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Are you feeling the symptoms of low testosterone levels? If this is the case, you may be wondering what you can do to boost your energy, improve your mood and amp up your sex drive once again. You may be wondering if testosterone replacement therapy is right for you.
Low testosterone is caused by many factors. It could be just old age or it could be due to other underlying conditions. This low level of testosterone can be a result of certain conditions like testicle injury, cancer of the testes or if you are undergoing treatment for this ailment, hormonal disorders, HIV or AIDS, infection, obesity, kidney or liver disease, or type 2 diabetes.
What are the Symptoms of Low Testosterone?
Low testosterone can be characterized by different symptoms. It may include low libido or desire to have sex, erectile dysfunction, low energy level and fatigue, irritability, depression, and difficulty staying in focus. To understand more about symptoms of low testosterone, read this article.
Do You Need Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Not everyone with low testosterone can be a candidate of this treatment method. Having low testosterone doesn’t mean that you can just take testosterone supplements. Testosterone replacement therapy should be advised by your doctor and should only be done under a physician’s supervision.
Risks of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
- You must understand that taking testosterone supplements or undergoing testosterone replacement treatment has its risks. The side effects can range from mild rashes and irritation to dizziness, irritation, and frequent trips to the bathroom. Although common testosterone preparations usually have mild side effects, these testosterone supplements are generally safe to use. Nevertheless, there are certain health conditions that could be at a higher risk when receiving testosterone replacement therapy:
- Prostate Cancer. Your doctor should advise prostate cancer screening before you start your therapy. Men who have prostate cancer or elevated PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) should avoid testosterone replacement therapy since testosterone stimulates growth of prostate cancer.
- Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy. Since testosterone can enlarge the prostate, replacement therapy can worsen any condition involving the prostate, including BHP. Thus, it is advised that men with Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy refrain from undergoing this hormone replacement treatment.
- Sleep Apnea. Before you take hormone replacement supplements, it is important to do a polysomnogram or sleep study. Sleep apnea can be worsened with use of testosterone replacement, so it is crucial to make a diagnosis before any hormonal replacement.
- High Blood Counts or Erythrocytosis. Testosterone supplements can make the blood thicker with higher risk of clotting. You should do several blood tests to make sure that your red blood cells are within normal level.
- Congestive Heart Failure. Testosterone supplements should not be taken by men with severe cases of congestive heart failure because the medications could further make the condition worse.
No matter how much you think testosterone replacement therapy can help you, it is still best to talk with your doctor. Like any other medications, your doctor shall help you weigh benefits and risks of taking testosterone supplements.