There are many side effects associated with testosterone treatments in older men with low testosterone levels. One of the more common is acne. It is normal for testosterone levels to decrease with age. For some men, however, testosterone treatment may increase the likelihood of acne outbreaks.
Acne commonly affects the face, chest, and back. The severity of the outbreaks may vary, but they usually result in pimples, whiteheads, or blackheads. If the acne is severe, scarring may occur. There are a variety of other conditions that can occur with low circulating testosterone concentrations, including sexual dysfunction, hypogonadism, osteoporosis, joint disease, infertility, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and diabetes. Some of these conditions are mentioned here; others have additional details.
In men with hypogonadism, the cause of testosterone deficiency is unknown. This condition occurs most often after the age of forty. However, it can occur at any age. The diagnosis is made by examining the sexual organs. Whether testosterone treatment will be recommended depends on the extent and cause of the hypogonadism.
Testosterone supplementation can reduce the risk of developing andropause (the gradual loss of sexual functioning) in older men. The decreased production of testosterone is related to reduced levels of anemia. The treatment of anemia with testosterone supplementation is intended to correct the problems related to decreased anemia. A decreased libido can also occur due to low levels of testosterone in older men. The treatment for this condition involves testosterone replacement therapy.
The primary purpose of testosterone treatment trials is to determine whether testosterone therapy is effective in improving the symptoms of older men. It is also used as a way of determining the safety and effectiveness of these drugs. During the course of the trials, older men are put on different doses of testosterone. They are monitored by specialists to determine whether the drug is causing too many side effects or not. The trial will also determine whether testosterone treatment can improve sexual function. This is important as the level of sexual dysfunction may not be related to decreased libido.
Before testosterone replacement therapy was introduced, older men had to rely on prescription strength oral supplements that contain all natural ingredients. While they were effective, they could be quite harsh on the heart and liver. There have also been concerns about the long term effect of these chemical formulations on cardiovascular and liver function.
The aim of the present study was to determine whether using a bioavailable testosterone gel would normalize bioavailable testosterone concentrations and sexual health in older men with andropause. Testosterone gel was added to a normal saline solution. Men who took the testosterone gels saw a rapid and significant increase in plasma testosterone concentration (p = 0.00). Mean testosterone concentrations were maintained throughout the four week study period.
The testosterone gels increased whole body strength and muscular endurance; improved muscle growth and mass; increased muscle power and increased muscular efficiency. The researchers were able to conclude that the addition of testosterone gel to an older man’s diet was successful in improving sexual functioning and reducing erectile dysfunction and decreased loss of sexual-fitness. The addition of testosterone to older men’s normal diet can reduce androgenic effects, particularly with respect to aging. Testosterone supplementation may help to prevent osteoporosis, an increasingly common problem among older men.
Another study focused on the relationship between low testosterone levels and anemia in older men. The authors found that there was a significant positive correlation between anemia and low testosterone levels (r = -.40). Testosterone deficiency is known to be one of the causes of anemia in men. The authors stated that future research should examine the effect of testosterone supplementation on anemia in older men and take it one step further by also examining the effect of herbal testosterone formulations on anemia.
These early findings are exciting but more research needs to be done. More studies need to be done on testosterone replacement to properly evaluate its safety and benefits. If you are at risk for or have symptoms of low testosterone, you should discuss any potential treatments with your doctor. Some men may not be appropriate candidates for testosterone replacement therapy. In some cases, too much testosterone could even be toxic.
The first two research studies showed good results. The third study is still ongoing and only one of the three trials included healthy, age-related men. If you meet the guidelines for a normal range of testosterone levels, you should be able to start a testosterone treatment plan with the right supplement. If you do not meet the guidelines for a normal range of testosterone levels, you will not be eligible for a treatment plan and should not begin one.