Is testosterone therapy a good idea?
Learn about the many benefits of regular exercise over testosterone therapy for men.
How Does Testosterone Affect Men's Health?
Testosterone continues to play an important role through puberty and adulthood by triggering male characteristics and maintaining sex drive. Testosterone affects bone mass, fat distribution, and deepening of the voice. In addition, testosterone maintains energy levels, fertility, and sex drive. More than a third of men over the age of 45 may have depleted testosterone levels. Men with common health issues such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure may be twice as prone to low testosterone; odds being 2.4 times higher for obese men, 2.1 times higher for men diagnosed with diabetes and 1.8 times higher for men with high blood pressure. Low testosterone in men may result in loss of sex drive. In rare instances, men whom experience erectile dysfunction (ED) as a result of low testosterone may feel depressed, have a decreased sense of well-being, and have difficulty concentrating. In addition, men with high cholesterol, prostate disease, and asthma also have a higher chance of having low testosterone than healthy men. Testosterone deficiency can occur at any stage in a man's life-- some at birth, some before puberty, some during adulthood.
What is Male Hypogonadism?
Male hypogonadism is a condition in which the testes do not produce enough of the sex hormone testosterone. Testosterone deficiency is common, as many as 5 million men in the United Sates may not produce enough testosterone — the hormone testosterone plays a key role in masculine growth and development during puberty. As men get older, the ability to produce testosterone declines. This decrease in testosterone production is sometimes referred to as andropause or "male menopause". Inadequate production of testosterone is not a common cause of erectile dysfunction; however, when erectile dysfunction (ED) does occur due to decreased testosterone production, testosterone replacement therapy may improve the problem. Please see a doctor if you have symptoms of male hypogonadism or ED. Establishing the cause of hypogonadism, erectile dysfunction, or a testosterone related issue is an important first step to getting appropriate treatment.
How can testosterone therapy hurt you? Testosterone Therapy Risks:
- Increase in red blood cells - This can be beneficial if you have anemia (low blood counts). However, it can be potentially dangerous since too much blood can block your blood vessels and lead to a heart attack or stroke.
- Prostate effects - Testosterone therapy increases the volume of your prostate gland. To date, there have not been any studies showing that testosterone therapy increases the risk of prostate cancer. However, there is some theoretical concern because prostate cancer is treated by blocking testosterone. We should assume that the long term risk at this point is uncertain. If you have an enlarged prostate, referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), testosterone may worsen your symptoms, particularly if you are more than 50 years of age. If you have a history of prostate cancer, you cannot receive testosterone therapy.
- Skin reactions - These are most common with use of a patch; however, they lower with the use of a gel and are rare with injections.
- Infertility - This is common particularly in young men, but usually reversible after stopping testosterone therapy.
- Sleep apnea - This is a condition that disrupts breathing during sleep. Although uncommon, it is a reported side effect.
- Fluid retention - Although uncommon, you must use caution if you have a history of heart failure or kidney disease.
- Other - Acne, oily skin, increased body hair and flushing have also been reported.
Always see your doctor first before accepting advice from strangers!
Testosterone replacement therapy should not be offered to men with an average, normal, and healthy testosterone level. Please consult with your physician if you have questions related to low testosterone or testosterone replacement therapy. Simplefit services include personal fitness training, limited exercise equipment sales, software, diet plan & exercise equipment advice. It is our mission to introduce healthier living through our client first services; offering effective, safe, and simple solutions to your fitness and weight loss needs.