Side Effects Requiring Immediate Medical Attention
Along with its needed effects, testosterone may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking testosterone:
- weakness in the arm or leg on one side of the body, sudden and severe
What Other Drugs Will Affect Testosterone
Certain drugs may interact with testosterone, including
- Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as oxyphenbutazone
Other prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products may also react with testosterone. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
What Is Testosterone Injection
Testosterone is a naturally occurring sex hormone produced in a man’s testicles. Small amounts of testosterone are also produced in a woman’s ovaries and adrenal system.
Testosterone injection is used in men and boys to treat conditions caused by a lack of this hormone, such as delayed puberty, impotence, or other hormonal imbalances. Testosterone injection is not for use in treating low testosterone without certain medical conditions or due to getting older.
Testosterone enanthate is used in women to treat breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and cannot be treated with surgery.
Testosterone will not enhance athletic performance and should not be used for that purpose.
Testosterone injection may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
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The Side Effects Of Testosterone Therapy
Like any medication, testosterone therapy comes with its own set of potential side effects. The two major side effects are infertility and testicular shrinkage. Infertility can be avoided by taking a less intense treatment route like Clomid. Testicle shrinkage is prevented with hCG and should always be taken with testosterone.
Testosterone therapy can also lead to an elevated level of estrogen. It may be confusing that increasing a male hormone would also increase a female hormone. Biochemically, testosterone is a precursor compound to estrogen. The human body needs testosterone to create estrogen. Therefore, in some men, having too much testosterone can lead to the overproduction of estrogen. If a guy’s estrogen levels are too high they can develop tender, sensitive nipples, and in extreme cases, begin to develop breasts.
Additionally, testosterone can lead to erythrocytosis, or a significant increase in red blood cells in the blood. If a person’s red blood count gets too high it can increase cardiovascular conditions like heart attack and stroke.
Can I Undergo Masculinizing Hormone Therapy Without Help From A Healthcare Provider
Taking testosterone without a healthcare providers guidance is dangerous. It can be tempting to bypass an appointment with a healthcare professional to get started on testosterone quickly. This is especially the case if you have friends who are undergoing therapy, who share their prescribed testosterone and dosage recommendations with you. But everyone is different. Getting the dosage wrong can pose long-term risks to your health. Taking testosterone without a prescription isnt safe.
See your provider to ensure youre getting treatment thats safe and optimized to help you achieve your unique treatment goals.
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After A Low Testosterone Diagnosis: What To Expect
Treatment for low testosterone is an ongoing process. Here’s what happens after a low testosterone diagnosis and what to expect each step of the way.
A diagnosis of low testosterone, or low T, can be the answer to a number of concerns youve been having your low energy, the decrease in your sex drive, or feeling depressed. But it also presents questions: Mainly, what happens next?
There’s no quick fix, but your first step is to follow up with your doctor, who may recommend treatment for low testosterone. Aside from causing a drop in your sex drive and energy levels, low testosterone can increase your risk for heart disease, depression, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis.
How to Treat and Manage Low Testosterone: First Steps
If your low testosterone is caused by an underlying health condition, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, or sleep apnea, treating that condition may help improve low testosterone, says Ahmer Farooq, DO, assistant professor of urology at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill.
Many doctors also recommend an overall healthy lifestyle as a first approach. But even if youre prescribed testosterone treatment, diet, exercise, stress management, and other healthy habits are important to keep symptoms of low testosterone at bay as well.
Treatment Options for Low Testosterone
When Will Treatment for Low Testosterone Start Working?
What Can You Expect By The End Of The First Year Of Treatment With Injectable Testosterone
The list below gives you the overall benefits from using this testosterone replacement therapy.
Keep in mind though that while injected testosterone can help regulate fat distribution, you likely wont experience serious weight changes from hormone therapy alone.
As for maintaining muscle, it should be noted that injectable testosterone and other therapies have been found to help increase muscle mass, but not strength.
Still, the results from injectable testosterone can be life changing. Especially for those who experience debilitating symptoms associated with low T.
If you make the decision to try testosterone therapy, youll want to be educated on what will happen once the treatment ends. Fortunately, you can turn to hormone replacement therapy specialists who can guide you to ensure that your body continues to produce enough testosterone.
Specific medication protocols are usually followed at the end of treatment so that the effects of low T dont return.
While its not a cure, using injectable testosterone is an effective therapy to help you reach a level of wellness and vitality thats closer to what you felt when you were younger. And this will give you a better quality of life.
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How Long Does It Take For Testosterone Injections To Work
Testosterone injections can take a couple of months to begin fully working.
Depending on the dosage of testosterone injections you receive as well as how low your testosterone is when you begin injections will determine when you begin noticing a physical and mental difference.
