Top Misconceptions About Testosterone Replacement and Hormone Replacement Therapy
Science has unlocked the secrets of fine-tuning the many components of the human body’s complex systems, including hormones.
Optimal hormone levels can almost make us into virtual superheroes, help us run faster, have more endurance, build muscle more quickly, have more energy, and have more health benefits.
In the past 3-4 decades, men interested in professional or amateur bodybuilding have turned to self-medicating hormones, mainly testosterone, to get an edge when building muscle. This trend has resulted in the general idea that testosterone medications are the same as the illegal administration of bodybuilder-type steroids, which can lead to disastrous results.
This post will cover the difference between the dangerous “street testosterone” available in black markets and the safe, medically-administered TRT or Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
Misconception #1: TRT and Illegal Anabolic Steroid Use is the Same
Many people associate Testosterone Replacement Therapy with illegal anabolic (muscle-building) steroids and are unaware of the vast differences. The most significant difference between them is that testosterone administered in TRT helps only achieve physiologic (natural) levels of hormones in the blood.
In contrast, bodybuilders’ testosterone forms come mixed with other substances that add to the muscle building, or anabolic, effects.
Suppose an individual such as a bodybuilder was to obtain Testosterone Cypionate illegally without a prescription, one of the main medications used in TRT. In that case, the bodybuilder is always at risk of self-medicating without doctor supervision: improper dosage, using tainted medications, or facing health risks without even knowing it.
A TRT patient not only receives a doctor consultation by a board-certified medical doctor at one of our fully licensed medical facilities but also receives a full hormonal blood panel with our low-t testing service.
We are one of the most trusted centers for men’s health, including testosterone optimization, and have certifications from the Alliance for Anti-Aging Medicine.
Body RX does not serve as a steroid mill as other TRT centers may illegally do. We seek to help improve your hormone levels and help you in your journey to a better overall quality of life.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a naturally occurring steroid in the human body. It is responsible for bone density and muscle growth in men. It also helps produce sperm in the testes.
Body men and women can experience a testosterone deficiency due to the process of aging, bad health habits, lack of sleep, and many others.
While low-t may not directly cause death, patients experiencing low-t commonly also experience health issues like cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue, chronic depression, and obesity (leading to severe conditions such as diabetes and cancer).
Testosterone is a central part of men’s (and women’s) health, and a Low-T specialist may be the best option for patients with Low-T symptoms.
What are illegal steroids?
Illegal steroids, also known as anabolic steroids, used by bodybuilders and athletes can contain testosterone or chemicals that act like testosterone. These steroids are often stacked with other chemicals to increase the anabolic (muscle-building) results.
According to Wikipedia, these steroids tend to have effects that make men manlier (androgenic), helping develop muscles and even facial hair:
Anabolic steroids, also known more properly as anabolic–androgenic steroids (AAS), are steroidal androgens that include natural androgens like testosterone as well as synthetic androgens that are structurally related and have similar effects to testosterone.
They are anabolic and increase protein within cells, especially in skeletal muscles. They also have varying degrees of androgenic and virilizing effects, including induction of the development and maintenance of masculine secondary sexual characteristics such as facial and body hair growth.
The word anabolic, referring to anabolism, comes from the Greek ἀναβολή anabole, “that which is thrown up, mound”. Androgens or AAS are one of three types of sex hormone agonists, the others being estrogens like estradiol and progestogens like progesterone.
Side effects of Illegal Steroids
There are many ways in which illegal steroid use can damage your health.
These health effects include cardiovascular issues that can lead to heart attacks and sudden death. Illegal steroids can bring mood swings and psychiatric health issues.
Abuse of steroids or testosterone can also make your skin dry and dull, including making your face look older. Other effects of steroid abuse can include breast growth in men (gynecomastia).
Street Testosterone and anabolic steroids can cause testicular shrinkage and other serious side effects, some of which may be permanent:
- Male side effects: Priapism, Erectile Dysfunction, Gynecomastia (male breasts), Testicular Atrophy (smaller testicles), Prostate Cancer
- Reproductive effects: Libido Changes, Irreversible Infertility, Hypogonadism (male testes produce little to no sex hormones)
- Skin changes: oily skin, dry skin, wrinkles, acne, stretch marks, alopecia (male pattern baldness)
- Psychiatric/neurological effects: Mood swings, irritability, aggression, violent behavior, depression, anxiety, psychosis
- Cardiovascular effects: Increased LDL levels, atherosclerosis, arrhythmias, thrombosis (stroke), sudden death
- Other: Immune dysfunction
Difference Between Illegal Steroids and TRT?
TRT helps you optimize your health and wellness by identifying the deficiencies at a hormonal level through a complete blood test and close doctor supervision. With our TRT program, you receive a customized wellness plan that may go beyond testosterone therapy and include a diet and supplement plan, along with careful monitoring on a weekly to biweekly basis.
Illegal steroids are dangerous to your health, and you should never use them. Anabolic steroids are not controlled substances and do not include supervision or analysis of any side effects. If you have used illegal steroids and experienced any of the above-listed side effects, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an appointment to talk with our experts.