Here are the six testosterone replacement therapy side effects that might happen to your body when start taking testosterone replacement therapy in low t subjects.
Prostate Health And Changes:
While prostate changes can occur with testosterone replacement, a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in June of 2010, which looked closely at the adverse reactions reported in 51 other studies, found there to be no increased risk of the development of prostate cancer, prostate-related urinary symptoms, or elevated PSA (prostate-specific antigen).
Basically, prostate cancer is NOT one of the side effects of testosterone replacement therapy.
That aside, because PSA is essentially a tumor marker for prostate cancer, patients with a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and those with an elevated PSA level should proceed with caution and be monitored closely.
For men with a personal history of prostate cancer, treatment for Low T is considered contraindicated according to most sources.
It is important to note that testosterone replacement does not “give” you prostate cancer, but certainly elevated testosterone levels (even to the normal range) can cause an otherwise unnoticed prostate lesion to grow more aggressively.
Testosterone, in and of itself, is not a causative factor in the development of prostate cancer.
That myth has finally been debunked through countless studies over several years while more recent data now indicate that low serum testosterone levels are a potential predictor of high-risk prostate cancer.
The more interesting debate at this point is the potential consequence of increasing a man’s testosterone level, even to a normal range, in the presence of an existing prostatic growth.
The findings of multiple studies over the years have ranged from testosterone appearing to be associated with promoting the transition of a common, low-grade lesion into one of a more aggressive nature, to testosterone actually contributing to cell death of the malignancy to no appreciable effect whatsoever.
Obviously the current data is inconclusive, however, it is becoming more and more apparent that as we ponder the safest recommendations while peering through the lens of risk/benefit analysis, living with testosterone deficiency may indeed be the more risky endeavor.
From diarrhea to indigestion, digestive problems are common side effects of HRT. You may also get stomach cramps, bloating, gas, and nausea. Luckily, these symptoms typically go away within the first few months. You can also try natural remedies like drinking ginger tea and sniffing peppermint oil.
Suppression of Fertility:
The production of testosterone and sperm both are controlled by what is referred to as the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis.
That is, the hypothalamus ( a portion of the forebrain responsible for the control of certain autonomic nervous system actions and pituitary gland activity) “talks” to the pituitary gland by mean of a chemical messenger (GnRH – gonadotropin-releasing hormone).
The pituitary gland in turn will “talk” to the testicles (male gonads) also by means of different chemical messengers (LH – luteinizing hormone and FSH – follicular stimulating hormone).
Low T occurs when either this hormonal cycle fails to stimulate the testes to produce testosterone or more commonly when the testes themselves fail to respond to said stimulation.
When testosterone levels are normalized, either by natural means or through treatment of Low T, the brain reduces the stimulus to produce testosterone by secreting less GnRH.
Since this singular hormone controls both FSH and LH, the natural suppression of GnRH that occurs can reduce fertility.
Additionally, it is this same process that is responsible for the potential reduction in size and/or change in firmness of the testicles.
Blood Thickening (Erythrocytosis):
While going through TRT, your blood may possibly thicken. This is due to an increase in red blood cell counts known as erythrocytosis. This is when the more “solid” portion of your blood, as you undergo treatment, the number of red blood cells increase resulting in thicker blood. Under the supervision of medical professionals, this can be easily avoided by donating blood when needed.
DHT and Estradiol:
Normal metabolism of testosterone results in its conversion into two primary metabolites, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and estradiol (E2, a form of estrogen).
Elevated levels of DHT can cause a benign growth of the prostate, increased oiliness of the skin and acne, as well as male pattern balding.
Abnormal increases in estradiol can lead to mood swings, breast tissue changes, and fluid retention that may cause swelling or increases in blood pressure. Furthermore, abnormal estradiol levels have been linked to lower testosterone levels, erectile dysfunction, and a decrease in free testosterone.
According to the 2010 update to “Testosterone Therapy in Adult Men with Androgen Deficiency Syndromes: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline”, the conversion rate and subsequent ratio of testosterone to estradiol and DHT do not change when treating Low T via injection of testosterone cypionate.
These ratios may be negatively affected by other Low T treatments (gels, patches, pellets, etc.).
Risk of the heart attack:
A number of studies show that testosterone therapy can increase the risk for a heart attack. This is one of the more serious risks of testosterone therapy and one of the top 5 reasons to avoid testosterone therapy. Men under 65 with preexisting heart disease are at even greater risk of having a heart attack shortly after starting testosterone therapy.