Testosterone

TBI, PTSD, and Low Testosterone: How TRT improves cognitive health

Low testosterone affects about 80% of males who have suffered a TBI or PTSD. The efficacy of testosterone replacement therapy to restore brain function, focus, and general wellness has been shown by medical studies, lessening the life-altering stress that these brain injuries have on men. We all have a pituitary gland, located near the base of the brain, and is prone to serious damage if the brain is struck or violently disturbed, requiring it to absorb massive amounts of pressure. The pituitary gland is the “master gland” and vital engine for the hypothalamus-pituitary axis to perform and initiate triggers that allow the body to create adequate testosterone, growth hormone, and estrogen to function normally. When the hypothalamus-pituitary axis is damaged by TBI or PTSD, communication between the brain and testicles is disrupted, resulting in the typical low testosterone symptoms.

Testosterone and Anxiety

The hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex are all affected by chronic stress, which leads to anxiety and depressive disorders. When males have low testosterone, the brain fills the void with cortisol, resulting in an increased heart rate and blood pressure. The brain uses testosterone as a protective factor for hippocampal cell growth and recovery, particularly during the early stages of recovery. Amygdala, a part of our brain, is responsible for regulating anxiety and fear. The degree of activation in relation to fear reduction is influenced by the number of testosterone receptors in the amygdala. Because the highly sensitive receptors in the amygdala have nothing to “feed” on when testosterone levels are low, the amygdala has no way of fending against frightening thoughts. In men, testosterone turns to estradiol spontaneously, and aromatization is the term for this process. However, the aromatization of testosterone to estradiol during TRT has been shown in trials to have an anxiety-reducing effect on the amygdala. Testosterone also aids in the organization of neural circuits in the brain and in the metabolization of new cells. Testosterone replacement therapy appears to help males with low testosterone reduce cell oxidation, damage, and structural abnormalities in the hippocampus. In long-term social isolation, testosterone replacement has a protective effect against the development of anxiety.

Testosterone and Stress

Hormones trigger the sympathetic adrenal medullary (SAM) division of the nervous system, which produces epinephrine and norepinephrine, nicknamed adrenaline, in stressful situations. Men will experience an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and blood vessel narrowing as the SAM begins to release adrenaline. The chain of events that leads to the production of stress hormones in the body is fascinating. The hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN), which directs the body to release peptides of corticotropin-releasing hormone, activates the endocrine axis in response to stress (CRH). Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) activates the pituitary gland’s adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which releases cortisol into the bloodstream. Excess cortisol and glucocorticoids damage the body’s natural ability to fight off unfavorable effects when the endocrine axis is constantly stressed. Mental diseases such as PTSD, anxiety disorder, and major depressive disorder are caused by long-term detrimental effects. When testosterone levels are low, all of this can happen. TRT helps restore testosterone levels in older men, which has a calming effect on the stress response.

Cortisol and Testosterone

Think about cortisol as the built-in system of your body. It is its main stress hormone. Some parts of your brain cope with it to control your mood, motivation, and fear. Researchers out of the University of Texas at Austin added to discourses that examine the link between lower cortisol levels and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The dynamics of the pituitary gland and the reason why the existence of testosterone and cortisol is related to PTSD are explored more deeply. “New evidence suggests that testosterone inhibits cortisol action and vice versa. Many researchers realize that they can’t comprehend the impacts of one without also monitoring the activity of the other,” said Robert Josephs, the study’s author. “Previous attempts to relate PTSD to cortisol may have failed because testosterone’s substantial effect on hormonal stress control was not taken into account.” Reference According to the study, exercising at 60% exertion raises a person’s VO2max (maximal oxygen uptake) to the point where the body is under stress and naturally releases cortisol. After a workout, testosterone, growth hormone, estrogen, and other hormones rush into the body to flush away cortisol and heal the body. The purpose of cortisol after it is released is to assist the body in maintaining blood glucose levels during physical activity by supporting an increase in amino acid movement in the muscles — muscles are begging for aid, and cortisol is trying to help. In contrast to cortisol, testosterone enables the heart and liver system to function optimally. Testosterone decreases the operation of many different physiologic functions, disrupting many health symptoms.

How TBI and PTSD affect sex drive

Low sex drive affects more than half of those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. Physical or mental problems, such as melancholy or worry, might cause a person’s eagerness to wane. The pituitary gland does not allow the necessary hormones to be released adequately, which causes this. The cerebral cortex and limbic system are where men’s sex drive and sexual performance begin. There is a definite separation between the pituitary gland, testicles, and these two locations when males have low testosterone because of the endocrine axis being messed up. Many men are aware that certain parts of the brain are so potent that they can orgasm simply by thinking about or dreaming about sex, a phenomenon known as wet dreams. The cerebral cortex, which makes up the outer layer of the brain, is responsible for planning and thinking. When the cerebral cortex is stimulated, impulses go to various sections of the brain and nerves, speeding up the heart and redirecting blood flow to the party in your pants, causing erectile dysfunction.

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