Bipolar Symptoms & Steroid Hormones
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Q:  Bipolar Symptoms & Steroid Hormones

I know some people take annabolic steroids (sp?) for weightlifting and have manic- and depressive- like mood symptoms.  Is it possible for someone to experience symptoms of .. moodiness, aggression, anger, feeling important/powerful from testosterone or other steroid-related chemical naturally by having a naturally high level? 


Dear Phil -- 
This may be true in women who develop "polycystic ovarian syndrome" or it's close cousin "
metabolic syndrome".  You can try those links to read more about those.  But how about one's own steroid hormones?  The answer there is "yes", in that there is a illness called "Cushing's syndrome" that involves excess production of steroids.  In that illness, all symptoms associated with bipolar disorder can be seen (e.g this review), although depression is the most common one.  

Cushing's is just one way to have too much steroid hormone production.  There are other hormone imbalance conditions that can create too much of one steroid or another.  However, like Cushing's, these are all relatively rare and in almost all cases one would expect to find symptoms other than mood symptoms as the most obvious signs that there is something wrong.  

Dr. Phelps

Published September, 2002


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