What are the Side Effects of Testosterone Therapy for Andropause and Testosterone Deficiency?
When considering the side-effects of Testosterone, it is essential to understand that Testosterone is an Anabolic Hormone which stimulates Muscle Growth, Metabolism, and Sexual Function, in addition to many other effects.
Before starting any Testosterone Restoration Regimen, it is essential to understand the potential for Testosterone Side-Effects associated with various forms of Testosterone Treatment. Both men and women can experience these side-effects, though women are more at risk because they have a much lower threshold for normal Testosterone Production.
Who Should Not Use Testosterone?
Certain groups should avoid Testosterone altogether. Most importantly, patients that are currently dealing with Prostate Cancer, Testicular Cancer, or Breast Cancer should avoid Treatment. If you are a man, your doctor will perform a PSA test to monitor for signs of Prostate cancer. These forms of cancer are all exacerbated by Testosterone Restoration.
Testosterone Therapy and Cancer Risk
Testicular Cancer and Prostate Cancer are exacerbated by the increased presence of Testosterone, and breast cancer because of the associated risk of increased estrogen levels. Women that are pregnant or nursing should also avoid Testosterone Therapy for Women because treatment could have an adverse effect upon the born or unborn child.
Side Effects of Low-T Treatment
Fluid Retention and Testosterone Treatment
One of the most oft-experienced side-effects of Low-T Treatment is fluid retention, also known as edema. Men experience this symptom much more often than women, and the sign is most common in men that have just initiated therapy and older men that have started treatment. Issues related to fluid retention are swelling of the extremities.
Cardiovascular Risks of Testosterone Restoration
Blood pressure can also be increased by Testosterone Therapy and can lead to heart failure in some cases. This risk is highest for patients with existing hypertension and patients that have experienced heart conditions in the past. This risk is generally short-term, so it's especially important that older patients are monitored closely for water retention to reduce the risk of heart complications vastly.
Potential Complications of Oral Testosterone
Oral Testosterone Treatments have a heightened risk of Side-Effects as compared to other forms of Testosterone Restoration options even when taken at “safe” concentrations. This is because the human body is not sufficiently equipped to process Testosterone orally, as the digestive system breaks the hormone down in the stomach.
Over time, these peptide fragments can wear down the liver, which can lead to Liver Toxicity or even damage the liver. Other forms of Bio-Identical Testosterone Treatment are much safer, and we do not recommend Oral Testosterone because of the inherent risks involved in significantly less benefit than different types of Testosterone.
If you are using this form of Testosterone, only use it with a physician's advice, and just for a limited period.
Loss of Fertility and Testosterone Hormone Optimization
Another issue that can result from Recombinant Testosterone Optimization is the suppression of fertility, which eventually can lead to temporary infertility until treatment is suspended. This is because sperm is created when the pituitary gland sends signals for Testosterone and releases Luteinizing Hormone.
If the body's need for endogenous Testosterone declines as a result of treatment, the body will no longer be able to manufacture sperm sufficiently. Concurrent HCG Therapy can preserve fertility by stimulating a certain level of natural Testosterone in addition to the Testosterone provided exogenously. In any case, if you are interested in having children, you should strongly consider storing sperm before therapy begins.
Risk of Sleep Apnea with Testosterone
Sleep Apnea is another side-effect of Testosterone Therapy which some patients experience, and is more common among those that are significantly overweight. Described briefly, Sleep Apnea is a condition in which physiological circumstances lead an individual to stop breathing periodically while they are sleeping.
Sleep Apnea is one cause of Testosterone Deficiency, since Testosterone is primarily released naturally while we sleep, and sleep disruptions reduce the amount of Testosterone that circulates through our bodies at night. The combination of Sleep Apnea and Testosterone can increase the risk of more severe complications, especially those associated with the health and function of the cardiovascular system.
Testosterone Injections and Increased Breast Size
Gynecomastia, otherwise known as an increase in breast tissue, is another symptom that patients sometimes experience when using Testosterone. The reason for this is that excess Testosterone in the body troubles into Estrogen, which encourages signs of feminization, including larger breasts. This is especially true among those that abuse Testosterone. Breast tenderness is another symptom arising from the same physiological process. These symptoms can be eliminated either by titrating the Testosterone Dosage or combining Testosterone Treatments with Estrogen Blockers.
Testosterone Treatments Increase Red Blood Cell Count
Polycythemia is another of the more common symptoms of Bio-Identical Testosterone, but it is also one of the easiest signs to prevent. Testosterone has a positive metabolic effect upon the bone marrow, which leads to increased Red Blood Cell counts. Testosterone use is also associated with elevated hemoglobin levels. Increased RBC Count and Hemoglobin is associated with an increased incidence of blood clots, stroke, and heart attack. Luckily, just by becoming a blood donor, it is possible to prevent this elevated risk of heart and cardiovascular issues entirely.
Testosterone Hormone Treatments Improve Heart Health When Taken Responsibly
It's important to note that, although polycythemia can increase the risk of heart complications, as long as this side-effect is prevented, there are definite signs that Testosterone Injections, Creams, and Gels can improve heart health because of their positive effects upon blood sugar, cholesterol, adipose fat, and muscle mass. Signs even show that Testosterone Concentrations slightly above normal are at reduced risk of obesity complications, heart attack, and hypertension.
Prostate Enlargement and Testosterone Use
When older patients use Testosterone, another side-effect of therapy is enlargement of the prostate, which can be detrimental to individual patients. The medical term for this condition is benign prostatic hyperplasia. One issue this can cause troubles urinating. The main problem with this condition is that it can exacerbate prostate cancer. Patients with Prostate Cancer should not take Testosterone, and older patients that use Testosterone should have their Prostates checked regularly to mitigate the risk and so therapy can be suspended immediately upon signs of cancer.
Testosterone Side-Effects Are Easily Prevented
The good thing about Testosterone Therapy is that the majority of side-effects can be prevented or mitigated by reducing the dosage of Testosterone to more effectively reflect the needs of the body. Almost all Testosterone Side-Effects are the result of overdose and abuse. Some side-effects are not associated with healthy Testosterone Treatment and only with abuse, including increased aggression and anger.
Responsible Bio-Identical Testosterone Treatments mediated by a Hormone Physician have a very low incidence of side-effects of any kind, and studies attest to the short-term safety of therapy, although long-term side-effects have not been sufficiently studied.