It is a known fact that as we age, many of our internal organs function with lesser zeal and energy as compared to our youthful days. This includes our sexual capabilities as well and it may afflict anyone regardless of the gender of the person in question. Sexual incapabilities often lead to mental stress, anxiety, mood swings, and the overall reduction of one’s quality of life. So, such issues are generally addressed at the onset to lessen one’s worries and embarrassment related to the same. This article throws light on testosterone supplements that would help enhance sexual functioning in older men, how effective they are, and who should refrain from using them.
What Is Testosterone
Testosterone is a hormone found in human beings which is predominantly present in men as compared to women. It is responsible for the development and maturity of sexual organs, induces sexual arousals, plays a major part in sperm production, determines muscle and bone mass in men, assists in increasing red blood cells, and promotes fat storage in the body. The testicles produce this hormone which increases when men attain puberty and then steadily increases followed by a steady reduction in testosterone production once they cross 30 years of age and above. With age testosterone levels drastically reduce giving rise to the following signs:
- Lethargy and tiredness
- Less interest in sex
- Decreased sexual activities
- Promotes unhealthy weight gain
- Leads to mood swings
- Causes reduction in body hair
- Is a major cause of bone thinning
- Tends to make the person feel reclusive
- Pushes the person to feel depressed
While age is the main factor that contributes to testosterone reduction often referred to as low T levels in men, other factors like an unhealthy lifestyle, cancer treatment, testicle injury, kidney disease, AIDS, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, liver disease, etc. also lead to a reduction in testosterone levels in men. The normal range of this hormone is generally between 280 and 1,100 nanograms per decilitre. Doctors can determine the level of this hormone by conducting a simple blood test.
What Are Testosterone Supplements
Various treatment options are available to boost low T levels in men, testosterone supplements being one among them. These are mostly dietary supplements inclusive of herbal extracts, nutrients, and antioxidants that help to increase testosterone levels in men. Other options include alternate medications, injections, gels, pellets, creams, etc. which are collectively known as Testosterone Replacement Therapy or TRT. Specifically, when choosing a supplement, one needs to carefully read through the leaflet to have a better understanding of the ingredients. Some key ingredients to look out for are fenugreek, magnesium, Tribulus Terrestris, D-aspartic acid, boton citrate, vitamin D, etc. Apart from this, check for reviews from other customers to learn about the product rating and make sure to buy from a trusted source.
Generally speaking, not all men need to be administered TRT and neither should one overlook the possible side-effects that may arise as a result of its usage. Speaking of supplements to counter the symptoms of low T levels, one needs to carefully weigh the pros and cons and only then decide to go ahead with it. Always go for FDA-approved supplements and adhere to safe dosages as recommended by the doctor. One can take comfort in knowing that these dietary supplements do not introduce synthetic testosterone into the blood as anabolic steroids do, instead, they assist in the production of the same with the help of the ingredients. However, side effects have been reported from the usage of supplements as well. Some possible side-effects that may arise from the usage of these supplements could include:
- Sleep disorders in the form of sleep apnea
- Acne breakouts and inflammation
- An increase in breast size
- Shrinking of the testicles
Apart from the above-mentioned complications, two of them that are a major cause of concern are an increased possibility of cardiovascular diseases and cancer risk. So, if one decides to go for testosterone supplements, they need to have a thorough knowledge of what they are getting themselves into, how it may affect their health and lifestyle, and then compare the benefits with the risks involved. This would help them make better decisions and also reduce potential health risks.
Effectiveness Of Testosterone Supplements In Older Men
Recent times have witnessed a surge in the clinical usage of testosterone supplements to tackle a deficiency of the same in older men. Contrary to the popular belief, however, studies are still underway to prove how far these supplements can be effective and what sort of health risks, apart from the largely known ones, they pose when taken in the long run. Some medical experts claim taking these supplements could do more harm than good in the case of older men since it is a natural process and it is best to take life and related changes as they come, albeit sometimes with a pinch of salt. But in cases where generally the person in question has lived a healthy lifestyle, has not been susceptible to major illnesses, and has dedicated their lives to staying fit to have also had success stories to tell. If someone does decide to go ahead with supplements then they can do so under expert guidance. Many counterfeit products have found their way into the market and one needs to always practice caution when purchasing ensuring not to go for cheap-quality or lesser priced products.
Who Should Steer Clear From Testosterone Supplements
Whenever an older person approaches a doctor with grievances related to lower sex drive, lethargy, irritability, and the likes, the first thing the doctor would do is to run through the person’s health history followed by blood samples to check for testosterone levels. If the test comes back with a low T result the doctor would prescribe the treatment best suited to help improve testosterone levels to some extent. However, if the person has a history of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, existing heart problems, diabetes, etc doctors usually refrain from prescribing testosterone supplements owing to greater health risk and instead, advise alternate or natural means to help tackle the problem. Also, some medications taken for existing health conditions may interact with ingredients present in testosterone supplements so strict caution should be practiced before deciding to go ahead with the same.
Also Read: Testosterone: Debunking the Myths
Just like any other physical activity that acts as a mood-enhancer and a happiness-inducer, contentment that one attains within one’s bedroom is also an important life aspect, and when the ability to perform at one’s best dwindles it is natural for a person to feel low and upset. However, when someone is diagnosed with low T levels the first thing to do is to not panic as with age this is a natural phenomenon and such occurrences are a part and parcel of being a human being. However, it would be important to discuss with one’s doctor what apt treatment method needs to be followed to slow the pace at which the condition progresses and also to bring about considerable improvement. Also, there’s no one one-plan-works-for-all magic potion as each body reacts to certain treatments, especially those related to the hormones, differently. What works for one may not work for another. So, understand your bodily transformations induced with age, understand its need and follow your instincts. Rest assured you will be able to lead a content life with lesser qualms, embracing the blessings.