At a certain age, testosterone levels in men begin to drop and this leads to other unexpected or unwanted symptoms that cause major problems. There are synthetic hormones available but recent research has shown that these replacement therapies may not be safe.
Some believe that testosterone therapy is the fountain of youth or the key to longevity. Can testosterone therapy pose health risks? Is it wise to treat male aging as a disease? Low testosterone levels are highly correlated to decreased libido, persistent tiredness, fatigue as well as muscle and bone loss. As a solution, men are turning to testosterone therapy to minimize these effects. Unfortunately, scientists are not fully aware of the implications of using testosterone therapy- long term.
It is clear that hormone replacement therapy is a quick solution to some issues stated above. However, there are no positive longitudinal studies that show there are long term benefits of using hormone replacement therapy. On the other hand, further evidence may show that testosterone therapy may pose serious health risks. This article will evaluate the risks of using testosterone therapy.
Scientific research on male hormone replacement therapy or testosterone therapy shows that overusing it increases certain risks such as the following:
• sleep disorders
• skin conditions
• increase in red blood cell count
• low sperm count
• may shrink testicles
• cause aggressive behavior
• enlarged breasts (aka man boobs)
• heart risks
A study released in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that hormone replacement therapy may pose a huge risks to men who have low testosterone levels; especially if these men had previous heart issues (2013). The results of the study concluded that men who use testosterone will increase risk of an adverse outcome.
The problem here is that the risks have been generalized and not actually proven. High correlation between testosterone therapy and certain risks does not mean causation. Primarily, there is no short term or long term studies that prove testosterone therapy poses negative health risks among healthy men.
Although some studies may “suggest” that the benefits outweigh the risks, again, this is only based on anecdotal evidence and there is no real proof. Mainly because there have not been enough scientific studies conducted on the risks of “healthy men” using testosterone therapy. More research and time will show that testosterone therapy may increase certain risks among certain groups. However, in the meantime – consult your health care provider and use at your own risk.