Using supplements to increase testosterone levels can cause a variety of additional health issues. While not all experience these side-effects, the risks are very real.
The normal range of testosterone in men is anywhere between 300 and 1,200 nanograms per deciliter. A healthy 20-something often has a count of around 800. Below 300 is what doctors typically use for diagnosing someone as having low testosterone levels. At about age 30, testosterone levels naturally decline at a rate of about 1% per year for the rest of our lives. Typically, by age 40, the differences are beginning to be noticeable. In most men, these differences are quite normal and natural, yet, in a culture that expects us to maintain our youth and vitality despite our age, for many men, these differences are becoming less acceptable.
The testosterone supplement industry has experienced incredible growth in recent years. More and more men are seeking ways to boost their energy, strength and sex drive – and with artificial supplements, they do see results.
Dangers of Artificial Testosterone Supplements
However, studies are showing that the toll on the body may not be worth it. Studies have found that those taking testosterone supplements are at an increased risk of death, heart-attack, stroke and liver damage. On top of that, taking artificial supplements to increase testosterone often leads to the body not producing its own. So while it may have been low before, now it may stop altogether. The individual is stuck taking some form of supplement for the rest of his life, or have to experience symptoms of even lower testosterone levels for a period of time until the body restarts production of its own, including depression, low sex drive, low energy and more.
The biggest challenge is that many of the men taking testosterone supplements are using over-the-counter forms that are not prescribed by doctors. Most often, these men are not being seen by a doctor regularly to check up on their health or any possible side-effects that may be developing from usage.
While hormone therapy can and does help men with low testosterone levels, it is becoming a common practice even among those whose testosterone levels are in the mid- to high-end of the normal range. As these men add testosterone to their already normal systems, they create a new problem for themselves: testosterone levels that are too high.
Too Much of a Good Thing
High testosterone is extremely rare due to natural causes. Typically, it is caused by unnecessary testosterone therapy and/or steroid usage. Symptoms are often unexpected. What many men do not realize is that excess testosterone is converted into estrogen, the female hormone. This means that symptoms of having testosterone levels that are too high include such things as: acne, prostate swelling, sleep apnea, decreased sperm count, breast enlargement, fluid retention, decreased testicle size, cancer, and increased red blood cell count. When testosterone remains unnaturally high for too long, it can also result in glad shut-down, meaning that the body stops producing its own natural testosterone because it thinks it is already there. This can lead to imbalances in hormones and other health-related issues.
The best approach is to consult with a doctor before taking supplements to get an understanding of the current levels of testosterone, whether they are normal or not, and whether additional testosterone might be a healthy choice. Even when increasing testosterone may help, the risks of using supplements remain high. Natural methods can help maintain healthy levels of testosterone without all of the unwanted side-effects.
Herbs, foods and habits can all impact our levels of testosterone, and therefore our levels of energy, vitality, sex drive, and ability to stay lean while building muscle. Plus, natural methods stimulate natural production of testosterone which means the body will only produce what it needs. They can increase testosterone levels while keeping them within the normal, healthy range.