Testosterone boosters are certainly an effective way to build muscle faster...but at what cost? Find out what the side effects are, and whether you need to be seriously worried.
Testerone Boosters are Popular, But Beware…
Testosterone is a steroid hormone that is produced in the testes in men and in the ovaries (at a much lower rate) in women. Testosterone is responsible for a number of functions in the body, including male sexual organ development, sex drive, production of sperm, maintaining bone mass and muscle strength.
As men age, testosterone levels naturally decline at the rate of 1% every year after the age of 30. It is for this reason that many men seek to boost testosterone levels through the use of anabolic steroids and prescription drugs.
Although many men get good results from using testosterone boosters, they also come with a number of disturbing side effects.
An extensive study published in 2014 in the PLoS One Journal considered testosterone boosters. It discovered that the risk of heart attack increased in men aged 65 and older during the first 90 days of testosterone therapy.
This study, conducted by UCLA and the National Cancer Institute, involved 56,000 participants. Data was collected from the participants before and after initiating testosterone treatment. The data showed that participants doubled their risk of heart attack after initiating the therapy.
Other studies were conducted in 2010 and 2013. The findings from these studies were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The participants in these studies were men who were either elderly or frail. The study found that testosterone use increased their risk of suffering from cardiac events. In the study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, one man died during the course of the study and investigators attributed his death to testosterone therapy.
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Testosterone boosters also increase the risk of stroke. The findings from the studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association are illuminating.
These showed that in addition to the increased risk of heart attacks, men taking testosterone boosters had a 30 percent greater risk for stroke. As a result of the therapy, some men had to be rushed to the hospital and underwent artery clearing procedures.
Another side effect of testosterone therapy is the risk of polycythemia. This condition increases the number of red blood cells in the body. Polycythemia is a serious threat because an increase in red blood cells causes the blood to thicken, which in turn leads to blood clots and blood clots cause strokes.
Worsen Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that results in the reduction or cessation of airflow during sleep. The cause of obstructive sleep apnea is blocked or narrowed airways.
This condition can cause an irregular heartbeat, strokes, and heart attacks. Testosterone boosters worsen obstructive sleep apnea. This puts the patient at a higher risk of suffering from these potentially fatal conditions.
Increasing testosterone levels in the body upsets the natural balance of hormones in the body. This imbalance can result in increased acne, male breast enlargement, and hair loss.
Hormonal imbalances caused by testosterone boosters also have the potential to cause infertility in men. In some cases, this condition is irreversible.
Risks for Women, Children and Pets
Testosterone boosters, especially topical boosters, put family members and pets at risk. Topical boosters are placed under the arms, in the nostrils or on the arms and shoulders.
Placing the medicine in these locations make it easy for some of it to rub off on family members or pets if they come in contact with the medication.
The dangers to women include increased facial hair growth, acne and harm to an unborn child (if the woman is pregnant). Male and female children can experience enlarged genitalia and premature aging of bones.
Additional risks for children include larger breasts (especially in boys), advanced puberty, and aggressive behavior. Pets exposed to the medicine can experience violent behavior and enlarged genitals as well.
Decide What is Right for You
Testosterone boosters may help men suffering from low t-levels, but they also come with many side effects. Heart attacks, strokes, hormonal imbalances and risks to family members are reasons why you should carefully consider using testosterone boosters.
If you decide the risks of taking prescription testosterone boosters are too great for you, you can investigate natural ways of increasing testosterone. There are many ways to increase your t-levels, the most important thing is to decide which ways are safest for you.