Arguably, one of the most well-known hormones in the human body is the sex hormone, known as testosterone.
Now, while it is highly debatable whether or not most of the information circulating about this famous hormone is genuine enough to act on.
No doubt compared to other hormones, there is quite a lot of controversy revolving around this hormone about what level to which it affects human health and behavior.
However, if we are to understand the importance and function of the testosterone hormone in the human body, it is imperative first to ascertain all that we know to be true about the hormone.
“Testosterone is a steroid hormone necessary for enhanced libido, energy, immune function, and protection against osteoporosis.”
“Low testosterone is a lack of production of testosterone in men.”
As people age, a decline in testosterone production is experienced. Very low levels of testosterone in men increase the risk of obesity and heart attack.
Maintaining proper amounts of testosterone in the body is important to sustain overall health and well-being.
Many people attach specific behavior to the presence or absence of the testosterone hormone in the male body.
Some of these are true; most of it, however, isn’t.
As an example, most people often attribute acts of violence, especially among males, to the presence and overactivity of the testosterone hormone.
This is very far from reality.
Most people tend to assume that because the hormone is mostly responsible for the onset and sequential display of male characteristics.
It is what therefore affects everything associated with dominant male behavior.
What is worthy of note here is that a lot of things that are affected and influenced by the presence or absence of the testosterone hormone in the body tend to be severely ignored or considered irrelevant.
Typical examples of this are that the amount of testosterone present in the body at given stages in a man’s life plays a significant role in whether or not a man gets prostate cancer.
This means that the level of the testosterone hormone present in a person’s body (especially an adult male) is directly responsible for the person’s health status, among other things.
This is why the optimal level of testosterone must be maintained appropriately to ensure that a person’s health is just as it should be.
However, in many cases, these methods tend to lose their efficacy over time.
There are several ways and various methods you can easily employ to ensure that you maintain that perfect level of testosterone hormone in your blood system as a male.
A significant reason for this is the fact that as a person grows older and older, the amount of testosterone hormone that the body can produce severely decreases.
This means that regardless of what basic meals or supplements you take to boost the performance of your body in producing more and more of the hormone.
The effects of age limit determine what quantity of the hormone can be produced by the body.
These facts are further bolstered by an in-depth analysis conducted on the average American.
The results of this study proved that, on average, the amount of the testosterone hormone present in a male decreases by as much as 1% to 2% every single year.
The reduction of testosterone levels in the human body is nothing for you to be worried about.
This is because that process is an entirely natural one that is suspected to begin from a person’s late 20s.
In some other cases, however, this reduction occurs during a person’s early 30s.
Regardless of when it begins, it isn’t anything for you to be alarmed about.
Some things that might be interesting for you to take note of this include:
- As you advance in age, the amount of testosterone that your body produces gradually decreases.
- Since your testicles gradually become unable to produce sufficient testosterone hormone, this results in your body (specifically the hypothalamus), consequently producing a less amount of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH).
- As a result of the lesser amount of gonadotropin-releasing hormone your body is receiving, your pituitary gland wouldn’t also be able to produce optimal levels of LH (luteinizing hormone).
- Consequently, the lower levels of luteinizing hormone that the body is receiving results in impaired production of the testosterone hormone.
If the reduction of your body’s testosterone levels occurs as it should naturally, the symptoms and effects that come with this change often go completely unnoticed.
However, if this transition to production of lesser levels of testosterone hormones occurs too rapidly or suddenly, you can experience any of the following effects.
Effect of Low Testosterone
- Less frequent spontaneous erections
- A case, or an incident of erectile dysfunction
- A low sex drive
- You may experience some difficulty sleeping
- A lower sperm count or low sperm volume
- Severe and unexpected weight gain
- Loss of muscle mass as well as bone density
The undesirable results that come with a low testosterone level mean that it is crucial for your health that you know as much about your T levels as you possibly can.
However, it isn’t elementary to even be able to detect that you have a low testosterone level by yourself.
As a result of this, the only way to truly ascertain your testosterone levels is to see a certified healthcare professional get a testosterone level test.
This is a relatively simple blood test that’ll tell you, all you need to know about your testosterone levels.
One thing that is very important that you should note, moving forward with this test is the fact that the test is subject to the influence of various factors.
Testosterone levels in your body can be influenced by factors such as:
- Your diet
- The current level of your fitness
- The time of day at which the test was conducted
- If you are on certain types of medication such as steroids and anticonvulsants
As a result of this, you may need to conduct the testosterone level test a few times to fully establish whether your testosterone levels are low.
Once, with the aid of your medical professional that you have a low testosterone level, you need to find a way to remedy this quickly and as effectively as possible.
