Testosterone is an incredibly important hormone in the male body. This hormone functions by encouraging protein synthesis, an important biological process for growth, in parts of the body that have androgen receptors. As men age, testosterone levels naturally decrease. Low testosterone can lead to many problems, including sexual dysfunction, low libido, low muscle mass, and depression. Many men struggling with low testosterone wonder: “do testosterone pills work?” The answer is yes, although it depends on what you’re taking them for, as well as the dosage. Testosterone can be used to increase strength and muscle mass for athletes and bodybuilders, but its main medical use is to correct abnormally low testosterone levels.
Testosterone Pills for Low Testosterone
Low testosterone levels can contribute to many problems, and can arise from a variety of causes. Testosterone pills are used to help increase androgen levels in the body. People who suffer from hypogonadism, a disorder in which the size of reproductive organs is reduced, can benefit tremendously from testosterone supplementation. It can also benefit men with medical problems like infertility or low sexual libido. It can also help with dysthymia, a mild form of depression.
These kinds of medical issues are more likely to occur with age. As a man grows older, the body begins to produce less testosterone. Medical research has shown that these age-related decreases in testosterone, sometimes called “andropause,” are not normal or desirable. Testosterone pills and special diet plans are options to help correct it.
Testosterone Pills for Athletics
Do testosterone pills work to increase athletic performance? This is a more contentious issue than using them to correct abnormally low testosterone levels. It’s been used to encourage more muscle growth, heightening strength and athletic performance. However, many sports organizations discourage this, as it gives testosterone users an unfair advantage.
Testosterone, like other anabolic steroids, increases strength by encouraging protein synthesis in the user’s muscles. The muscles become larger than a normal person’s, and they also repair faster. However, when used for non-medical purposes, testosterone can bring a number of unwanted side effects. Testosterone’s medical benefit is for people with low testosterone. When it’s administered to a person with normal levels for athletic enhancement, the person’s testosterone levels become too high. Some of the unwanted effects of anabolic steroid abuse include:
- Cardiovascular problems – High testosterone levels can cause heart problems. Within the last couple of years, this has become a growing concern. People taking testosterone can develop pulmonary embolisms and deep vein thrombosis, which are serious and potentially fatal conditions. It can also increase a person’s chances of a stroke or heart attack. However, it’s worth noting that the studies demonstrating these effects have only come to light within the last five years.
- Increased hematocrit – An abnormal increase in the amount of red blood cells in a given unit of blood.
- Sleep apnea – A condition in which it becomes difficult to breathe while asleep.
- Unusually oily skin – Can increase likelihood of acne outbreaks.
- Increased hair loss.
- Decreased sperm production.
Because it can cause unwanted side effects, it’s important to use testosterone responsibly if it isn’t for medical purposes. Testosterone supplementation can help increase athletic performance, but not only is it now illegal if you want to compete, but the drawbacks may outweigh the benefits.
Despite any issues with its nonmedical uses, testosterone remains a viable medical treatment for problems affecting men’s fertility, sex drive, moods, and other problems. Especially for older men with lowered testosterone, supplementation can help increase health and well being by encouraging physical strength and a healthy sex drive. If you suffer from low testosterone, it’s worth talking to your doctor about. They will be able to run diagnostic tests to confirm your androgen levels, and may be able to prescribe testosterone supplements to help you feel stronger and healthier.
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