Scientists have discovered how testosterone affects how your body responds to a variety of environmental stimuli, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
The study, led by Dr. David D. Katz, Ph.
D., a professor of endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, examined the role of testosterone in how the body responds in the context of a variety (a) social interaction (b) environmental stress (c) chronic stressors, and (d) stressors that occur naturally.
Treating with testosterone may improve your performance in social interactions and stressors (b), and it may improve the response to chronic stress, including chronic stress-induced depression, and it might increase the body’s response to stressors such as depression and anxiety.
“We’re really just looking at the impact of testosterone on how it affects our response to the stressors,” said Dr. Katz.
“What we found is that testosterone helps our body get through these stressful situations more quickly and more easily, and that it’s not only the testosterone that helps us through these things, but the hormonal environment that helps as well.”
In the study, Dr. D. Katie Katz and his colleagues examined the effect of testosterone treatment on the body of a young woman who had been diagnosed with chronic stressor-induced depressive disorder.
The young woman, whose name was withheld for privacy reasons, had been undergoing treatment for depression and had been prescribed medication for depression for the past six months.
The woman was also prescribed medication to help manage her stress response to social interaction, which was known to increase the amount of cortisol released during stress.
But Dr. Katie had never seen her take a medication for stress.
“She was always on a medication,” Dr. Katz said.
“It was only once she was going to take a prescription that we noticed a change in her behavior.”
During a series of social interactions, she began to exhibit a dramatic change in behavior, such as turning down invitations, being more withdrawn, and taking more aggressive actions.
“This is something that is typically seen in people who have depression,” Dr D. Katazoff said.
“If you look at people who are depressed, they often do something that makes them feel good, like they are having fun and it’s relaxing, and they get a boost of energy and feel better.
And they usually do this for a while, but it’s never permanent.”
Dr. Katz said the change in mood and behavior was unusual.
“I think that’s because the person that we’re looking at in this study was having this reaction to a lot of social situations that are not necessarily stressful,” Dr Katz said.
The patient’s condition also had the potential to be due to chronic inflammation, a condition that has been linked to depression and is often associated with increased levels of cortisol.
In order to understand the relationship between stress and cortisol, Dr Katz and colleagues had to establish the timing of each stressful event.
“At the beginning of the experiment, we had an initial protocol that involved one test session for each stressful situation,” Dr Katazon said.
But, as the patient began to experience a significant increase in cortisol levels, Dr Katie Katz began to notice a pattern.
“The higher the cortisol level, the more pronounced the response,” he said.
So, he and his team began testing the cortisol levels of the other patients who had not been tested in the experiment.
“When the cortisol was low, we found that the response was more rapid and less dramatic,” Dr Katie said.
This is what Dr. John T. Rennie, Ph, a professor at the School of Medicine at the Icahn School of Geriatrics at Mount Sinai and one of the study’s senior authors, said about the study.
“People are more responsive to stress when they feel good,” Dr Rennies said.
A quick fixFor a woman who was already having an increase in anxiety and depressive symptoms, Dr D Katz and Dr Katz hypothesized that a quick fix might be the answer.
“As the cortisol rose, there was an increase of cortisol in her bloodstream, and so, we started treating her with an anti-inflammatory medication, but we didn’t do anything else for a period of time,” Dr T. Katz told The Hindu.
“Then, as it rose, we did an experiment in which we started administering testosterone.
We started administering it right away.
So, we could start seeing an effect within a few hours.”
Dr Katz said that the effect lasted for up to two days.
“That’s really what it was designed to do, it’s to mimic what happens when we get stress.
We start treating her right away, we’re doing a blood test and we’re trying to mimic the same kind of reaction we saw,” Dr Y. Dabiri, a research scientist at the Department of Biostatistics and Microbiology at McGill University, told The Hindustan Times.
Dr Dabiris lab was the first