If you want to learn more about how long testosterone treatment will take to work for you, give Port Orchard Natural Medicine a call to schedule a consultation with our naturopathic doctor to discuss your testosterone injection and testosterone therapy needs.
A Mans Guide To Trt: Everything You Need To Know
Testosterone levels naturally decrease as men age, so maintaining healthy testosterone levels is imperative for ensuring longevity and wellness. There are many reasons testosterone is so intensively researched, with findings demonstrating that this key steroid hormone has a multitude of anabolic properties in the human body.
For example, research shows that testosterone potently inhibits amino acid oxidation and increases skeletal muscle protein synthesis. In laymans terms, this means testosterone helps maintain lean body mass. If youre not seeing results in the gym despite a proper diet plan and exercise regimen, you might have low T.
And thats just the tip of the iceberg
Testosterone is quite literally what makes a man masculine. Hair growth, muscular size, jawline shape, voice pitch, libido, confidence, metabolism, bone density, the list goes on its all related to testosterone in some capacity. As such, testosterone is characterized as an anabolic androgenic steroid .
Similar to human growth hormone , a myriad of factors affect your endogenous production of testosterone positively or negatively. These factors typically include:
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Testosterone Effects On Muscle Strength And Function
Following very limited data on the effects of testosterone replacement therapy in older adults, substantial discrepancy in the effects of testosterone on physical function and muscle strength has also been observed.
The beneficial effects of testosterone therapy have also been found in longer-duration studies with 12-month replacement therapy. Results from testosterone trials that included 193 and 197 older men with serum testosterone levels below 275 ng/dL who received testosterone treatment in the form of 1% testosterone gel daily or placebo, respectively, for a duration of 12 months reported modest improvement in the 6-min walking test. Although subjects reported a consistent improvement in walking ability, it is important to emphasize that results were based on self-reported data and therefore require additional testing . In addition, although subjects with severe cardiovascular disease such as heart failure and myocardial infarction were excluded, no data on the health of the enrolled subjects were provided.
Testosterone Effects On Polycythemia
Testosterone is known to induce erythropoiesis. It is reported that during puberty, hemoglobin levels increase by approximately 20%, in parallel with changes in testosterone levels, and hemoglobin levels in adult men are higher than in women. In older men, testosterone levels are also associated with mild anemia . Recent clinical trials report that testosterone replacement therapy in older men with low to normal-low baseline testosterone levels result in increased hemoglobin and hematocrit levels
Although an increase in hematocrit and hemoglobin levels is generally considered beneficial in patients with anemia, elevation above normal levels may result in undesired consequences, such as increased blood viscosity, which, in the elderly, may impose significant risks for the development of coronary and cerebrovascular events. Therefore, hematocrit and hemoglobin levels should be closely monitored in older men receiving testosterone replacement therapy.
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Effect Of Testosterone: It’s Easier To Build Muscle
“Muscles are extremely responsive to testosteroneone of the most reliable things we see is an increase in muscle mass,” says Dr. Morgentaler.
This is because androgen receptors are found in muscle tissue, so testosterone activates them to stimulate growth. Of course, to make the most of this benefit, youll need to be doing your part by strength training as well.
In addition to an increase in lean muscle mass, some men report fat loss as well. While testosterone doesnt directly incite fat loss itself, part of it may be thanks to the uptick in muscle massthe more muscle you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate will be, which means your body will burn more calories at rest.
Jed Kaminetsky, M.D., a clinical assistant professor in the department of urology at NYU Langone Medical Center also notes that this may be partially because testosterone improves overall motivation to get up and sweat it out, so if you’re motivated to put in the work again, you’ll see results.
What Is A Normal Range For Testosterone
A testosterone level test measures the amount of male hormones in the bloodstream. The results are measured in nanograms per deciliter. A healthy range for a guy is 300 to 1000 ng/dl, with around 600 being average. Anything around or below 300 is considered low by most physicians.
According to Dr. Pastuszak, most men feel better with a level of 600 or higher. Any man with a level below 600 will likely feel better with testosterone therapy and it’s worth trying out. It’s important to remember that testosterone therapy is typically considered a “lifestyle therapy” meaning you can use the treatment as long as you’d like if it helps you feel better.
Having a low testosterone level between 300 to 400 isn’t dangerous to you health. However, if a man’s testosterone drops below 300, there is an increased risk for osteoporosis and cardiovascular issues.
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How Do I Take Testosterone Replacement Therapy
TRT comes in several different forms. Each has pros and cons.
Patches. These are easy to apply. But patches can cause skin rashes and may have to be applied more than once a day.
Gels. You rub gels into the skin daily. They are convenient to use. But you have to be careful that no one comes into contact with the treated area for several hours after youâve applied it. Otherwise they could get testosterone in their system. A nasal gel is now available that eliminates the risk of exposure to others.
Buccal patch. You put this on your upper gum twice a day. These patches are convenient but can cause irritation or gum disease.
