Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Testosterone
Testosterone is a hormone that facilitates male sex characteristics’ development and male sexual function. It also promotes muscle mass while increasing bone mineral density. Since testosterone is so important to the human body, it’s no surprise that many people are looking for ways to increase their production of this hormone. The advantages of testosterone are many, and of testosterone supplements and therapy even more.
So let’s see the pros and cons of using testosterone.
The Advantages of Testosterone Supplements and Therapy
Whether looking for testosterone replacement or considering testosterone therapy, you need to know the pros and cons. Remember that testosterone plays a crucial role in your physical health, well-being, and various physiological processes. For example, it boosts your cognitive abilities, promotes longevity, and helps you avoid metabolic syndrome.
1. Helps with Cancer Treatments
Testosterone is proposed and sometimes used as an adjunct treatment for cancer. The hormone stimulates the liver to produce more red blood cells. In turn, it improves the oxygen supply to tumors, which makes them easier to kill by chemotherapy and radiation. It also protects the heart and lungs during invasive cancer treatments such as open surgery or radiation.
2. Improves Blood Flow
Testosterone increases the level of nitric oxide (NO) in the body. Increased NO improves blood flow by relaxing and enlarging blood vessels, which helps deliver more oxygen to muscles and organs. In the isolated human corpus cavernosum, testosterone controls the expression of nitric oxide and functional responses. This is the reason why testosterone proves helpful in erectile dysfunction treatments.
3. Helps with Cardiovascular Health
Testosterone can be particularly beneficial for men with cardiovascular problems, as it can reduce the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular issues.
4. Boosts Bone Mineral Density
Testosterone has been shown to increase bone density, helping reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Suppose a man’s T levels are low, and doesn’t take supplemental testosterone. In that case, he could have significantly weaker bones than someone who has been using this supplement for an extended period.
5. Improves Sexual Function
Testosterone directly affects your libido by increasing dopaminergic nerve activity, which improves mood, motivation, and sexual desire. It alleviates erectile dysfunction and helps treat premature ejaculation.
However, as men age, their testosterone levels naturally decrease due to natural aging. In this case, testosterone therapies might prove useful if followed according to a doctor’s recommendations.
6. Improves Men’s Overall Health and Looks
Testosterone is the most abundant androgen hormone. In men, it can increase the production of red blood cells, which boosts your natural immunity and improves blood flow. In addition, as mentioned, testosterone increases the amount of nitric oxide, which helps deliver more oxygen to muscles and organs. Testosterone is also necessary to produce sperm. And it promotes healthy hair growth.
Men with low testosterone levels usually experience various medical conditions (osteoporosis, ED, obesity, depression, infertility, etc.). However, when you take testosterone as a supplement for an extended period, your levels gradually improve and restore balance in your body. Therefore, if you experience any of these conditions, you might want to find solutions to alleviate symptoms.
If your testosterone levels are below the normal range, hormone therapy can increase and maintain your T levels. The best way to approach potentially low testosterone levels is to test them. With at-home diagnostics and a telemed consultation from a specialized physician, you can start walking the path toward health optimization.
The Disadvantages of Testosterone Supplements and Therapy
Sometimes testosterone levels increase to dangerous extremes because of testicular or adrenal tumors, alcohol abuse, drugs, smoking, testosterone supplements, or dietary choices.
On the other hand, some men are genetically predisposed to have high testosterone levels. According to studies, people who fit into this category are significantly more likely to experience blood clots, heart disease, and other cardiovascular problems. Therefore, men with excessive testosterone levels must be evaluated and made aware of their possible risks due to the severity of this problem.
Here are some disadvantages of having or using too much testosterone:
1. Reduced Hair Growth
Men who use supplemental testosterone can experience reduced hair growth and even male pattern baldness. On the other hand, men with male pattern baldness might be interested in using hair loss medication and vitamin packs to help prevent further hair loss. In other words, find a balanced testosterone therapy for hair loss only with your doctor’s approval and support.
2. Fluid Retention
Some men’s water retention is a side effect of using too much testosterone. Even though this condition won’t have any major effects, it might be upsetting, especially for men who use these supplements to increase muscle mass.
A frequent disorder known as gynecomastia causes men to witness an enlargement of their breast tissue. Several issues can bring on gynecomastia, and using testosterone boosters is one of them, according to certain theories. However, there isn’t any conclusive proof that testosterone enhancers expand men’s breasts.
Scientists agree that a hormone imbalance is mostly to blame for larger breasts in men, especially if you have low testosterone or excessive estrogen levels. Gynecomastia can also worsen as men age, and their testosterone levels fall, which happens regularly after 30 years old.
In conclusion, gynecomastia can sometimes be a rare adverse effect of testosterone replacement treatment, and it should be recognized as a possibility.
3. Behavioral Changes
Most studies on testosterone and male behavior showed that high T levels could lead to mood swings, risk-taking behaviors, and even aggressiveness. However, newer research suggests that testosterone might lead to socially acceptable prosocial acts initiated and maintained to elevate a man’s status.
These newer results refute a straightforward association between testosterone and violence and offer causal support for more nuanced research regarding the function of testosterone in male status-enhancing behavior.
4. Overall Health Concerns
Increased muscular mass, acne and oily skin, worsened sleep apnea (if you already have it), and more aggressive and irritable behavior might be side effects of having or using too much testosterone.
Your sperm count may be lower (as a result of decreased sperm production), and your testicles may be smaller when you have too much testosterone coursing through your body.
