Testosterone is a hormone that is responsible for bone density, muscle mass, sperm production and sex drive. As men age, they are often worried about their testosterone levels declining, and that it may lead to a decrease in sex drive and other health issues. The Mayo Clinic reports that testosterone levels drop with around 1% every year after the age of 30, which is why many people choose to use testosterone supplementation to remedy this. But this is not always a good idea as any type of hormone supplementation should be discussed with your physician first, to reduce any possible side effects.
When it comes to declining testosterone levels in men, some medical experts will suggest hormone replacement therapy for their patients, but people often wonder whether testosterone supplements might work to help them feel more energized and invigorated for longer. Before you start with any testosterone supplement it is important to keep in mind what experts say. The Mayo Clinic says that testosterone therapy can help to cure a condition called hypogonadism. This refers to when your body can’t produce enough testosterone on its own. However, it is not yet clear if supplements will have the same curing effect, and there is no over-the-counter replacement for this.
If your testosterone levels are normal, it is not recommended to use hormone replacement therapy or any additional testosterone supplements. A study conducted by the American Geriatrics Society found that sexual performance remained unchanged in healthy men with slightly decreased testosterone levels who tried hormone replacement therapy, thereby proving that if you have healthy T levels, adding therapy or supplements won’t necessarily give you a higher sex drive than normal.
When to Consider Taking Supplements
If your doctor has determined that you are suffering from hypogonadism or have low testosterone levels, you may require therapy. However, don’t simply take supplements on your own, always consult with your physician to determine if you will benefit from them or not, and what the recommended dosage will be if you do need supplements or hormone replacement therapy.
Another reason why you should be cautious not to take testosterone supplements on your own is that the American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology has determined that it may impact your risk for developing cardiovascular-renal disease. Some studies have suggested that there might be a link between testosterone supplements and heart and kidney problems; however studies need to prove this.
Like any other supplement or treatment, testosterone products will have its risks and benefits. There might be more side effects associated with this, especially if you take supplementation or medication when you don’t specifically have a problem. However if you are aging naturally, your doctor might recommend supplementation as your T levels will drop as time goes by. With higher T levels, you may restore your sex drive and have more energy as you age.
Side Effects of Testosterone
Always remember that there might be side effects associated with testosterone. These might include enlarged breasts, testicle shrinkage, sleep apnea, and acne. Always ask your doctor about suitable dosages, and whether or not you need therapy or supplements at all. Side effects are not something that should be considered as some of them might be permanent or threatening to your health.
It is always best to ask your doctor about any medication that you want to take, and this goes for any medicine. Testosterone can be very helpful, but it can also have negative effects that are not very appealing. If you are aging naturally it is not always recommended to take any supplements, but if it influences your sex drive naturally your doctor may recommend hormone therapy or supplementation.
Lorien Roux is an editor and copywriter for HealthLine.com, a popular resource that offers expert health advice from qualified professionals and experienced contributors. You can also find Lorien on Google+ or connect with her on Twitter.