If you are over 40, you may have been wondering about testosterone therapy, perhaps due to all the advertisements pushing it. It may sound great to combat the effects of aging, increase muscle mass, give your sex life a lift, and gain back some of the energy you’ve lost and haven’t found, but there are risks associated with testosterone therapy that perhaps you were not counting on. Here are 5 reasons to avoid testosterone therapy.
Polycythemia is a disease state in which the red blood cell volume in your blood goes up because the bone marrow increases production. It also makes your blood thicker and puts you at risk for a heart attack or a stroke. Polycythemia may require emergency treatment with venesection, which removes blood from the circulation. There are several factors that can cause this condition, and one of them is high testosterone levels from taking this hormone.
Testosterone is addictive. It can mess with your brain chemistry. Many men continue to use it even after they experience physical problems caused by the therapy. When you try to back off you may experience mood swings, tiredness, insomnia, restlessness, decreased libido, irritability, and the desire for more testosterone. There are also cases of depression that last for over a year after stopping taking testosterone, and that can put you at risk for suicide. As there are many more natural ways to boost testosterone that are not as addictive, we recommend you explore those safer options first.
It shuts down your own natural production
If you want more T, then you should realize that taking testosterone therapy will actually shut down your own natural production, meaning if you stop taking testosterone you will be even worse off than you were before. This can also fuel the addiction cycle and mess with your hormonal balance.
There are several negative side effects of testosterone therapy. Many men are discouraged to find that it causes them to lose their hair. Testosterone therapy can also cause acne, breast enlargement, and increased risk of blood clots, decreased testicular size, aggression, mood swings, and worsening of sleep apnea. Men who are concerned about their prostate health should be aware that it can stimulate prostate tissue and lead to increased urinary symptoms. It can increase PSA level and lower fertility. You have to ask yourself if all that is worth it.
Risk of heart attack
A number of studies show that testosterone therapy can increase the risk for a heart attack. This is one of the more serious risks of testosterone therapy and one of the top 5 reasons to avoid testosterone therapy. Men under 65 with preexisting heart disease are at even greater risk of having a heart attack shortly after starting testosterone therapy.
Despite all the ads for testosterone therapy, it should only be used by men with below-normal levels who do not have risk factors for other conditions.
Before resorting to T therapy, talk to your doctor to find out how to increase testosterone naturally so you can boost your own testosterone production through such measures as doing exercise and losing weight, and avoiding chemical endocrine disruptors.
Read more in our Low T Health Center.
Testosterone therapy and heart attacks. Drugwatch.com.