When a man cannot make enough testosterone in his body, it is called male hypogonadism (low testosterone or “Low T”). Many medications can treat this condition, but they may also cause heart failure. Three uses for Testosterone Therapy are to treat Low T, erectile dysfunction and to enhance athletic performance. Low T in older men can cause health issues, including osteoporosis, loss of muscle mass and coordination, and psychological symptoms from the loss. Testosterone has been used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) before Viagra was released in 1993. Testosterone has often been used by professional athletes and body builders to increase muscle mass and performance even if it has been banned by most professional organizations because of the side effects.
- Heart attacks – Recent studies have shown that men older than 65 and younger men with undiagnosed heart problems had increased risk for heart attacks.
- Strokes, mini-strokes and blood clots – Testosterone therapy drugs cause blood cells to increase in size and blood to thicken. This condition leads to a higher risk of blood clots. Blood clots cause a stroke, or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or a mini-stroke, called transient ischemic attacks or TIA. About a third of those who have a TIA have a CVA within a year.
- Prostate Cancer – During testosterone therapy the level of the drugs spike above normal causing the risk for developing prostate cancer to double. The relationship needs further study but men with a history of prostate problems should avoid testosterone products.
- Sleep apnea – A common and serious sleep disorder, sleep apnea can cause the sleeper’s breathing to be interrupted repeatedly during sleep. These interruptions can cause low oxygen levels which wake the sleeper especially during deep sleep, or REM. Affected sleep can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, obesity, diabetes and depression. Testosterone therapy can worsen sleep apnea and doctors recommend that sleep apnea be treated before starting testosterone therapy.
- Polycythemia – Another side effect of testosterone therapy is polycythemia, a condition characterized by increased levels of red blood cells. When too many red blood cells are produced by the bone marrow, it causes the blood to thicken and increases the risk of blood clots, which can lead to stroke.
- Dangers to women, children and pets – If they touch the drug applied to the user’s skin they can develop side effects such as acne, hair growth, large genitalia, early puberty and aggressive behavior. Young boys may develop breasts. Even pets can develop enlarged genitalia, becoming violent and aggressive.
If you or someone you love has suffered side effects from testosterone therapy, you may be eligible for compensation for your suffering. Contact Nolan Caddell Reynolds to day for your free consultation.