Testosterone Supplements: What's the Risk?

Testosterone Supplements: What's the Risk?

Testosterone is the body’s main male hormone. It is responsible for muscle mass, libido and maintaining healthy energy levels – among other characteristics in men. So when they're experiencing problems in these areas, many men see testosterone supplements as a quick – although, expensive – fix.

Marc Alexander MD, an internal medicine doctor at Queen City Physicians – Western Hills Internal Medicine, explains what you need to know about testosterone supplements before taking them, and why they should always be prescribed by a doctor.

Testosterone Supplements: What’s the Risk?

“The main problem is it may cause blood pressure elevation, and then, there’s kind of another concern, because testosterone feeds prostate cancers,” Dr. Alexander explains.

Testosterone supplements are more likely to fuel prostate cancer in men who fall in a high-risk category for developing this cancer. Other risks include:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Excessive hair growth

I’m Considering Testosterone Supplements: What Should I Do First?

If you’re toying with the idea of taking testosterone supplements, the first thing you need to do is schedule an appointment with your doctor, who will suggest having your PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels tested first.

While Dr. Alexander says most urologists do not think developing prostate cancer is a significant risk of taking testosterone supplements, he still says PSA levels should be checked before taking them, and then should be monitored throughout treatment. This is especially true for men who are on them for a long period of time.

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Last Updated: November 21, 2013