew of mental health issues, so i don't think i am way out in left field in suspecting that this could potentially have an impact on my hormones, mood, and so forth.

being that ADHD-pi involves a lot of INHIBITION, which seems like the opposite of classic ADHD, and testosterone sounds like it has sort of an activating effect...

It seems like there is a very obvious or simple relationship between my particular symptoms and difficulties and testosterone...im definitely not implying a sole causal relationship, but it certainly could contribute?

sorry if this is TMI!!!!!!
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Old 10-09-08, 06:46 AM
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Re: impact of Testosterone on ADHD and mental health in general

I think this is a really interesting subject, but it will be difficult to come to any conclusions unless there are studies out there on it. Hormone levels definitely have an effect on various aspects of the brain, there is no dispute about that, and certainly affects mood and emotion. I would not be at all surprised to find that it could potentially affect ADD. However, its effect on the brain is extremely difficult to pin down as effects manifest differently for different people.

It is interesting to wonder if men with lower testosterone levels develop ADD-PI rather than H as, according to the literature, this is the version most commonly seen in women. I have PI, and was prescribed hormone treatment a couple of years ago to correct low testosterone levels. I have noticed a few minor changes due to it, but if it has had any effect at all on my inattentive ADD, it is to have made it worse (I have noticed its effects more over that time, though this may be due to increased responsibility and necessity for concentration in my life, so I am hesitant to blame the testosterone). I have certainly not developed any hyperactivity. However, as ADD develops in childhood this would not discount a connection between higher testosterone and hyperactivity/low testosterone and inattention. The developmental stages are no doubt the vital ones.

Interesting post.

Also, I don't know anything about your condition, but if you are concerned, you should look for a second opinion. Doctors are fallible, and it may be helpful to have some tests done.
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Old 10-09-08, 08:29 AM
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Re: impact of Testosterone on ADHD and mental health in general

Why dont you get your test levels checked, and if you did what was result for total T bound and free. I have the varicole vein also and my levels are spot on for a 26 year old. Its more of a cosmetic issue from what I have been told by the endcrinologist.
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Old 10-09-08, 10:18 PM
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Re: impact of Testosterone on ADHD and mental health in general

thanks for the replies.

that is very interesting that you (artfuldodger) actually found your ADD-PI to worsen with an increase in testosterone, because you would think that if ADD worsen, it would be because of Hyperactivity, but it sounds like you got more ADD-PI, so daydreamy, withdrawn and passive?

thewrx, that is interesting that an endocrinologist insisted the varicocele is mostly a cosmetic issue. indeed, I'm sure more than half of the people with varicoceles have normal hormonal and fertility levels.

i will have to get tested/measured. i imagine it is a simple saliva test? or blood test? i really just was brainstorming this last night, so i havent had time to make an appt. and stuff.

i am wondering if lower testosterone could make a difference in mood, even if it hasn't been lowered to the "abnormal" range, and simply "below average."

is a testosterone test (no pun intended) a strange request to ask your doctor? i sometimes don't feel entitled to serious medical attention because of the way mental health is viewed in our culture -- as being subordinate or not real or something you control yourself with your own will. :-( but i think my issues are very physical at this point, and will need a medical intervention in order to remediate them, as well as circumstantial changes.

take care
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Old 10-09-08, 11:09 PM
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Re: impact of Testosterone on ADHD and mental health in general

Just ask for a testosterone panel, which at the very least should include serum and unbound testosterone. This is generally a blood test, although saliva tests do exist (they are relatively inaccurate). This test can be carried out by your GP. I requested this to be done a few months ago, mainly out of curiousity. My levels were actually quite high (880ng/dl, 4.8% unbound), but this may be due to the fact that I lift weights 6x a week.

Testosterone is considered to be a "neuromodulator", and can certainly effect mood and energy levels. Also, testosterone does play a role in cognition, particularly in regards to spatial ability. Perhaps try lifting weights regularly, I know it helps with my hyperactivity. Avoid excessive cardio, this can actually lead to decreased levels of testosterone...
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Old 10-10-08, 02:50 AM
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Re: impact of Testosterone on ADHD and mental health in general

Quote:
Originally Posted by Contrapunctus View Post
Avoid excessive cardio, this can actually lead to decreased levels of testosterone...
woah i never knew that
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Old 10-10-08, 08:06 AM
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Re: impact of Testosterone on ADHD and mental health in general

Yes, it was just my inattention that got worse, mostly problems with concentration and focus, and somewhat with memory and tendency to space out. I would have been very surprised if I had developed hyperactive symptoms, as I'm a very sluggish and lethargic person (it might have been good for me!).

A hunt around the net turned up some discussions by female to male transsexual people who started taking testosterone alongside ADD, and a quick look through the responses suggests there is a likelihood of testosterone worsening ADD, which may or may not increase symptoms of hyperactivity. Link is here if you are interested in more anecdotal evidence: {http://community.livejournal.com/ftm/tag/mental+health-add/adhd}

Hormone levels definitely affect mood, but how they do it is an individual thing. I don't think it's something usually included in a basic health check, but I also don't think it's an odd request to ask for hormone levels to be measured, as there are a lot of reasons you might be concerned about that.

