Dangers of using testosterone

Posted by Dr. Michael White, Published on December 4th, 2012
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Heart to Heart Talk By Philip Chua Cebu Daily News

THE VARIOUS media, print, radio, television, and the internet are flooded with infomercials about testosterone replacement therapy. Some even suggests it to be a fountain of youth that could stop the biological clock and transform males to supermen in bed and athletes to champions.

They invariably hail the enticing benefits of this therapy that include increased sexual libido and performance, and increased muscle mass, which are actually what natural testosterone men produce through their testes (testicles or balls in laymans term). While this male hormone is safe, testosterone replacement drugs are not as safe and carry some dangers from their side effects. Taking these pill supplements has risks that are not worth the transient improvement in libido or athletic (muscle) prowess they provide. Some athletes cheat by using testosterone, among other power-and-endurance-enhancing substances (steroids, etc) to gain advantage over their opponents.

Cyclist Lance Armstrong, whose seven Tour de France titles and other honors have been stripped and who lost Nike and other corporate sponsors

recently, is still under investigation for alleged use

of any of these substances.

The peak level of testosterone secretion in male is around age 18, and it remains fairly high up to age 30. The level normally declines by 1 to 3 percent per year thereafter. If the decline is abnormally more than that, muscle wasting, reduced strength and sexual libido

occur, especially those who do not exercise.

When the level is normal for the age, no testosterone supplement is needed even for diminished sexual libido, where Viagra, Cialis, Levitra might be a safer option. The Prolactin serum level is also tested to make sure the reduced libido is not central in nature (caused by brain/endocrine system malfunction).

Testosterone is prescribed for men who are deficient in testosterone due to hypoganadism (poorly functioning testes in men or ovaries in females). Some older men have been taking this to slow down the aging process, which is ill-advised and really risky.

Dangers of using testosterone

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