As someone who has undergone TRT for over four years now, I would like to think that I am quite informed when it comes to the subject of testosterone replacement therapy says Alex Gierbolini. So much so, in fact, that I have been asked on several occasions by friends and family members for advice regarding whether or not they should pursue hormone optimization via TRT. I am also routinely involved in conversations concerning TRT with individuals who are either currently under a doctor’s care or contemplating beginning treatment.
I have talked to both men and women about the positive effects that TRT has had for them, but I have also spoken with people who were turned off by what they felt is “cheating,” and would rather put up with symptoms of low testosterone than go on TRT (for reference purposes, these individuals generally fall in or past their mid-thirties).
It is without question that Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) has its benefits.
- It can help improve strength, muscle mass, bone density and overall energy levels; Also, it can boost libido; it can increase an individual’s sense of well-being; and it can alleviate the symptoms of low testosterone, such as ED, Erectile Dysfunction. All in all, these are very positive things! But is TRT right for everyone? What are the potential downfalls of undergoing treatment with testosterone? As I see it, there are several negative aspects to TRT that should be taken into consideration before making a decision.
Athletic Performance Enhancement and TRT
I am personally against the use of TRT by athletes (or anyone wanting to become an athlete). Due to its effects on endurance. While many pro bodybuilders will tell you that they take every advantage they can get when it comes to improving their physique (e.g., supplements, drugs), I feel that the long-term benefits of hormone optimization via TRT do not outweigh the advantages that it can potentially give an athlete in competition says Alex Gierbolini.
My personal feelings about the way that steroid use has tainted bodybuilding over the years notwithstanding. I feel that men who have low testosterone levels have every right to benefit from it while they are otherwise healthy. But when a man is physically fit, and takes measures to improve his conditioning through exercise. And a balanced diet, why would he want to throw this all away? And for what?
To me, there should be no reason why any male with low testosterone levels would want. To expose himself to any kind of athletic event if his T levels are within normal limits. If anything, TRT could be considered potentially dangerous for athletes.
It is well known that some athletes use TRT in order to improve their performance. And while I am okay with this if the athlete suffers from low testosterone levels. I don’t think it should be taken advantage of by someone who is otherwise healthy.
What about Bodybuilders or Power lifters?
The bottom line for me on this subject is simple. If you are actively engaging in physical training (e.g., strength training, endurance cycling, etc.). Or any type of competitive sport then do not take TRT! There are definitely power lifters out there who have taken TRT. But they can also back up their claims. When they say that they have not used AAS at the same time. However, with all due respect for these individuals, I do not agree with the decision to take testosterone.
Risks of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
If you are a healthy young man in your mid-twenties, there is no reason why you should be taking TRT! If you have any of the following conditions then sure. Go ahead and pursue treatment if it is medically indicated. Cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes. But if you are otherwise healthy and simply want to increase your T levels then just say no!
Another potential downside of TRT is that many doctors will prescribe gels instead of injection. Because they tend to be more convenient for patients, but this does come its own set of risks. I personally am not convinced that gels are safe or effective. And I feel that the potential health problems associated with these treatments would be even greater. Than if men were taking injections.
As always, you should speak with your doctor before making any decisions says Alex Gierbolini. But in fact, the decision to start TRT is not one that should be taken lightly by anyone! It can truly improve quality of life for men who truly need it (you know, like old guys. But there are also very real potential risks involved with undergoing treatment. This has to be at the forefront of your mind if you do decide to go through with it.