Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy Safe?
Whether you heard about it on the radio, read about it online, or listened to a buddy that swears by it – Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) continues to make some big waves. Whether it’s helping guys with noticeable declines in performance, improving fatigue, enjoying better returns from workouts, fighting obesity or even helping women feel more like a woman (yes, it does that too), TRT is doing a lot for a lot of people.
If you’re suffering from symptoms like these, it might do a lot for you. But you might be wondering – is Testosterone Replacement Therapy safe?
The answer to that question – Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy safe? – is one that is usually very simple to determine. Just like virtually any other form of medical therapy, there are potential risks and benefits which must be weighed on an individual basis.
Each of our clients is subject to a very extensive medical history and evaluation prior to TRT even being considered. A very important factor to consider when weighing risk versus benefit as it pertains to TRT, is the knowledge and expertise of the Health Care professional from whom you seek treatment.
Unfortunately, we see new clients everyday whose work-up and/or treatment plan were not appropriate and sometimes do not even satisfy routine, standard-of-care recommendations. Generally speaking, TRT is a very safe endeavor when managed appropriately in the right individual and the benefits often far outweigh the potential risk.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy isn’t a new thing or a fad, but it has definitely gained a lot of attention over the last few years. Part of that is public awareness, but its also because current medical research has debunked many of the myths surrounding some of the possible side effects associated with TRT.
In fact, some new research by a group of UTMB research scientists in Galveston shows that there is a lack of evidence that TRT contributes to cardiovascular disease. You can watch the video below.
Those in the medical field who are up-to-date on this current research typically have views that differ from those who maintain practice guidelines which are often based on out-dated information. Unfortunately, this out-dated approach has often resulted in treatment plans that are inadequate or forcing people continuing to suffer needlessly from the symptoms associated with testosterone deficiency.
That being said, Testosterone Replacement Therapy is not for everyone. It’s a very real form of medical treatment for a very real medical diagnosis. It is not a miracle solution to any problem that ails you and be very leery of anyone who tells you that it is. You should also adopt a great deal of skepticism while listening to those who propose addressing this issue with ANY form of a “natural supplement”.
The science simply cannot endorse the use of these supplements, but this will be covered in greater detail in a later blog post. Testosterone Replacement Therapy that is appropriately managed and closely supervised can be both safe and very effective for someone who truly needs it.
Let’s hit some common specific questions about Testosterone Replacement Therapy and safety:
Does Testosterone Replacement Therapy Cause Prostate Cancer?
In the past, it was thought that there was a definite connection between Testosterone Replacement Therapy and an increased risk for prostate cancer. Unfortunately, this bias was formed decades ago with the conclusion being more of a “maybe” as opposed to a definitive correlation. Regardless, over the ensuing years, this mindset has drastically affected the willingness of some healthcare professionals to treat diagnosed cases of symptomatic testosterone deficiency.
More recently, however, research has been pointing greatly to the exact opposite – that extended years of living with low testosterone actually may increase the risk of prostate cancer, especially in older men.
Current research indicates that Testosterone Replacement Therapy does not increase your risk of prostate cancer. In fact, some studies actually suggest that it may counter one of the contributing risk factors. While changes in the prostate can occur during treatment, there does not appear to be an increased risk of developing prostate cancer associated with Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
At this point in time, the crux of TRT as it relates to prostate cancer is whether or not TRT may spur the rate of growth of an existing prostatic malignancy. The science is relatively inconclusive at this time but if we think in terms of the worst case scenario, appropriate monitoring of PSA (Prostate-specific antigen) levels during TRT could potentially lead to earlier detection that otherwise may have not been appreciated until the disease had become advanced.
Early detection and intervention are key factors when attempting to improve the odds of beating most forms of cancer.
Is Testosterone Replacement Therapy safe for someone with Diabetes?
Evidence-based studies now tell us that a man dealing with type 2 diabetes is twice as likely to suffer from low testosterone as a man without diabetes, as stated by the American Diabetes Association.
The connection between obesity, diabetes, and low testosterone often prompt the prescription of Testosterone Replacement Therapy for those suffering from both diabetes and low testosterone, but careful planning with the patient’s Doctor or certified diabetes educator is a must.
In some cases, Testosterone Replacement Therapy can increase one’s insulin sensitivity. Therefore the treatment strategy for type 2 diabetes, which may include dosage reductions of diabetes medication, must be adjusted accordingly.
Does Testosterone Replacement Therapy Have Side Effects?
Potentially. As with most any form of medical treatment, there are possible side effects or adverse reactions which should be taken into consideration as part of the initial discussion with your Healthcare Provider. An in-depth outline of the these potential side effects with a medical professional who is experienced with TRT is an important step in determining if Testosterone Replacement Therapy is right for you. However,
Typically, potential side effects are often negated or minimized with appropriate treatment plans, close clinical monitoring, the application of Preventative Medicine, and routine lab assessment. Do your best to ensure that your healthcare professional understands the intricacies involved with the minimization of the potential risks while seeking to maximize the potential benefit.
If you have questions or wish to learn more about Testosterone Replacement Therapy, please contact Testosterone Centers of Texas and request a free consultation with one of our experienced, licensed health care professionals.