Side Effects of Testosterone Therapy – understand the risks.
Doctors suggest testosterone therapy for patients with low testosterone levels and avoid the therapy for other people who just want to boost energy or want to perform well sexually. Long term use increases the threat of side effects but limited use of testosterone may have advantages for low T patients such as fat burning, removing depression, increasing energy levels, increasing sperm count and help with erectile dysfunction.
Some side effects must be understood prior to making a decision on whether to take testosterone replacement therapy. These are polycythemia (increase of red blood cells in body), sleep apnea, liver toxicity, and prostate cancer. Testosterone deficiency may increase the risk of heart disease in men; some evidence suggests that men develop heart disease earlier in life than women. But, few studies have shown that higher testosterone levels men are less likely to develop heart disease.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person holds their breath for prolonged duration while they sleep. Testosterone therapy is considered to make sleep apnea worse and should be considered before starting treatment.
A condition where red blood cell levels increase in the body. Some men on testosterone replacement therapy are observed with an increase in hemoglobin or hematocrit levels. Hemoglobin is the substance that carries oxygen in the blood. So, a mild increase is good for enhancing energy and exercise tolerance but excessive increase is called polycythemia and can be dangerous. However, it usually disappears with a change in testosterone dose or type of testosterone supplement. It also vanishes when men cut off testosterone treatment.
Liver toxicity is a rare threat related to testosterone therapy and tends to occur with some oral testosterone supplements. Normal supplementation according to blood level is quite safe. However, men having liver disease like hepatitis must ask their doctor before starting testosterone treatment.
A common problem of aging men is Prostate, as prostate gland located at the bottom of bladder tends to enlarge with age. Sometimes it gets so large to obstruct the urine draining from bladder. The condition is prostatism. Testosterone replacement therapy has the potential to worsen the condition or promote prostate growth. It is the most common disease in men but no study to date has proven that testosterone increases its frequency. Just one thing that needs consideration is not to start the therapy if you have the prostate cancer.
The conclusion is to understand the side effects related to testosterone replacement therapy and follow a safe mode of treatment for patients who have low testosterone symptoms. It can bring positive changes in people who have deficient testosterone levels in their body. Any therapy can have side effects if used for extended periods and with substandard monitoring, therefore testosterone must be used under the advice of a physician.
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