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Old 10-10-08, 11:34 AM
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Re: impact of Testosterone on ADHD and mental health in general

What a co-incidence I was reading a magazine article today, about a man who had problems and was depressed, forgetful, didn't want to go out or do anything etc etc and it was discovered his testosterone levels were very low, he has been put on medication for it and within two weeks couldn't believe the improvement. I'm in work at the moment but when I go home I will look up the article and post on here again.
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Old 10-10-08, 12:15 PM
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Re: impact of Testosterone on ADHD and mental health in general

I learn more interesting stuff here!

My previous doc always included testosterone level tests (it was a blood test, but I don't know what specific type of test it was) in his physicals. He was aware that testosterone can cause a variety of issues and is often overlooked. I'd never had one previous to going to him. Or since.

Mine is slightly high, but wasn't high enough for him to be concerned. And I'm diagnosed as combined type, so far.
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Old 10-10-08, 12:15 PM
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Re: impact of Testosterone on ADHD and mental health in general

Well, I am just reading up on diosmetin in another thread. Somone claimed it is great for ADD.

It seems the stuff inhibits breakdown of noradrenalin. This stuff and similar is used for varicose veins, since noradrenalin will increase the muscle activation in the vessel wall and cosntrict the vessel.

Noradrenalin is also a very important issue for inattentive ADDers. Lack of noradrenalin or stimulation by noradrenalin might be the cause of inattention.

That could explain why you have both.

I donītīknow about the testosterone. Could be.
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Old 10-12-08, 07:53 AM
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Re: impact of Testosterone on ADHD and mental health in general

ADHD is more common in boys/men than girls/women, so I guess that testosterone has something to do with it.
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Old 10-18-08, 11:35 AM
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Re: impact of Testosterone on ADHD and mental health in general

I'm diagnosed with ADHD and BPII or cyclothemia.

In Canada testosterone is leveled between 2.9-27. I'm taking 240 mgs of andriol daily and the level is still at 4.6. I have this low end depression that I cant shake off. My libido is very low.

So I'M trying to see a specialist..

Weird
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Old 11-03-08, 11:05 AM
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Re: impact of Testosterone on ADHD and mental health in general

Well! in a previous post I had mentionned that I had started a ttset. therapy and still being low on it but the libido was much better.

In the past year I had 3 surgeries.

The first was a TURP to fix the prestate. The second I got was because I was unable to urinate so it was blocked.

Three months later the same problem came along and he finally told me that it was caused by a bladder obstruction and I had to stop the Testo. therapy which was probebly causing it and I read on it and confirmes it.

So here in Canada the Testo levers are between 2.9 -27 and on 240 mgs od testosterone (6 caps) my level was only at 4.6. So I immediatly stopped it and after 3 weeks its horrible.. I happened to wach a porno movie by curiousity and I feel like it was the flintstones..


Dont wish this on anyone.. Sh.... I'm a streer.
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Old 11-03-08, 11:42 AM
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Re: impact of Testosterone on ADHD and mental health in general

When I was trying to figure out why I had depression I had a blood test done to check my thyroid ummm... productivity? and the doc recommended I check my testosterone levels along with that.

They came back "normal", but the doc said what's normal for me could be low or high for someone else, so it's hard to tell.

So having both been depressed and having ADD is weird when you think of it in terms of testosterone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Contrapunctus View Post
Avoid excessive cardio, this can actually lead to decreased levels of testosterone...
I don't know about cardio specifically, but over-training in general can really decrease your testosterone levels. Make sure you're not over-exercising and make sure you do get enough sleep and nutrition.
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Old 01-04-09, 02:27 AM
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Re: impact of Testosterone on ADHD and mental health in general

I am an adult male (37) who has struggled with what I would describe as mild ADHD-PI for pretty much ever. It hasn't set me back. I'm an engineer and an attorney, which are both remarkably tedious fields, but have always been fascinating to me.

My struggle is with general attentiveness which ebbs and flows, but sometimes I can go a whole day and realize that I haven't done a single thing and I can't even remember it. Like I was floating and blinked my eyes and suddenly it was 4 hours later.

I'm posting to this thread (found via google) because I believe that my ADHD-PI may be linked to my testosterone levels, at least in part. I have always had a somewhat low libido, but until my partner got fed up and told me to get my testosterone tested, I didn't realize that I had extremely low total testosterone. I've been tested several times over the past 4 years, and my levels run between 90-160 ng/dl.

I made a link to my ADHD-PI when I tried testosterone replacement therapy using transdermal gel (Testim) and noticed changes in my consciousness, including an abatement of my lack of attentiveness. Unfortunately, the transdermal gel stopped working (no gain in testosterone a month later), and so I stopped the therapy. But for the first week or so of therapy, the change in my thinking was marked.

I am seeing an endocrinologist now and hope to establish the cause of my low testosterone and look at other T-replacement therapies (except for the shots!). I'm interested to find that other people may also have established a link, even if it's only partial.

As a side note, another mental side effect of T-replacement was very intense dreams for someone who rarely has memorable dreams. Not sure if it's related to this discussion, but it was another marked change for that week that the Testim appeared to be effective.

Just my late night ramblings...
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