So you’re considering a testosterone booster…
But you’re smart enough to weigh the risks in doing so before actually purchasing one.
Like you, many men know to do their research and talk to their doctors before taking testosterone boosters.
But not nearly as many think to ask about testosterone supplement risks.
After all, knowing the side effect of a medication, supplement, or treatment is just as important as knowing its benefits.
It’s Not Just About Sex
For a typical male, testosterone levels drop by about 1% per year after age 30.
So frequently, the first thing people think about is an older man’s declining sex drive.
That’s reasonable – testosterone controls much of a man’s sex life. But there’s more to testosterone than just sexual desire and sperm production.
Testosterone also helps support a man’s bone density, muscle mass and strength, fat distribution, even red blood cell production.
So, when a man’s numbers start indicating his testosterone levels are dropping, there’s more at stake than just a healthy sex life.
What Are the Signs of Low Testosterone?
Since decreasing levels of testosterone tend to become an issue as men get older, many people think that the symptoms of low testosterone are the inevitable signs of aging.
However, that’s not necessarily true. And it doesn't have to be this way…
But, here are a few of the signs which might signal low testosterone.
Physical Changes: Low levels of testosterone can cause men to lose muscle mass, and have increased body fat. Bone density is tied to testosterone levels, as is hair loss. Some men may even go through hot flashes, very much like women do in menopause.
Emotional Changes: Men dealing with low testosterone often find themselves feeling less self-confident than usual, and losing motivation to get things done. Sometimes, decreased testosterone can cause depression, sadness, or moodiness. Don’t worry though – it isn't you, it’s just the testosterone.
Sleep Changes: Often, men with low levels of testosterone find it difficult to sleep, or stay asleep. Other sleep patterns and habits may change, as well.
Sexual Changes: And yes, low testosterone changes a man’s sex life as well. It may be a lack of desire and drive. It may be fewer erections. It may be a combination of both.
If you experience any of these, be sure to check with your doctor. Yes, they may be caused by testosterone – but they may be a symptom of something else. Make sure you know what you’re treating in order to find the appropriate solution.
What Are the Risks of Testosterone Boosters?
Given that prescription testosterone supplements could help deal with all these issues and more, it almost seems like an easy decision. But regardless of how well they may work, the risks of testosterone boosters need to be weighed, too.
First, know that there are conflicting reports about the risks of testosterone boosters.
Some studies would indicate that they lower a man’s risk of heart attack, while other studies indicate the exact opposite – that a man’s risk of heart attack becomes greater when taking a prescription testosterone supplement.
Another potentially dangerous risk of testosterone boosters is an increased chance of blood clots. Blood clots, especially ones in the deep vein, can break off in your bloodstream and block the lungs, heart, or brain, causing a stroke.
As with the risk of heart attack, though, the reports are mixed. Some indicate an increased risk of stroke, others do not. If you’re concerned, be sure to talk with your doctor and make an informed decision.
Testosterone boosters increase the risk of noncancerous tumors of the prostate – and perhaps more concerning, can also increase the growth of existing cancerous prostate tumors.
Not all of the risks of testosterone boosters are this serious, however.
Other, less urgent concerns include acne, enlarged and tender breasts, and testicle shrinkage.
Some men report oral changes, from sensitive gums to a strange aftertaste. Others experience moodiness and irritability.
Luckily, many of the minor side effects of testosterone boosters may wear off as your body adjusts to the new levels.
Alternatives to Prescription Testosterone Supplements
There are also herbs and natural supplements that may help give you the physical and emotional boost you’re looking for, without having to resort to a potentially risky prescription testosterone supplement.
Herbs like maca root, which has been shown to improve sexual desire.
Ashwaganda, which has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years to help with men’s sexual performance.
L-Arginine, an amino acid that increases nitric oxide – which is essential to expanding the blood vessels in the penis so you can achieve a rock-hard erection.
Not to mention the ginsengs – Panax ginseng and Korean red ginseng – to support strong erections and powerful orgasms.
Are Testosterone Boosters Worth the Risk?
That’s a question only you and your doctor can answer. The important thing is to do your research, look at your options, and make the best decision for you.
Your symptoms may not be related to low testosterone levels at all – but they may be.
A prescription testosterone supplement may be worth the risk. An all-natural herbal supplement may be the better choice for you. Regardless, it’s up to you to know what’s best for your life, your health, your body.