As we mentioned earlier, there are several ways you can go about treating this.
However, one of the best ways of treating this is the use of testosterone replacement therapy or TRT, for short.
It’s been proven to be highly effective in treating low testosterone levels resulting from medical conditions or old age.
What’s so interesting about the testosterone replacement therapy treatment is that in addition to effectively correcting low testosterone levels, there are other rather amazing benefits to subscribing to the regime.
Some of the advantages of using TRT include:
- It significantly boosts your energy levels
- Positively influences sexual performance
- Useful in building body mass, and
- helps improve your bone density.
However, considering the various merits of using testosterone replacement therapy, there are still a lot of misgivings about going for it.
This is mostly because some people believe that testosterone replacement therapy is very similar to using steroids.
Similarities and Differences between TRT and Steroids
Understanding the similarities and differences between testosterone replacement therapy and the use of steroids can be a huge indicator in helping determine whether or not the side effects produced by both of these treatments are identical.
Testosterone replacement therapy can also be referred to as the only treatment of low T.
TRT involves the process of improving the levels of testosterone that is present in males.
This process is carried out under the supervision of an experienced medical professional who has been licensed to carry out such a procedure.
The same is not right for the use of steroids. On the whole, most steroids applied tend to be down in gym lockers and so on.
This is what brings us to the first, and perhaps the most crucial difference between testosterone replacement therapy and steroids.
When you consider testosterone replacement therapy and steroids, one significant difference you encounter here is the legal parameters and grounds on which both these treatments stand.
In terms of the medical supervision and oversight that testosterone replacement therapy receives, steroids are, for the most part, highly illegal.
Also, the difference between testosterone replacement therapy and steroids is apparent in the legal distinctions, management of potential side effects, and diagnosis.
As a result of the fact that the use of testosterone replacement therapy is highly regulated to each specific individual undergoing the treatment.
The health, as well as the safety of each patient that undergoes the treatment procedure, is all but guaranteed.
Also, the difference between using testosterone replacement therapy and abusing steroid drugs is an obvious one.
When you consult a medical practitioner, and they determine that you need testosterone replacement therapy, this is often done to improve your overall health and essentially has only your best interests at heart.
In addition to the above, you must be aware that steroids do not count as, nor they regarded as medical treatment.
On the other hand, TRT is essentially a purely medical procedure.
On average, about 90 to 95% of steroids commonly consumed are considered illegal in the law’s eyes.
They are often also almost always administered by untrained individuals.
A primary reason these drugs are considered illegal is their origin. Most of these steroids tend to come from countries that aren’t FDA- approved.
As such, there is no way of knowing what materials were used to make these steroids.
In the case of testosterone replacement therapy, the procedure is always conducted by highly trained professionals.
This is also done under the strict guidance and regulation from the appropriate medical authorities and societies.
As a result of the fact that steroids’ availability tends not to be regulated, it often tends to be heavily abused.
The resulting consequence of this is that the side effects that are displayed on the testosterone body by the body are often quite severe.
Where testosterone replacement therapy is concerned, it is never conducted without a medical diagnosis supporting the commencement and use of the treatment.
This means that if testosterone replacement therapy is recommended for you, your doctors must have first established that you not only need it but that having the procedure is unlikely to affect you negatively.
However, it should be noted that while the best efforts are often taken to prevent the onset or display of any side effects from undergoing the testosterone replacement therapy, on the odd occasion, these side effects do present themselves.
This is predominantly because no medical procedure, no matter how safe, is certifiably 100% risk-free.
This is one reason why upon being diagnosed with low testosterone levels, and consequently being recommended for testosterone replacement therapy, your doctor will patiently explain to you with risks you are likely taking should you decide to undergo the procedure.
Side effects of testosterone replacement therapy – TRT:
- Prostate enlargement
- Fluid retention
- Severe mood swings
- Cases of male breast enlargement
- Some difficulty while urinating.
That said, should you get on the right medication, these side effects would be managed with no problem.
Using steroids is very likely to cause the same side effects in humans.
However, the distinctive difference between the side effects these two treatments offer is the magnitude to which each symptom manifests in the individual.
The side effects one sees from testosterone replacement therapy are usually very mild compared to how complicated and dangerous it can be in steroids.
What’s more is that in addition to exhibiting side effects similar to TRT, using steroids leads to the display of some more unsettling side effects.
Side effects of using illegal steroids:
- Blood clots
- Increased risk of severe damage to the spleen or the liver
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Increased levels of cholesterol in the blood
So while side effects experienced from using steroids might resemble side effects from TRT at the beginning, you start to realize that on the whole, they are remarkably different.