Top Misconceptions About Testosterone Replacement and Hormone Replacement Therapy
In these modern times, science has unlocked the secrets of fine-tuning the body at a hormonal level. We have discovered ways to increase hormone levels which make us into virtual superheroes, able to run faster, have more endurance, build muscle faster, and have more energy. 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 has resulted in the general idea of testosterone medications being associated with the illegal administration of bodybuilder-type steroids that can lead to disastrous results. In this post, we’ll 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 between them. The largest difference between them is that testosterone administered in TRT helps only achieve physiologic (natural) levels of hormones in the blood, while the testosterone forms bodybuilders use are often stacked with other substances that add to the muscle building, or anabolic, effects.
While it’s possible for a bodybuilder to obtain Testosterone Cypionate, one of the main medications used in TRT, 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 Anti Aging does not serve as a steroid mill as other TRT centers may illegally do so. We seek to help improve not only your hormone levels but 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 and is responsible for bone density and muscle growth in men. It also helps produce sperm in the testes. Men (and women) can sometimes experience a drop in normal testosterone levels due to a number of issues such as aging, living a sedentary lifestyle, improper nutrition, lack of sleep, and many others. While low testosterone levels may not directly lead to life-threatening conditions, they may indirectly lead to extremely poor health, including heart issues, 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 is often overlooked by traditional primary care doctors.
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 of steroids.
According to Wikipedia, these steroids tend to have effects which basically 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 proteinwithin cells, especially in skeletal muscles, and also have varying degrees of androgenic and virilizing effects, including induction of the development and maintenance of masculine secondary sexual characteristics such as the growth of facial and body hair. 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.
Watch: Effects of Steroids on Body
Side effects of Illegal Steroids
Illegal steroid use may include adverse effects which span from heart issues that lead to heart attack and death, to issues affecting your psychiatric health, skin changes, breast growth in men, 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, 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 which may go beyond testosterone therapy and may also include a diet and supplement plan, along with careful monitoring on a weekly to biweekly basis.
Illegal steroids are dangerous and should never be used. Anabolic steroids are not controlled substances and do not include supervision or analysis of any side effects. If you have used illegal steroids and experience any of the above-listed side effects, please contact us today to schedule an appointment to talk with our experts.