Do you know the truth about testosterone? Stories about cheating athletes and “juiced up” wrestlers have misled many people into believing that hormone therapy is inherently dangerous, but that couldn’t be less true. Here are some of the most common myths about testosterone – busted!
MYTH #1: Testosterone is a Steroid. And Scary.
Okay, testosterone actually is a steroid, but probably not the kind you’re thinking of, and it’s not at all scary. Steroid is simply a term used to describe a certain type of organic compound, many of which (including testosterone) occur naturally in the human body. Estrogen is a steroid, as is cortisol, the hormone that helps your body cope with stress. There are also steroidal medications; prednisone, for example, may be prescribed to help combat inflammation due to an allergic reaction or arthritis.
Like so many things, the safety of steroids has a lot to do with moderation. You should only use testosterone – and all other steroids, for that matter – under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider and exactly as directed. Do that, and the only thing you have to worry about is what to do with all the newfound energy you’ll start experiencing!
MYTH #2: Testosterone Is Only For Bodybuilders and Gym Rats.
Testosterone: It’s not just for building big, bulging biceps anymore! Actually, it never was. Sure, testosterone aids in amping up muscle strength and size, but it also plays a very important role in everything from the production of red blood cells to ensuring proper cognitive function. If you don’t have enough testosterone, you’re in for far worse problems than flabby abs.
Low testosterone can be the result of hypogonadism – a condition in which the ovaries in females and testes in males underproduces the hormone – or it may occur as a natural result of aging. According to a study analyzed by scientists at the New England Research Institute, 25% of men over the age of 30 have low testosterone levels, a deficiency that will only worsen with time. In fact, after the age of 35, the average man’s testosterone level begins to deplete at a rate of about 2% each year. Without corrective action, that ever-increasing imbalance can result in a number of symptoms associated with low testosterone such as:
- Hair loss
- Loss of muscle mass
- Increase in body fat
- Low energy levels
- Mood swings or irritability
- Decreased sex drive
- Impaired fertility
- Erectile dysfunction
MYTH #3: Testosterone is For Middle-Aged Men Trying to Feel Young.
Low testosterone can affect men of any age. It’s a legitimate medical problem (in fact there can be underlying causes such as genetics, metabolic disorders, or autoimmune disease) and as such, there is no shame in seeking treatment in order to correct it. Take another look at the symptoms listed above. Those issues aren’t just a matter of simply inconvenience and physical problems like loss of muscle mass or infertility can negatively impact health and well-being in a significant way. Given a chance at a viable and affordable solution, why wouldn’t you take steps towards living a longer, healthier, and happier life?
MYTH #4: Testosterone Causes Aggressive or Violent Behavior.
Simply not true. In fact, you’re more likely to feel irritable and agitated if you’re testosterone deficient. Some people associate testosterone with “roid rage” but there aren’t any studies to back up a correlation between angry outburst and testosterone supplementation.
MYTH #5: Testosterone Therapy Causes Cancer and/or Heart Attacks.
There has been some controversy as of late concerning a potential link between supplemental testosterone and heart attacks. The study that caused this debate has been debunked and no other evidence exists proving that those undergoing testosterone therapy face increased cardiovascular risk. On the other hand, there is a correlation between testosterone deficiency, weight gain – especially around the middle – and high blood pressure, and that may be cause for coronary concern.
Testosterone therapy does not cause cancer either, however there is some evidence that it could make existing breast or prostate cancer grow. That possibility is just one reason why it’s extremely important that testosterone replacement therapy is overseen and injections are administered only by qualified and well-trained medical professionals. At Vitality Health that means you’ll be safely in the hands of our physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners, all of whom have received extensive and continuing education on a range of men’s health topics. A thorough health evaluation including a full lab panel and EKG will help ensure you’re an ideal candidate for hormone replacement therapy, and continued monitoring of those vitals will keep you on track throughout the entirety of your treatment.
MYTH #6: Testosterone Means Shots, Shots, and More Shots.
Fear not, needlephobes! While injections are a quick and direct way to administer testosterone, Vitality Health also offers patients the options of implanted pellets. These time-release pellets are implanted under your skin where they’re slowly absorbed, giving you a steady stream of testosterone without the need for repeated jabs.
What we won’t use: pills, patches, gels, and intranasal sprays. These methods are unpredictable in both delivery and dosage and simply too unreliable for our patients.
MYTH #7: Testosterone Therapy Will Solve All My Problems.
If you’re suffering from low testosterone, hormone therapy certainly may play a part in restoring your vitality or achieving weight loss, but it’s only one piece of a larger puzzle. While correcting your testosterone deficiency may give you more energy and boost your mood, it’s up to you to harness that energy for a killer workout or to cook healthier food. Your health is a comprehensive concept, and at Vitality Health, we’re happy to help you find the path that works best for you.