Heavy Blues: Weight and Depression

Topics: Aging and Costs of Aging, Obesity and Weight Loss

Problems with weight control can be an issue for your health, but did you know overweight could also be causing depression?

When a man gains those extra pounds around his waist, which is where men do, his testosterone levels may be reduced.

DepressionTestosterone affects a man’s mood and outlook on life. It also helps build stamina, and increases sex drive, energy, and motivation. Testosterone levels in men commonly fall naturally over time through aging, though they don’t have to: testosterone decline is not necesarily part of normal aging.  Being overweight in the middle, with visceral fat, can also significantly decrease those levels. That can lead to depressed mood, irritability, a loss of vitality, and poor sex drive. And performance, not just in bed, but at work.

A man as little as 30 pounds overweight can be affected. Studies have shown that if a man who is 6’1” gains 30 pounds he will suffer a drop in testosterone equivalent to adding 10 years to his current age.

A male who displays any of the following behavior may be showing symptoms of undiagnosed depression.

  • Anger issues
  • Regular substance abuse
  • Constant controlling or violent behavior
  • Being overly involved in work or sports
  • Infidelity
  • Hazardous behavior or unnecessary risks

 
I’d like to use this space on my Paging Dr. La Puma blog to let you know that depression can be treated. Drugs do help some people who are seriously ill, but for most people, there are reasons to consider food, fitness, sleep and mindset measures first.

Try adding these foods to your diet to help give your mood a boost; walnuts, fish, dark chocolate, saffron, lentils, and chilies. An easy meal to help combat depression and is also easy on the waistline would be my Saffron Scallop, Shrimp, and Chickpea Paella recipe.

Depression in males often goes undiagnosed. Anyone with symptoms is urged to seek out help, especially if you’re considering hurting yourself. If you’re depressed, need help and your doctor is unavailable, call the USA Depression Hotline- 630-482-9696

 

Araujo, A. B., Travison, T. G., Bhasin, S., Esche, G., Williams, R., Clark, R., &     McKinlay, J., (2008, November). Association of Testosterone and Estradiol with Age-Related Declines in Physical Function in a Diverse Sample of Men. J Am Geriatr Soc.56(11), 2000-2008.