Blog changes

Thanks to everyone who followed Training Because I Can! over the last nine years. This blog started with Addison's Disease, hypothyroidism and a crazy idea of doing an Ironman distance triathlon. My life has changed and so has this blog. I am using this blog strictly for Addison's Support topics from here on out. I hope to continue providing people with hints for living life well with adrenal insufficiency.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Addison's: Anxiety, Gut problems and Women's Testosterone

[Hormones in depressive illness. The role of cortisol and sexual steroids (author's transl)]

Ann Biol Clin (Paris). 1979; 37(1):49-57 (ISSN: 0003-3898)

de Lignières B; Mauvais-Jarvis P
It is actually highly probable than depression is linked to a decrease in noradrenergic activity in brain, at least in some areas including hypothalamus. The complexity of relations between dopaminergic and serotoninergic systems lead to multiple possibilities in hypothetical etiologic factors and in therapeutic interventions. A plasmatic drop in testosterone in men and estradiol in women is one of the situation able to induce a decrease in noradrenergic activity. It seems to be of primordial influence on depression at least in patients with predominant clinical hypogonadic symptoms. We still don't know the frequency on hypogonadism in peoples with predominant depressive symptoms. However this incidence may be fairly high because it is now demonstrated than environmental stress could impaired testicular and ovarian function by the means of anxiety hormones, catecholamines and cortisol, and also by a direct effect on hypothalamus. In no case this hormonal reactions are adaptative by means of anti-anxiety or anti-depressive effects. In contrary, they contribute to maintain the psycho-endocrine syndrome.

Dyslipidemia and high waist-hip ratio in women with self-reported social anxiety.

Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2004; 29(8):1037-46 (ISSN: 0306-4530)

Landén M; Baghaei F; Rosmond R; Holm G; Björntorp P; Eriksson E
Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Clinical Neuroscience, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg University, SE 431 80 Mölndal, Sweden.
Previous research has indicated that phobic anxiety is associated with coronary heart disease. In this study, the possible association between social anxiety and various anthropometric, metabolic, and endocrine measurements known to be associated with cardiovascular disease were studied in a population-based cohort of 216 women 41-42 years old. Each participant was assessed by means of a DSM-IV based self-report questionnaire regarding social anxiety and related psychiatric diagnoses. Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), body mass index (BMI), and serum levels of lipids and hormones were assessed. The prevalence of social anxiety was 14% (n=31). The social anxiety group displayed higher serum levels of triglycerides (1.3+/-0.9 vs. 1.0+/-0.5, P=0.003) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) (3.3+/-0.8 vs. 3.0+/-0.7, P=0.03), but lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL) (1.4+/-0.3 vs. 1.6+/-0.4, P=0.04) and HDL/LDL ratio (0.46+/-0.15 vs. 0.57+/-0.22, P=0.008) than the other women. Serum levels of total testosterone (1.6+/-0.8 vs. 2.2+/-1.1, P=0.013) and free thyroxin (14+/-2 vs. 16+/-4, P=0.04) were lower in subjects confirming social anxiety. While WHR was significantly higher in the social anxiety group (0.83+/-0.06 vs. 0.80+/-0.07, P=0.016), BMI did not differ between the groups. Our data suggest that self-reported social anxiety is associated with two established risk factors for cardiovascular disease: dyslipidemia and increased WHR.

Testosterone deficiency in women.

J Reprod Med. 2001; 46(3 Suppl):291-6 (ISSN: 0024-7758)

Davis S
Jean Hailes Foundation, 173 Carinish Road, Clayton, Victoria, 3168, Australia.
Testosterone (T) is an important component of female sexuality, enhancing interest in initiating sexual activity and response to sexual stimulation. Testosterone is also associated with greater well-being and with reduced anxiety and depression. Clinical and biochemical definitions of T deficiency have not been established; hence, the prevalence of this condition is not known. However, surgically menopausal women are among the populations most likely to experience T deficiency, a syndrome characterized by blunted or diminished motivation; persistent fatigue; decreased sense of personal well-being; sufficient plasma estrogen levels; and low circulating bioavailable T (either a low total T/sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) ratio or free T in the lower one-third of the female reproductive range); and low libido. Exogenous estrogen, particularly when administered orally, increases SHBG, which, in turn, reduces free T and estradiol (E2). After oophorectomy, levels of T and its precursor, androstenedione, decline by approximately 50%. T replacement continues to be evaluated as an adjunct to estrogen replacement therapy, particularly for women with androgen deficiency symptoms, surgically menopausal women and women with premature ovarian failure. In the United States, oral methyltestosterone is the common product currently approved for androgen replacement in women. The best product specifically designed for women has yet to be determined, as standardized, long-term, randomized, control clinical studies are lacking and product refinement continues.

Do male sex hormones protect from irritable bowel syndrome?

Am J Gastroenterol. 2000; 95(9):2296-300 (ISSN: 0002-9270)

Houghton LA; Jackson NA; Whorwell PJ; Morris J
Department of Medicine, University Hospital of South Manchester, West Didsbury, United Kingdom.
OBJECTIVE: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is more common in women and it is frequently assumed that being female may predispose to the development of this disorder. Alternatively, being male could offer some degree of protection and if so, this might be mediated by testosterone. The aim of this study was to assess whether male patients with IBS have lower levels of testosterone and related gonadotrophins than their unaffected counterparts and if this relates to rectal sensitivity. METHODS: Fifty secondary care, male outpatients with IBS (aged 19-71 yr) were compared with 25 controls (aged 22-67 yr). Each subject had serum testosterone, free testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, follicle stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone (LH) measured, together with rectal sensitivity to balloon distension. Anxiety and depression were also assessed. RESULTS: The only difference in the hormone levels between patients and controls that reached statistical significance was the lower value for LH in the IBS patients (p = 0.014). Although patients were more anxious and depressed than the controls (p < p =" 0.10]." p =" 0.001)">). Finally, there was a tendency for IBS symptomatology to be inversely related to testosterone levels (p = 0.15). CONCLUSIONS: These results support the need for further exploration of the role of male sex hormones in the pathophysiology of IBS.

[Hormone therapy of ageing: myths and realities]

Rev Med Brux. 2004; 25(4):A371-5 (ISSN: 0035-3639)

Cogan E
Service de Médecine Interne, Hôpital Erasme, ULB, Bruxelles.
Is well being in the elderly be improved by hormone replacement therapy which compensate deficits accounting for generalized weakness, poor endurance, loss of muscle strength, impaired mobility and balance and decreased cognitive functions? Hormone replacement therapy of menopause has favorable effects on bone loss and decreased cognitive functions but also on several unpleasant symptoms--vasomotor instability, skin atrophy, mucosal dryness, anxiety and fatigue--but at the prize of increased incidence of cancer and cardiovascular morbidity. Decreased testosterone levels in elderly men are associated with increased fatigability, decreased muscle strength and bone mass and increased risks of accelerated atheromatosis. Testosterone substitution seems to be helpful but with side effects, particularly development of prostate cancer. Aging also affects adrenal function. The consequences of decreased DHEA production are still matter of debate. DHEA administration in elderly women seems to be associated with favorable effects on physical and psychological well being. Somatopause is characterized by a progressive decrease of growth hormone production starting as soon as the third decade. Growth hormone therapy has favorable effects on lean body mass, skin atrophy as well on body fat reduction. However, numerous side effects and the theoretical increased risk of cancer limit the use of growth hormone therapy in the elderly.

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