3 Shocking Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Side Effects that Rarely Get Enough Press
When a doctor finds out that man has low testosterone levels, he immediately prescribes medication for it.
In the case of low T, this medication is most likely a source of exogenous testosterone in the forms of creams, gels or injected.
Does this bring the levels of testosterone back to normal? In most cases, yes.
But what you don't often hear, is that there are multiple side effects associated with the external use of hormones.
You aren't fixing anything, you're just treating symptoms. And with that treatment, the following three side effects can take place.
#3. Secondary Exposure
Not so commonly discussed danger of using exogenous testosterone gels and creams, is their ability to be transferred to your wife, kids, or even pets.
Even though the commonly used alcohol vehicle dries pretty fast, the actual hormonal gel/cream will stay on the skin for up to 12 hours after application.
During this time, you can easily accidentally transfer the hormones from that gel to your family members, most commonly this has happened to wive's of T gel users, who got in contact with the gel during sex or by using the same towel as their hubby had used after applying the gel.
Surely the amounts transferred aren't that large, but its good to know that women are much more sensitive to the effects of testosterone, which is why reports of hair growth on the face and arms, hair loss on the head, deepening of the voice, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), irregular menstruation, anxiety and irritability have been found to occur sometimes due to accidental contact with hormone creams and gels.
#2. Cardiovascular Problems
In many studies, high testosterone levels have been noted to have a protective effect against heart problems, whereas men with low testosterone have much higher rate of cardiovascular problems.
However, men who use testosterone gels or injections, were found to be at up to 30% increased risk of death, heart attack or ischemic stroke in this study (while other study saw 2x increase in heart attacks of older men using T gels).
How can this be if high testosterone has been found to lower heart attacks in so many studies?
If you think about it, it might be because the basis of actually having low testosterone levels, is some sort of problem in the bodily energy production or something wrong in any of the endocrine glands...
Low testosterone levels are just a symptom of that, and if you just try fixing it by supplying testosterone to your blood from other sources, you are actually not doing anything to fix the unhealthy nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle factors that have actually triggered the whole condition in the first place.
For instance, testosterone is known for its effect in increasing red blood cell count, which would be great if you're healthy already, but can be a total disaster on a man with arterial plaque and metabolic syndrome.
You simply don't have high testosterone levels in a dysfunctional unhealthy body naturally. You can however, if you use exogenous testosterone.
#1. Suppression of Natural Production
This, by far, is the worst side effect of using exogenous testosterone gels or injections.
As the synthesis of male sex hormones follows a negative feedback-loop, increasing the blood levels of testosterone exogenously, will lead to supressed natural production via shutdown of the pituiary gland LH release.
Most often, the higher the exogenous dose, the bigger the decline in natural production.
So what happens if you stop using the exogenous testosterone gels or injections?
Problems, as your body still won't produce its own T at a normal rate. This is a major problem, especially for bodybuilders who jump on quick steroid cycles, and then coming off they realize that they feel like absolute shit. They go from super high exogenous testosterone levels, to incredibly low levels due to suppressed natural production after the cycle.
Prescription testosterone gels or injections are no different to the testosterone that bodybuilders use (granted that it might be bit cleaner and more well regulated). The natural testosterone synthesis will get supressed if you introduce testosterone from an outer source to the blood.
It has also been shown that when you do this long enough, you will eventually cause permanent damage to the testicular leydig cells, and some find that their natural testosterone production never jumps back up to normal levels (which is why they end up on HRT for the rest of their lives).
NOTE: Some people don't mind using hormone replacement therapy till the end of their days, and that's all a personal choice (there are also few drugs like clomid, HCG that can help in restarting natural production). Just know that once you start using exogenous T, you are doing it at the cost of natural production being suppressed and leydig cells being exposed to permanent damage after years of downregulation.
How to Raise Testosterone Naturally
This website specializes in natural testosterone optimization, so that you don't need the gels, creams, and injections.
Are we biased towards the natural stuff? Maybe so.
We believe that the majority of men (unless you literally have no testicles or they're damaged in an accident), can bring their testosterone levels up to healthy ranges without the use of synthetic steroids.
Thousands of men have already done this, and there's ample amounts of science backing it up.
You can read more below;