Testosterone can not be ingested orally as it is dangerous for the liver. To enhance testosterone safely in men, it is either through the skin through creams, gels, patches or through injections.Many men like the benefit of simply rubbing in a daily gel into their arms in the morning, while other men prefer an injections one a week or every other week.
There are 2 types of testosterone gels available, synthetic or bio-identical. The synthetic ones are where a chemical change has been made in the hormone and the company can patent that change and market it accordingly. Two common cutaneous gels are testim and androderm. When testosterone is used in its natural unaltered form is is call bio-identical. bio-identical testosterone is plant based and made of completely natural products and is identical to the body’s own testosterone.
Depending on a man’s levels, age, objectives as well as his levels of the female hormone estradiol an individual program is designed for that unique man. If the estradiol is high often a medication call arimidex is used to lower the levels. DHEA is a weak oral testosterone that can be used but contributes only in a very small way.
There are risks of testosterone replacement including making the blood too thick (polycythemia), acne, sleep apnea. These side effects are quite infrequent when monitored by a physician expert in this area.
Many men will ask, “Do I have to take this forever?” The answer is hormone replacement is meant to be a long-term program as the body simply does not make enough or the right amount of hormones. Many men start with a program and feel fantastic and want to stay on a program long-term. Some men start and then choose not to continue. It is safe to discontinue the medication.
Some men ask, “How is this different than what athletes take like performance enhancing steroids.” This main difference is that men who have abnormally low hormones are helped to feel and function normally. Athletes are often initially in the normal range and try to increase their hormones to 3-5 times normal values with inherent risks.