Testosterone Dependence: How Real Is The Risk?

Ever been scouring the internet or watching TV and you see something that says “hey, do you feel fatigued and don’t care for sex anymore? Try testosterone replacement therapy”.

Testosterone replacement therapy or TRT for short, is one of the most highly prescribed medications in America today.

Usually, men might be prescribed TRT to assist with things like extreme fatigue, a low sex drive, being moody, depression and people who exhbit high aging.

Testosterone Dependence - How Real Is The Risk

The thing is, TRT has also been under fire and has become a controversial method of medicine.

While it is true that some TRT medications such as AndroGel have previously has successes with men over 65’s sex drive, there’s little evidence to suggest that the other problems can be resolved with AndroGel.

This is just one example of how TRT is a debatable prescription, but there’s much more to it than that. In this guide, we’re going to show you how TRT is used, its risks and answer if it’s possible to become dependent on the medicine.

What Exactly Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?

Much as the commercials might suggest, TRT comes in the form of medicines like topical creams, patches, injections or oral medications and they are used to help men with:

  • Low sex drive (low libido)
  • Heavy fatigue
  • Loss of muscle
  • Unexplained, high weight gain
  • Sleeping problems
  • Depression
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Low sperm count
  • Moodiness

Some people like to use this medication to enhance things like their bodybuilding goals or to try and boost their sex life. The reason that some people experience problems like the ones above is because of the aging process.

As men get older, their testosterone levels will decrease. Usually from your early 30s, a man’s testosterone levels will decrease about 1% every year.

Normally, a drop in testosterone production won’t cause any noticeable issues, but if there is a significant drop in testosterone levels - the problems listed above can occur.

Of course, this will make the people affected feel upset, angry or self conscious and therefore will seek some medical assistance.

However, it is important that we note - it is illegal in the United States to purchase and administer TRT without a prescription. Yet, people still do to try and improve their sex life or lose weight.

This uncontrolled use of TRT is where problems normally arise. When a doctor prescribes a course of medicine, they will give you specific instructions as to the dosage, frequency and inform you of the warning signs of certain things.

So, you know if things start to go wrong with your prescribed TRT medication - your doctor will be able to advise and assist. When you’re taking TRT medication illegally, there will be no regulation or assistance. So - what are the dangers of this?

Dangers Of TRT

Aside from the debatable positive effects such as boosting energy levels and mood, which many are reporting to be untrue, TRT now has on the label that there is a real health risk posed by the medication.

The label cites things like stroke and heart disease - but scientists and other health experts are currently debating if TRT can be a factor in things like prostate cancer. It has also been suggested that certain types of men can end up permanently infertile.

Other potential health problems include breathing difficulties, reduction in good cholesterol, communication problems, acne, swelling in hands and feet, deep vein thrombosis and even a heart attack.

Experts have also suggested, much to the crux of this guide, that TRT can make people dependent on testosterone.

For people who have taken the medication for 5 or more years, their testicles may become atrophied and cease to function correctly. It will also move the users to a need for the medication to function normally.

In fact, the FDA has now labeled a warning since 2015 that there is a real risk of addiction and that users should only follow doctor’s advice and take the medication appropriately.

What’s more, experts have suggested that TRT being abused can lead to tumors being “woken up” which would not normally have caused a problem - but now is a real health risk.

How Much Does TRT Cost?

The costs of TRT will vary depending on your state, age, insurance and what exactly you’ve been prescribed. It’s not possible to say an exact amount which will be the same across the board as it can go from $20 to thousands of dollars.

It’s notable though that some health insurance providers will not help you with a TRT prescription and will not likely assist with any medications or treatment that comes as a result of TRT usage.

Are There Alternatives To TRT?

A lot of the reasons why men want to access TRT can be attributed to poor health through a poor diet and low exercise. Therefore, the first thing to try and do is alter the diet to a much more healthy one with a strict schedule to eat.

Foods should be high in protein to help you feel fuller and build lean muscle mass, along with the important vegetables and fiber.

A balanced, calorie controlled diet is a great start - as you’ll notice your sleep will improve and your overall mood will improve, not to mention a slight drop in weight.

This is enhanced with a decent amount of regular exercise. Doing 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day (or at least 5 days a week) can significantly improve your health and if you choose to lift weights, testosterone levels have been known to improve over time.

If you have other health concerns such as depression and exercise is not helping with it - you may need other medical intervention for things such as antidepressants. You should speak with your doctor if you have other health concerns, such as this.

Summary

TRT has increased in use, including illegal and unregulated use. It is entirely possible to become dependent on testosterone, along with a multitude of other health problems.

Always think carefully and speak with professionals before undertaking any new medicine.

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