Head Injuries and Testosterone Production

March 23, 2021
Head Injuries and Testosterone Production Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) are injuries to the head—often caused by falls, being struck by an object, or being hit in the head during sports—that result in damage to the brain. There is an established link between TBIs and a variety of symptoms, including hormonal issues. The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury include:
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Loss of balance/dizziness
  • Sensitivity to light/sound
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Memory problems
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep difficulties (not enough sleep, too much sleep, difficulty sleeping)
  • Confusion/disorientation
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Convulsions/seizures
  • Pupil dilation
  • Weakness/numbness
While these symptoms can be severe, one symptom that is not discussed as often as it should be is the damage a head injury can cause to the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, which regulate hormone production in the body.

Head Injuries and Hormone Production

Studies have shown that TBIs can result in low testosterone, as measured directly—by measuring total testosterone levels—and indirectly, by measuring reports of erectile dysfunction (ED). TBIs cause what is known by hypopituitarism, which is when, “your pituitary gland fails to produce one or more hormones, or doesn't produce enough hormones.” This can affect more than just your testosterone levels—it can affect a wide variety of hormones in your body, including:
  • Growth hormone
  • Luteinizing hormone
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone
  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone
  • Antidiuretic hormone
  • Prolactin
While growth hormone problems are the most common, low testosterone has been found to be a more common symptom of head injuries than previously thought. While hypopituitarism cannot be cured, there are a variety of treatments available, including hormone replacement therapy. First, hypopituitarism must be established, which can be difficult given the complexity of the problem, the wide variety of symptoms, and the difficulty in identifying which hormones are being affected (if any). Because the symptoms of TBI overlap with many of the symptoms of hormonal imbalance, careful diagnosis is required to ensure proper treatment is being given.

Learn More About Testosterone Replacement Therapy

If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, testosterone replacement therapy may be indicated. Learn more about how testosterone replacement therapy for men can help you feel like yourself again.