Injections. Injections are given anywhere from 2 to 10 weeks apart. They are inexpensive compared to other treatments. But injections may not provide steady benefits. Your testosterone levels will go back down between doses.
Subcutaneous pellets. Your doctor inserts these under your skin every 3 to 6 months. They are very convenient once theyâre put in, but they require minor surgery for each dose.
When You Need Testosterone Treatmentand When You Dont
Most men have problems with erections from time to time. But some men have erectile dysfunction, or ED. This is when it is difficult to get or keep an erection thats firm enough for sexual intercourse.
If you have ED, you may think that testosterone treatment will help. Testosterone is a male sex hormone. After age 50, mens levels of testosterone slowly go down and ED becomes more common. But unless you have other symptoms of low testosterone, you should think twice about the treatment. Heres why:
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A Booming $38 Billion Market
Despite this, the TRT market expected to reach $3.8 billion globally by 2022, up from $2 billion in 2012 is booming. According to Global Industry Analysts, the uptick is being fueledby the growing prevalence of hypogonadism due to the increase in the aging male population. Hypogonadism is the medical term for the condition in which the testicles donât make enough testosterone. The condition, roughly defined as having a level under 300 ng/dl, affects about 30 percent of men over age 65.
Other factors include the rising awareness of the disease, improved diagnosis rates, availability of therapies, preference for easy-to-use products and expected approval of new-generation drugs in the pipeline, said Global Industry Analysts.
Another major driver is the overprescription of TRT to young men, wooed by the promise of heightened energy, muscle mass and sex drive. Between 2003 and 2013, TRT use quadrupled in men between 18 and 45 years old, who most frequently were prescribed the medication by their doctors, outpacing prescription in older men for whom the drug is intended, according to a 2017 study in the Journal of Urology.
The industry has a âtremendous amount of conflicts of interests,â said Thomas Perls, a professor of Medicine at Boston University, who describes TRT as âdisease mongering,â or âredefining a disease so that it greatly enlarges the potential population that would be interested in the drug, with the addition of mass marketing,â he said.
Better Verbal Memory Spatial Abilities Or Mathematical Reasoning
Research shows that men with higher ratios of total testosterone have a reduced incidence of Alzheimers disease. Theres also evidence for a strong correlation between testosterone and thinking abilities such as verbal memory and faster processing speed. Testosterone treatment for men 34 to 70 years old has shown an improvement in spatial memory.
Effects Of Testosterone On Body Habitus
TRT is associated with external, physical changes in the men. Exogenous testosterone is known to cause an imbalance in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. As such, testosterone can be converted to estrogen by aromatization. Excess estrogens may lead to gynecomastia and/or breast pain, both of which may be seen in 10-25% of men on TRT. The ratio of estradiol to androgens is the key factor in the development of gynecomastia rather than absolute increases in androgens themselves. Clinicians must be aware of non-iatrogenic causes of gynecomastia and therefore the appropriate work-up should be sought out to rule out other pathology, especially if there is any breast tenderness or unilateral gynecomastia. Only a few case-reports describe a relationship between male breast cancer and TRT.
In addition, excess estrogens may cause an increase in visceral obesity. With vigilant monitoring of serum estrogen levels, TRT has been shown to promote weight loss. Well-known to many prescribers of TRT is a risk of water retention and/or edema. The etiology of this association remains unclear to date. The degree of retention is generally mild. As mentioned above, men on TRT with a history of CHF should follow closely.
You Could Lose Your Hair
Fan of rocking those hipster haircuts? Well, that could quickly change if you start using testosterone injections. Why?
When you increase your bodys testosterone levels through injections, youll simultaneously increase the amount of test thats converted into dihydrotestosterone . And guess what? DHT has been linked to hair loss in both men and women.
Sure, its a super anabolic compound, but DHT chokes the life out of your hair follicles, eventually killing them so they dont grow back.
You can use shampoos or ointments like Regaine, but thats a surface solution that doesnt show the best results. Those test injections are the problem. Do you really want to lose sleep over the amount of hair youre not seeing anymore?
Speaking of losing sleep
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What To Expect On Trt
If youve made the choice to start testosterone replacement therapy , you might be wondering what to expect throughout the process of getting your manhood back.
Depending on the form of testosterone used, many men notice a reduction of low T symptoms within as little as one month on TRT. For some, it may take longer before improvements in health and well-being become apparent. Several weeks or months might sound like a long time, but in the grand scheme of things, thats actually very quick. Its key to remember that TRT is a long-term solution to an otherwise long-term health problem.
Research suggests that the short-term benefits of TRT may include a heightened sense of vitality, increased libido, enhanced energy levels, more restful sleep, and other positive changes. The vast majority of TRT patients find that the initial waiting period for testosterone to kick in is well worth the wait.