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Recession may hit hormone levels

Stress from the recession could cause men's testosterone levels to fall, a doctor has warned.

Redundancy, financial worries and longer working hours can cause levels of the hormone to drop, according to Dr Richard Petty.

Sexual function, memory and concentration are all linked to with testosterone, as well as mood, circulation and muscle mass. The link between chronic stress and lower testosterone levels has already been highlighted in previous studies.

Dr Petty, who works at a private clinic for men, said: "When a man becomes grumpy or irritable, it's easy to blame work or simply the effects of ageing. But chronic stress, which is ongoing, is a major factor in the decline of testosterone.

"Chronic stress occurs all too frequently due to our modern lifestyles, when everything from high-pressured jobs to unemployment keeps the body in a state of perceived threat."

However he explained that short-term stress can increase testosterone levels, helping men respond quickly under pressure and in new situations.

Irritability, lethargy, low sex drive and a lack of concentration can be caused by low levels of the hormone.

Dr Petty advised men to reduce their stress levels as much as possible by getting enough rest, eating healthily and exercising.

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