Other side effects of increased testosterone levels include:
- Cardiovascular and liver problems
- Increased appetite and weight gain
- Prostate problems (enlargement)
- Swollen legs and feet.
It’s important to mention that low or high testosterone levels do not always mean you have a problem with your hormonal balance. For example, many men produce less testosterone as they age, while others are genetically prone to excess T levels. You could also be experiencing the effects of lower/higher testosterone due to lifestyle factors, such as unbalanced nutrition, lack of physical activity, the use of certain medications or drugs, etc.
Should you Discuss Testosterone Therapy with Your Doctor?
We’ve seen the advantages of testosterone use and some drawbacks.
One thing to know is that after they reach their mid-30s, men show lower rates of testosterone, with levels decreasing at a rate of slightly under 2% annually. That decline could eventually result in hypogonadism or low testosterone.
In their 60s, one in five men experience this, and the likelihood increases as men age. So while testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) aims to restore those low levels, it is not recommended to use testosterone therapy to treat natural aging.
As we said, men can determine if their hormone levels are lower than normal for their age using an at-home testosterone test. Suppose your results indicate that your testosterone levels are low. In that case, you can discuss them with a doctor and work together to develop a strategy for a healthy lifestyle and medicine that could raise your testosterone levels.
Before recommending hormone supplements or therapies, your physician will likely do at least two testosterone levels tests on you for a proper diagnosis.
They might also propose natural methods to increase testosterone, such as losing weight and building muscle mass through resistance training if there isn’t a medical disease causing your testosterone levels to fall.
Using Testosterone: Frequently Asked Questions
If you want to acquire more information about the advantages of using testosterone and the realistic expectations you should form regarding testosterone supplements and therapy, here are some of the most commonly asked questions doctors receive from their patients. Read the answers carefully and discuss everything with a reputable physician.
1. What are testosterone supplements good for?
High-quality testosterone supplements raise testosterone levels. Therefore, it is a crucial consideration if you want to improve your health and looks.
Testosterone oral supplements or injections are helpful for those who suffer from Low T, a condition in which testosterone levels are below average. However, using testosterone supplements is not contingent on having this condition.
You can use these supplements as long as you go by the recommended dosage schedule or if you feel that your masculinity, encompassing aspects like sexual function and body composition, is insufficient.
Never take hormonal supplements or injections without a proper diagnosis and constant medical supervision.
2. Is taking testosterone dangerous?
Undoubtedly, testosterone is an important hormone in a man’s body. As we said, it affects hormone production, sex drive, and muscle growth. It’s so integral to the male body that you wouldn’t function properly in its absence.
It’s even possible that these advantages of testosterone could apply to women as well — but at a much smaller scale.
Because testosterone is technically an anabolic steroid, it might trigger negative side effects in some men. In addition, many misconceptions exist about anabolic steroids and testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), including the increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
These assumptions are largely based on studies on athletes who abuse these steroids to enhance their performance; however, this is not the case for men who undergo testosterone therapy. Instead, the opposite holds: using testosterone supplements or injections results in many health benefits for men with low testosterone levels.
However, one cannot neglect the potential harm of using too much testosterone. For this reason, you should never undergo testosterone therapy without the constant supervision of your doctor.
3. What should I understand about the effects and advantages of testosterone therapy?
With testosterone therapy, some signs of low testosterone in men can be managed. In addition, medical practitioners regularly recommend TRT as a potential cure for male hypogonadism, a condition in which the body doesn’t create enough testosterone (often due to testicular failure). This condition may cause men to exhibit symptoms of low testosterone.
The use of testosterone therapy in hypogonadal men can improve energy levels, stop bone loss, and improve erectile function and muscle strength.
4. How do I use testosterone to improve my health?
Testosterone can be administered in various ways, such as skin patches, topical gels, injections, and implants. Talk to your doctor about the best choices for your individual needs.
5. Could my symptoms, resembling low testosterone levels, be brought on by something else?
Yes. For instance, several potential explanations, such as heart disease, morbid obesity, and psychological issues, must be ruled out while treating erectile dysfunction and low libido.
6. If I start testosterone therapy, how quickly will I be able to determine if it works?
Your doctor should be able to determine whether TRT has improved your symptoms in around six months. If the treatment hasn’t been stopped, talk with your physician about putting an end to it.
7. Is there a natural way for me to enhance my testosterone?
Losing weight, exercising, following a balanced diet, quitting smoking, and decreasing alcohol consumption can help improve your levels naturally.
8. Does testosterone therapy increase the risk of prostate cancer?
There was a time (back in the forties) when many scientists believed that having high total testosterone levels was linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer.
As a result, getting testosterone levels back to normal with testosterone therapy may raise the chance of developing prostate cancer. Low testosterone production was once thought to be a barrier against prostate illnesses.
Modern scientists reject this viewpoint. On the contrary, recent, thorough studies have definitively shown that testosterone therapy bears “little to no risk” of prostate cancer.
As you have seen, testosterone supplements and injections can be an effective way for men to increase testosterone levels and enjoy numerous benefits, such as enhanced sexual performance, muscle mass, hair growth, and overall health. In addition, some men utilize the supplement to treat low energy levels or other negative symptoms related to burnout.
Another advantage of testosterone use is that supplements and therapies can alleviate several symptoms and conditions associated with low T levels. More importantly, using testosterone improves cognitive function, reduces anxiety, fatigue, and irritability, elevating mood and self-confidence.