Pharmaceuticals companies often bank on people’s insecurities. Whether it be youth, vitality, or sexuality, they are ready to promise you anything. One such product that promises all three are the testosterone supplements.
However, it is pertinent to first realize what testosterone therapy stipulates, before committing to the treatment.
What is testosterone?
Often perceived is a male hormone, testosterone is found in men and women, both. In men, it plays crucial role in their sexual and reproductive health. It plays role in the albeit more masculine features like greater body hair, muscle bulk, physical strength etc.
In a natural trajectory of aging, testosterone levels tend to drop. This is referred to as androgen deficiency in aging men (ADAM). Some younger men might also suffer from low testosterone levels in their body, which is known as testosterone deficiency syndrome, for which they might have to visit their Sexologist in Islamabad.
Symptoms for low testosterone
As a hormone, testosterone performs important tasks around the body, its deficiency has similar impact on the health. It affects not just the mental, but also the physical health.
In the body, low-T leads to loss of bones and muscle mass. It thereby leads to increasing body fat. Similarly, as testosterone invigorates the body, low testosterone levels lead to fatigue in the body. It also causes tenderness in the breast. Testosterone deficiency also causes hair loss as well.
Moreover, since testosterone regulates sex drive in the body, its deficiency has severe impact on the libido. Due to low sex drive, there are also fewer erections. In some cases, people might also get erectile dysfunction, or at least have problems sustaining erections.
Low-T also have implications for the emotional health. Men may feel emasculated due to problems with low sex drive. It can also impair their self-esteem and wreak havoc on their confidence levels as well.
Getting testosterone therapy
Ascertaining low-T levels is crucial. Unless men are suffering from established case of low-T levels, the drugs will not work. Therefore, those with already normal levels of testosterone will not benefit from the supplements.
Once diagnosis is through, men may be given the option of testosterone therapy. It is however important to note that men might still be able to live healthy life, even with low-T, but naturally, some might still would like to have their low testosterone levels addressed.
It is not merely for the sake of better sexual health, but longevity as well; men suffering from low testosterone have a higher risk of death. Thus, men with very low testosterone levels may get the hormone replacement therapy.
Low-T: The misconception
Unfortunately, some advertisements may convince men that even the more subtle symptoms they are experiencing, are a sign of low testosterone in their body. Unless men have the specific set of signs that are characteristic of low levels of testosterone in their body, they absolutely should not opt for the testosterone therapy.
In order to diagnose a case of low-T, your doctor will run blood tests, specifically in the morning since that is when body has highest amount of hormone. If they come below the normal threshold, only then your doctor may consider pills and replacement therapy.
Otherwise, once you start taking the hormone supplements, you will not get a chance to stop. When the body experiences the ‘external’ supply of testosterone, it stops making its own. As a result, when men stop the supplements, their body suffers from low-T levels. Ironic, right!
Risks of Testosterone therapy
The dependence on the supplements is not the only pitfall of the therapy. There are health risks associated with it that ought to be considered as well, especially in cases testosterone therapy is being unduly relied on.
Sleep apnea: In sleep apnea, person stops breathing during sleep, causing them to get jolted awake. People suffering from this sleep disorder need proper treatment, as their chronic lack of sufficient sleep can pose health risks of their own.
Testosterone therapy, unfortunately, can aggravate an existing case of sleep apnea.
Behavioral problems: Anything that makes your hormones fluctuate is bound to have impact on your emotional health. Men taking testosterone are more likely to suffer from mood swings and aggression. This in turn can jeopardize their social, work, and marital life.
Urinary issues: Another strike against testosterone therapy are the potential urinary issues that can result from it.
Cardiovascular Issues: A major risk associated with the replacement therapy is the increase in the production of red blood cells, which then increases the formation of blood clots. A blood clot, when broken lose, endangers life. If it gets to the lungs, it causes pulmonary embolism.
A blood clot in the brain leads to stroke, and one in heart can cause myocardial infarction. Serious cases of either condition can lead to death.
Similarly, testosterone supplements also increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and thus greater are the chances of heart attack, stroke and heart disease.
Prostate cancer: Research suggests that testosterone therapy paves way for prostate cancer as well. It can also stimulate an increase in the growth of existing tumor in the prostate. Benign or non-cancerous tumors may also result from using testosterone.
Infertility: Since testosterone is linked to sperm production, many people are under the misconception that undergoing this treatment helps with the fertility issues.
Ironically, taking testosterone supplements adversely affects fertility, decreases sperm production, and also causes testicles to shrink.
Aging cannot be defied, and thus older men should not work under the assumption that testosterone therapy will help them keep youthful. Unless there is some specific ailment affecting your testosterone levels, using supplements in any form is not advised.
Furthermore, there needs to be careful clinical analysis and blood work done before doctor can establish an issue with the testosterone production, since the risks associated are very grave. Thus, instead of relying on OTC pills and supplements, visit the Best Sexologist in Lahore for guidance and treatment.