Testosterone Therapy – Know the Side Effects before the Benefits.
It is important to first and foremost understand that Testosterone is not a recreational or a performance enhancement drug, and is strictly something to be prescribed by someone who knows why it is being done. Als,o supplementation is of no use, it is eventually replacement, which should be the key to understand its effects and some effects.
Understand the potential risks and consider alternatives before boosting your hormones indefinitely.
There is a notion that Testosterone is a performance enhancer, which promise that treating “low T” this way can make men feel more alert, energetic, mentally sharp, and sexually functional.
But, beware, Men should be much more mindful of the possible long-term complications.
The Low - T Boom
Just being tired isn’t enough to get a testosterone prescription.
If a man’s testosterone looks below the normal range, there is a good chance he could end up on hormone supplements—often indefinitely. On treatment, the body stops making testosterone. And it may or may not recover to a complete extent.
This wouldn’t matter so much if we were sure that long-term hormone therapy is safe, but there are small risks that could add up to harm over time. That should be a bigger concern.
What are the Risks?
A relatively small number of men experience immediate side effects such as acne, disturbed breathing while sleeping, breast swelling or tenderness, or swelling in the ankles. Doctors also like to watch out for high red blood cell counts, which could increase the risk of clotting.
The evidence for long-term risks is mixed. Cancer prostate and cardiovascular risksneed to be assessed and monitored if symptoms complex deterioration occurs.
Testosterone supplementation can affect your Fertility.
While testosterone supplementation increases testosterone levels, and reduces some ofthe symptoms associated with hypogonadism, it decreases the body’s productionof LH and FSH. This is because when the brain detects that testosterone levels have increased, it will cut down the production of GnRH. The result is that the pituitary gland no longer produces FSH and LH at normal levels, so sperm production also declines. A lower sperm count means that a man’s chance of impregnating his partner will be lower.
Before the Jump, Assess your health globally first
- Have you considered other reasons why you may be experiencing fatigue, low sex drive, and other symptoms attributable to low testosterone? For example, do you eat a balanced, nutritious diet? Do you exercise regularly? Do you sleep well? Address these factors before turning to hormone therapy.
- If your sex life is not what it used to be, have you ruled out relationship or psychological issues that could be contributing?
- If erectile dysfunction has caused you to suspect “low T” as the culprit, consider that cardiovascular disease can also cause erectile dysfunction.
Get an Accurate Assessment
- Inaccurate or misinterpreted test results can either falsely diagnose or miss a case oftestosterone deficiency. Your testosterone level should be measured between 7 am and 10 am, when it’s at its peak. Confirm a low reading with a second test on a different day. It may require multiple measurements and careful interpretation to establish bioavailable testosterone,or the amount of the hormone that is able to have effects on the body.
- After starting therapy, follow-up with your physician periodically to have testosterone checksand other lab tests to make sure the therapy is not causing any problems withyour prostate or blood chemistry.
Be Mindful of Unknown Risks
- Approach testosterone therapy with caution if you areat high risk for prostate cancer; have severe urinary symptoms from prostate enlargement; or have diagnosed heart disease, a previous heart attack, ormultiple risk factors for heart problems.
- Ask your doctor to explain the various side effects for the different formulations of testosterone, such as gels, patches, and injections. Know what to look for if something goes wrong.
Have Realistic Expectations
Testosterone therapy is not an elixir of youth.
There is no proof that it will restore youto the level of physical fitness or make you live longer, prevent heart diseaseor prostate cancer, or improve your memory or mental sharpness. Do not seek therapy with theseexpectations in mind.
If erectile function has been a problem, testosterone therapy might not fix it. Infact, it might increase your sex drive but not allow you to act on it. You may also need medication or other therapy for difficulty getting or maintaining erections.
Please Remember there are only two people who can prescribe Testosterone Replacement, a Urologist-Andrologist or an Endocrinologist. A general physician or gym instructor or a friend are not people who can prescribe Testosterone Replacement.