Dangers of Testosterone
It's the hormone that regulates muscle mass, energy, and sex drive, and some men think more is better!
You see it on TV, in magazines, and on shelves everywhere you turn. But few men know the dangers of taking testosterone.
Philip Werthman, MD, a Male Fertility Specialist at the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine & Vasectomy Reversal in Los Angeles, told Ivanhoe, "One is after you start, this could potentially be a lifelong therapy."
Werthman says when a man takes testosterone supplements, his brain thinks the body is making the hormone so it stops sending natural hormonal signals to the testicles.
"So that means the testicles don't work anymore," Werthman told Ivanhoe.
Patients are left with no testosterone and side effects like lack of energy, loss of sex drive, and trouble focusing.
"Imagine how badly you felt when your testosterone was low that you wanted to go on therapy, now imagine when your testosterone's almost nonexistent," Werthman told Ivanhoe.
Taking testosterone could also increase a man's risk of infertility, prostate cancer, liver problems, blood clots, heart attack and stroke.
"Brian" who doesn't want to be identified took testosterone injections for two years. His doctor prescribed it, even though his levels were normal.
"Brian" said, "He said I think you can, you'll get some benefits. It's worthwhile. You should try it."
He went off the hormone when he found out it was making him infertile. That's when he lost his sex drive completely and suffered other side effects.
"Brian" told Ivanhoe, "I became very tired all the time. I couldn't focus. I would forget things."
Brian is currently suing the doctor who prescribed him testosterone and he wants others to know the dangers.
"If you get off of it, you may never be normal again, which is what seems to have happened to me," "Brian" told Ivanhoe.
Testosterone comes as a pill, patch, gel and injection. Werthman says over-the-counter supplements can be just as damaging as those given in a clinic. While there are cases where testosterone can help men who truly need it, the doctor says it's often over-prescribed. He says a recent study found 25% of men who are given testosterone never even had their levels checked.
BACKGROUND: Testosterone is a hormone produced by the testicles and is responsible for the proper development of male sexual characteristics. Testosterone is also important for maintaining muscle bulk, adequate levels of red blood cells, bone growth, a sense of well-being, and sexual function. Hypogonadism is a disease in which the body is unable to produce normal amounts of testosterone due to a problem with the testicles or with the pituitary gland that controls the testicles. Doctors may prescribe testosterone therapy as injections, pellets, patches or gels.
(Sources: http://www.webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/guide/testosterone-replacement-therapy, http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/sexual-health/in-depth/testosterone-therapy/art-20045728)
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Without adequate testosterone, a man may lose his sex drive, experience erectile dysfunction, feel depressed, have a decreased sense of well-being, and have difficulty concentrating. The only accurate way to detect the condition is to have your doctor measure the amount of testosterone in your blood. Low testosterone can cause the following physical changes:
· Decrease in muscle mass, with an increase in body fat
· Changes in cholesterol levels
· Decrease in hemoglobin and possibly mild anemia
· Fragile bones (osteoporosis)
· Decrease in body hair
· Changes in cholesterol and lipid levels
RISKS OF TESTOSTERONE: Dr. Philip Werthman, Director of the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine in Los Angeles, warns of the side effects of testosterone therapy. As a male fertility expert, he has firsthand experience with the dangers that are caused by the over diagnosis of low testosterone. Patients aren't being told of testosterone's harmful side effects which include sterilization, need for life-long use, testicular atrophy, thickening of the blood that can lead to heart attacks, prostate problems and other less serious conditions. A pioneer in the technology of micro surgical vasovasostomy, he spends a considerable amount of time treating men in an attempt to reverse the side effects caused by testosterone use and abuse. His most recent research shows that testosterone therapy is a leading cause of male infertility.
* For More Information, Contact:
Center for Male Reproductive Medicine &
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