Testosterone replacement used to be considered a little bit risky, but that has changed. We now recognize that testosterone replacement is really not risky but beneficial. It improves not only the libido, and not only the tone of the penis, but it improves bone density, it reverses depression in men who suffer from depression due to low testosterone. It also improves longevity. Men with low testosterone have been identified as having a shorter lifespan than men with normal testosterone levels. It’s noted to be important in maintaining a normal blood count. It’s also important in the immune system, in the integrity of the skin, muscle mass.
Testosterone is a very important hormone, and if it is low, it should be replaced. There used to be fear that testosterone causes prostate cancer. It turns out that the urological community and the thought leaders in urology have determined that testosterone does not cause prostate cancer. If a man has active prostate cancer that has not been eliminated. Testosterone may allow it to grow more robustly, but it will not cause a new prostate cancer to arise.
In our practice and many other practices around the country now, we are even allowing men who have had their prostate cancer effectively treated to begin testosterone replacement therapy to help them with their sexual dysfunction.
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Side Effects Of Testosterone
Testosterone replacement therapy does need to be monitored by a physician. If the levels of testosterone are elevated too high, the side effects may occur. Those side effects include nipple tenderness or breast enlargement because testosterone is normally converted to estradiol or estrogen within the fatty tissues of the male. And if you push the testosterone levels too high, you push estradiol levels too high, and this can then create gynecomastia or breast tissue swelling and nipple tenderness. Because if this affects the breast tissue testosterone should not be used in men with breast cancer.
Aside from gynecomastia or nipple tenderness, another side effect of pushing the testosterone levels too high is acne.
Agitation or mental agitation, I should say, is another consequence in some men of pushing the testosterone levels too high.